Thursday, October 22, 2020

Goldblum connects, cares, changes

He was known for being an athlete and exuded confidence. But his previous psychology professor at Hudson Valley Community College, Todd Wysocki, saw past the confidence.

“He was confident externally, but not internally,” said Wysocki about the now-confident student affairs and counseling graduate student and Resident Director Jake Goldblum.

Though Goldblum was insecure, Wysocki, who now considers Goldblum to be one of his best friends, saw something in him that no one else did. Goldblum was good with people. He had an impact on them. Realizing Goldblum’s potential, Wysocki pushed Goldblum to study at a four-year college. That’s how Goldblum replaced Hudson Valley with Plattsburgh State and a physical education major with a history major and psychology minor.

Goldblum didn’t waste time bettering his people skills. He became a member of Sigma Tau Gamma and served as a resident assistant in Adirondack Hall and later at Whiteface Hall. Goldblum describes his time as an RA to be a life-changing experience. With the guidance of Wysocki and his then supervisor at Whiteface Hall, Nicole Goodwin, Goldblum became more confident. He became a better speaker, a better listener, a better mentor.

“I was listening to understand rather than to respond,” he said, explaining Goodwin’s impact on him.

He became better equipped to do what he wanted to do — micro-change the world to be a better place. Part of what helps him in his quest is not only his graduate studies, but also his background in history, which he said teaches about people’s context.

“We learn a lot about oppression and individual realities. How somebody conveys their experience in writing, how your experience as a women is different from my experience as a man. Even though we might experience the same exact thing, you’re going to write about it differently than I am because your context is different. Your lens is different,” Goldblum said. “That helped me understand that we all go through similar things, but differently. When you realize that things are different, things start to become easier to navigate. It’s like once you understand that you don’t understand, that’s when you understand.”

As his confidence grew, so did his will to touch more lives. Two years ago, during Thanksgiving, Goldblum decided he wanted to have more of an impact. Wysocki, Goldblum and his big, Dan Vaccaro, started the business Reframing Leadership Consulting (RLC), a business that lets the three men share their expertise in leadership and topics such as sexual assault prevention with college students across the nation. Goldblum acquired his leadership skills through his mentor and also his experience as an RA and an RD, while his involvement as an adviser with the organization No More, his role as an alumni adviser for Sigma Tau Gamma and his personal experience with the issue of sexual assault made him more than qualified to pass along his knowledge about sexual assault prevention.

“As a man in college, as a fraternity man in college, I have seen some things that are stereotypically associated with the fraternities, so I try to positively role model for new members of Sigma Tau Gamma and the rest of the Greek community. That’s not what a man is. That is not what a man is supposed to be, hyper-masculine and hyper-active,” Goldblum said.

From an insecure teen to a man with speaking engagements and workshops at places such Syracuse University and Rutgers, Goldblum has certainly evolved. RLC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Major at PSUC Adam Zakrzewski is one who has seen Goldblum’s evolution.

Zakrzewski said Goldblum is knowledgeable and passionate about what he does, which would sometimes make it hard for him to see a situation from a different angle, or he would take any failure a student experiences under his mentorship personally.

Fortunately, the different influences in his life helped Goldblum with that.

The passion that made Goldblum stubborn is the same passion that helps him employ the three C’s: Connect, Care, Change. Goldblum believes in a non-orthodox way of counseling and mentoring. Though most professionals in his field would try to keep some distance from those they work with, Goldblum doesn’t.

Both Goodwin and Wysocki agree that it is a unique style which is not popular in his field, but it is something that seems to work for him and the students he helps.

Goldblum believes in being hands-on with the residents and developing a personal, yet professional relationship with them.

“Who are you going to be more open with: Your older brother, your friend, or your R.D. or R.A.?” Goldblum said. “So a lot of the time, people in our building (Harrington Hall) would say ‘Oh that’s Jake,’ rather than that’s the R.D.’ And that’s the kind of relationship that I like.”

Email Winta Mebrahti at winta.mebrahti@cardinalpointsonline.com

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