How to Write an OTM

Introduction to Of The Month (OTM)

One of the many services of National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) Inc. is the ‘Of the Month’ Award, which is administered through the National Residence Hall Honorary. The ‘Of the Month’ process recognizes outstanding contributions to College and University Residence Halls.

OTM Category Description

Advisor (600 word max)

  • How did the individual recognize the students s/he advises in the month of nomination?
  • How did the individual impact students s/he advises during the month of nomination?
  • Through the course of his/her work, in what ways is this person contributing to the student affairs profession?
  • What outstanding accomplishments merit recognition of the individual this month?

Advisors need to create a supportive environment for the student leaders they advise. The focus of the Advisor OTM should be based on the impact s/he makes in the lives of students. Personal examples are often the best way to express the intangible contributions of an advisor. The nomination should display how the advisor was instrumental in helping the leaders they work with grow, learn, and develop.

Community (600 word max)

  • What brings the group of people together?
  • What specific positive contributions did this community make this month to enhance the lives of the group members or those around it?
  • How does the community interact with other communities?
  • What makes this community different from other communities? (Examples include participation and enthusiasm a group.)

Executive Board Member (600 word max)

  • Is the individual from the campus-wide residence hall governing body (ie. Residence Hall Association) or NRHH Chapter, not a specific hall government?
  • Has the nominee used the services and resources of NACURH as well as other campus resources?
  • What outstanding accomplishments merit recognition of this individual this month?
  • How did the Exec Board Member exceed the responsibilities of his/her position during the month of the nomination?
  • How has the individual grown as a result of the challenges s/he has faced?

Organization (600 word max)

  • Is the nomination month specific?
  • What is the focus of the organization? (i.e. programming, advocacy, recognition, ect.)
  • How did the organization contribute to the residential community and the general community of the institution?

Residential Assistant (600 word max)

  • How well does the nominee work with residents and what impact has s/he had during the month of nomination?
  • How has the nominee fulfilled and gone above his/her job responsibility during the month of nomination?
  • Are there any specific projects in support of hall government or committees in which she/he participates?
  • What outstanding contributions has the individual made for the hall she/he works in during the month of nomination?

Spotlight (600 word max)

  • What outstanding contributions did the individual/group make to the students living in the residence halls during the month of nomination?
  • How has the person/group exceeded what would normally be expected of them in their position?

This category is to recognize the efforts of people who do not fall into any other categories; therefore, the nominee cannot be an advisor, exec board member, residential assistant, or student. Possible nominees could be food service personnel, night security staff, or janitorial staff. Please include how this person/group has helped an individual or contributed to the well being of the community.

Student (600 word max)

  • What outstanding contributions did the individual make during the month of nomination?
  • How has this person impacted the residence halls and campus?
  • What interaction did the nominee have with his/her residence hall government or individual hall during the month of nomination?
  • How does the student recognize and motivate others?

Programs: Educational

  • How did the program educate students?
  • How were the educational needs of the community addressed?
  • What were the goals of the program and how were they accomplished?
  • What makes the program unique?

Programs: Social

  • What was the purpose of the program?
  • How did it encourage residents to interact with one another?
  • What makes the program unique?
  • How can the program be adapted to other campuses?

Programs: Community Service

  • What was the service Project?
  • Who did it benefit?
  • How did the project impact the residential community?
  • What makes this program unique?
  • How did students take an active part in the program?

Programs: Diversity

  • What were the goals of the program and how were they accomplished?
  • How did the program serve to promote diversity and understanding?
  • What makes this program unique?
  • Did the program have a lasting effect on residents?

Word Requirements for Program OTMs:
Origin of the program = 200 word max
Description of the program = 400 word max
Goals of the program = 200 word max
Positive and lasting effects of the program = 200 word max
Short Evaluation of the Program = 200 word max
How can this be adopted on other campuses = 200 word max

Tips for OTMs

  • Define acronyms; they are not always universal! The only acronyms you should use are NRHH, NACURH, RHA, NCC, and region name (e.g. GLACURH).
  • Make sure you are using the correct category for your nominee. This is a common error people make. To avoid mistakes look at the criteria on the previous pages.
  • Presentation is the key! Proofread the OTM to make sure you are clearly saying what you want to say. Look out for bad grammar and spelling errors.
  • Make sure your nomination is month specific! It is very important to highlight the outstanding things that the nominee did and how they did it in the month of nomination. Use phrases like “in the month of ______ they did…”. Keep this in mind throughout the whole OTM nomination.
  • Make sure to use all the words possible. There is a word count, but it is extremely high. Try and run out of words to type. The more information the better.
  • Use bullet points. Paragraphs are easier to read if they are bulleted.
  • nclude positive things, goals and improvements that were noted in program OTMs.
  • When writing OTMs for RA’s make sure to include things other than RA duties such as student involvement.

Due Dates:
OTMs are due by the 1st of the month.

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