One day, HLS student Rehan Staton asked a custodian how she was doing. Her response was: “I’m sorry – I didn’t know you were talking to me. Students would usually rather look at the wall than talk to me.” This troubled Rehan, and after talking to various support staff members, he realized that many of the blue-collar staff felt similarly about students’ engagement. Rehan responded by using his savings from working as a summer associate at a law firm to buy Amazon gift cards for 100 HLS support staff members, which he personally delivered inside handwritten thank you cards. The response from the staff was moving. Many of them emphasized how great it felt to finally be “seen” by a student. Based on this experience, Rehan founded The Reciprocity Effect to combat the disconnect between staff and students. The purpose of the organization is to create a more holistic HLS community whose members reciprocally support one another.
Founder & Chair of the Board