If you live at Lassonde Studios, you already know at least one RA (or residential advisors). These outstanding students live and lead small groups within the building. They get to know each and every one of their residents and help ensure the best experience possible.
The RA group for 2019-20 is diverse and accomplished. Get to know them all better by browsing the information below. We gathered fun bios and tips for living at Lassonde from each of them. We also included a couple of related roles in this list (in alphabetical order).
Photo caption: Top row (left to right): Kase Hodgson, Jeffrey Wang, Gus Osimitz, Beau Thistle, Ian Lavin, Jaxon Stuart, Angela Deng. Bottom row (left to right): Alice Tarnawiecki, Jake Larkin, Sarah Frederick, ‘Ainu Kaufusi, Matt Phister, Lucas Kuzmanovich, Jasper the Service Dog.
Major: Health society and policy with a minor in chemistry
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Bio: I was born in Shenyang China but moved to New Zealand when I was 7 years old and grew up there. I am currently a sophomore and have been living at Lassonde since I moved to the States a year ago and love the place with all my heart. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family and going on hikes (the living room trail is my favorite). I am looking forward to this year to get to know my residents and working with my amazing RA team!
Tip: From my experience, something you can do to make the best of your experience is to partake in the Workshops Lassonde has to offer and go to all the housing events. This is the best way you can meet people who have similar interests as you!
Major: Anthropology and business
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Bio: I am originally from West Point, New York, where my dad graduated from and then taught at the United States Military Academy. I’m from an Army family so I’ve moved all over! I have called Utah home for several years now, and I love the mountains. I am in the Honors College, and I am in the process of writing my thesis. I love music, true-crime TV shows, and cows. Let’s talk about podcasts!
Tip: Reach out! Knock on other people’s doors and hang out in the lobby, there will always be someone around! The residents of Lassonde are so diverse and getting to know people will give you lifelong friends. And go use the makespaces!
Major: Quantitative analysis of markets and organizations, finance emphasis, with a computer science minor
Hometown: Bountiful, Utah
Bio: My academic interests are mostly in the world of data science and financial technology, in other worlds the intersection of economics, finance, and computer science. After graduation, I plan on working in this area and eventually pursuing a graduate degree. Outside of school, I enjoy competing in triathlons around Utah and exploring the outdoors in a variety of ways.
Tip: My advice to Lassonde residents is to keep pushing yourself to be uncomfortable. Keep trying new things so that you will keep growing and meeting new people.
‘Ainu ‘Ofa-Ki-Vava’u Kaufusi
Major: Business, operations, and supply chain
Hometown: Glendale, Utah
Bio: I love to be social and involved with campus life! I love to play sports like volleyball and spend time in the sun. My goals are to be successful in clubs, school, and every aspect of my life. I aspire to become a great leader. What makes me unique is I love to eat spaghetti with ranch dressing.
Tip: I encourage students to get out of their comfort zones and build connections. By doing this it builds personal development, collegiate success, community, and confidence!
Major: Biology with an emphasis in anatomy and physiology and minors in chemistry and aerospace studies
Bio: I am excited to be an RA this year and help my residents navigate their first year here at the U. I absolutely love being outdoors and exploring new places.
Tip: Make sure you do your part to keep the communal spaces clean so that everyone can use and enjoy the space.
Major: Computer engineering/computer science
Hometown: Pocatello, Idaho
Bio: This is my third year at the University of Utah and my second as an RA at Lassonde. Some of my hobbies consist of building random things, playing piano, and computer programming. I enjoy unicycling, rock climbing, Spikeball, and video games.
Tip: Come to events and get involved with the campus community to make your college experience the best it can be.
Major: Electrical Engineering with minor in physics and engineering entrepreneurship
Hometown: Eagle, Idaho
Bio: I was born and raised in Eagle, Idaho. I am studying electrical engineering and minoring in physics with a certificate in engineering entrepreneurship. I currently lead the hydroponics club, and we are constructing a set of hydroponic walls for the Lassonde Hanger. I also enjoy many non-academic hobbies and interests. I love to play music and I know how to play the saxophone, guitar, and a piano. I also enjoy long-distance running.
Tip: Go out and talk to the people around you. You never know the opportunities you may find.
Major: Information systems with a computer science minor
Hometown: Charlottesville, Va.
Bio: Hey, I’m Gus! I’m starting my fifth year at the U, and I am studying information systems with a minor in computer science. When I am not studying, I love going hammocking, hiking, rafting, skiing, etc. I also enjoy watching shows “Dark,” “Westworld,” “Man in the High Castle,” and “Planet Earth.” If you see me around, be sure to say “hi” and introduce yourself! I’m very excited to get to know you all and hear about your interests!
Tip: To make the most of your time at Lassonde, I encourage you to do your homework in the common areas, attend the events, and be seen in the building! The biggest perk to Lassonde is the incredible community, so take advantage of it! (And do your dishes!!)
Matthew Phister (Resident Director)
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
Bio: I’m originally from Ohio and studied political science at the University of Akron. Before attending graduate school, I worked at an academic non-profit in Washington, D.C. I received my master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University. I’ve been working full-time at the U for a little over a year as the resident director for Lassonde Studios. Personally, I enjoy a good comedy or political drama, books about politics and leadership, and have a recent interest in tattoos and axe throwing!
Tip: Get involved and engage in your community. Lassonde is designed to support community development and collaboration, so leave your door open and hang out in the common areas. Utilize the Lassonde RA staff and me (the resident Director) as a resource for any question or support you need. We’re here for you and excited to help you make Lassonde your home! Stop by my office on the first floor any time, office 1043, I’m excited to get to know you!
Hometown: Riverton, Utah
Bio: Getting involved on campus past my academics has made the last two years ones to remember. I have been involved in the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, Business Scholars, Greek Life, Daniels Fund, and student government. I have also spent much of my time working for University Growth Fund, Silicon Slopes, and the Utah Jazz. I have a huge passion for entrepreneurship and started my own business in high school detailing cars. An ideal career for me would be working in the venture capital industry, combining both my passion for finance and my passion for entrepreneurship. Outside of work and school I love to do hot yoga, travel, and cook. I have just mastered my flying frog, traveled to 13 countries, and learned to make homemade pasta.
The U has so much to offer students but it is up to you to take full advantage of these opportunities. Talk to others, be uncomfortable, ask questions. Get after it.
Major: Multi-disciplinary design
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Bio: Hey, I’m Alice, and I am excited to be an RA in Lassonde for 2019-20. I was born and raised in SLC and love exploring through climbing, hiking, camping in Southern Utah, and snowboarding. Most of my time is spent working on freelance design work and I am co-founder of PATCH through Lassonde’s Company Launch program. When I am not designing, I like attending local concerts, going out to dance with friends, making my own cheese and mead, and filming documentaries and music videos. Let’s collaborate!
Tip: My advice for you this year is don’t stay in your rooms! Come hang out in the community on your floor or the Hangar downstairs. It’s a great way to collaborate on projects and meet new people. Get safety trained in the woodshop downstairs so you can build sweet stuff. Lastly, come talk to the people working on their businesses in the Company Launch space, we have good advice if you’re interested in entrepreneurship (I’m assuming you are because you live here.) Cheers!
Beau Thistle (Community Coordinator)
Major: Business and entrepreneurship
Hometown: Las Vegas
Bio: Hi! I’m Beau Thistle and I am from Las Vegas. I skipped my senior year of high school to attend the U, and I created my own business customizing shoes. I recently traveled to Europe for the first time in my life, and I love to spend time watching the “Bachelorette” and meeting new friends. I’ll be the cool aunt you always wish you had when you were a child — always looking out for you to make sure you are safe, but always down to have a good time.
Tips: Living in Lassonde is where you will meet other residents who will become your second family … open up that door and don’t be afraid to be that person that everyone wishes they had in their lives as a new first-year in college.
Hometown: South Jordan, Utah
Bio: I am thrilled to be a new RA here at Lassonde! I’m looking forward to really getting to know the students here before I graduate in May. I’m currently going through the process of applying to graduate school for occupational therapy and will hopefully start in a program next fall! Some of my favorite things to do are go boating, ride horses, hike, and travel!
Tip: Don’t spend too much time being a perfectionist. Things will work out exactly how they are supposed to!
Majors: International studies, marketing, management
Hometown: South Jordan, Utah
Bio: In my free time, I love to spend time with my cat, eating food with friends, and taking long naps. After I graduate, I hope to relocate somewhere on the West Coast since I have lived in Utah my whole life. Thus far, I have traveled to 13 countries, and I hope to reach 30 by the time I am 30. I love shows like “Orange is the New Black,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Parks & Recreation.” Some of my hobbies include volleyball, tennis, and hiking.
Tip: Get to know the resources and programs available at Lassonde so that you can get the most out of your time here!