After watching the video about the Hawthorne Effect, I realized how my recent job as a tutor counselor for RAHI meets many of the aspects of the Hawthorne Effect. When I first heard about the Rural Alaska Honors Institute program, I was a bit nervous about working as a tutor counselor due to all the pressure and responsibilities that I will be handed. The average amount of students that get in the program is about 50 students. Working with this amount of students seemed dreadful. However, the program director, Denise Wartes, changed my perspective and viewpoints about the program. She explained to me how working for RAHI can be very beneficial to me due to my college major, which is elementary education. The program can help build my foundation about my knowledge of working with students, except they are high school students. Working as a tutor and a counselor for this program can help me develop stronger communication and people skills which are essential skills for people who are pursuing an education degree. Some of the other benefits from my job are free housing, free meals, up to 20 hours of overtime, and being able to do fun outdoor activities such as canoeing, white water rafting in Denali, and a trip to the hot springs. Working with the students and receiving all these benefits are what motivated me to become one of RAHI’s most effective TCs (tutor counselor).
Moving on to the question of the supervisor who inspired and motivated me in my job to become one of RAHI’s best TCs, Denise Wartes is the one who inspired me to make a change in rural students’ lives through the program. Although she has retired and handed the throne to a different person, she continues to inspire more people to work in the program to help rural communities to achieve their goals, to send students to college to pursue higher education after graduating from high school. Wartes’ ability to keep everyone motivated is outstanding. She pushes everyone out of their shells to improve their work performance with the students. One of her advice to me during my first summer working as a tutor counselor is to keep socializing with the students to help them feel more comfortable around me. There are certain rules in RAHI that students and TCs should never overlook and that is making sure that everyone gets their sleep. However, when students are stressing about homework and want to keep working on it pass their curfew, that’s when I started breaking the rule because sleep is not going to do their homework for them. Wartes talked to me about how it’s fine to break these rules, as long as its for the students’ benefits and for the best. Wartes is one of those people who would allow rules to be broken as long as it’s not creating negative impacts on the workplace. She would always say the line “students come first’ and that’s what inspired me to continue working as a tutor counselor in RAHI. Denise Wartes’ ability to help her employees become a better version of themselves is the reason why I look up to her as one of the most inspiring and motivating people I know.