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Contributing Compassion

October 3, 2022
Renecia Davis

This month, Renecia G. Davis will celebrate 16 years of service at the University of Louisville, serving in roles with Student Housing, the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, the UPS Metropolitan College Program, and now with the College of Business. According to the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs, Raymond Green, Renecia stepped in and made an immediate contribution when she joined the College in April.

“In her short time with the College of Business, she has already impacted and positively affected our students and our College,” says Green. “She brings a wealth of knowledge, unparalleled passion, relevant knowledge, and modern skills to our team. She is our secret weapon in student success and retention.”

In her role as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Student Services, Renecia coordinates activities and living arrangements for the TILE (Thriving and Innovation through Leadership and Entrepreneurship) Living Learning Community (LLC). The program is designed for students majoring in business who want to develop their leadership styles while engaging with faculty, staff, professionals, and their LLC cohort of future business professionals. We sat with Renecia to discuss her experiences with TILE.

UofL: How have your career and responsibilities evolved at UofL? How has your previous experience with students informed your work with TILE?

Renecia: My previous experience working with students has taught me that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I don’t have a secret recipe for this other than showing compassion and meeting students where they are. I make a personal commitment to make students feel seen, supported, encouraged, valued, and cared for. I ask my LLC students at the beginning of each class what they need from me at the moment, and I aim to meet that expectation wholeheartedly or connect students to individuals who can help. For example, some LLC students recently indicated a need for a study group for one of their courses. So, I am helping to organize a study group after class led by a former student who has completed the course. We will enjoy food and have fun while learning together and building community.

UofL: What’s the most rewarding part of working with an LLC?

Renecia: Starting college can be a huge transition for anyone. As a first-generation college graduate, the most rewarding part of working with an LLC is the ability to make a positive impact by helping students transition into college life, connecting students to support resources, and providing meaningful opportunities for students to engage with their peers and professors. 

UofL: TILE students come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. How does the LLC use this diversity to its advantage when bringing these students together under one roof?  

Renecia: We are a diverse community, and the best way to prepare students for diversity is through intentional engagement with other students, faculty, and staff. Our LLC students participate in weekly engagement activities outside of classroom experiences, specialized programming, and small group discussions. These combined experiences prepare our students to value and respect the many different perspectives, life experiences, diverse attitudes, and beliefs of others.

UofL: What skill/trait do you think TILE students cultivate during their time that will best serve them both academically and professionally?

Renecia: A meaningful life skill TILE students will learn is how to seek help when needed and how to grow their professional network. Seeking help when you need it and accessing student resources is a sign of integrity and strength and contributes to student success. Students will also learn how to network by making connections and building relationships through specialized programming and events.

UofL: In a word or a phrase, summarize TILE for our readers.

Renecia: We are a community—a family away from home.