Q: Were you
hired in as assistant director of Residential Life in 2002?
A: I was
originally an area coordinator for Clark Hall and Foss Hill, and I was then
promoted to assistant director at the end of my first year. This is my third
year at Wesleyan, and Iím enjoying every minute of it!
attracted you to Wesleyan?
A: Well, I
was looking for a place where I knew I could be successful professionally,
but would also be challenged. The nature of our student body and the quality
of our student services staff has really made working here a wonderful
experience. I especially liked the fact that the campus was starting to
renovate existing residence halls and had plans for new ones. That is hard
for anyone to not be a part of. Also, the issues that our campus faces
collectively usually comprise subjects that would be taboo at other places.
I feel here that students, staff, and faculty have the ability to really
discuss valid issues on this campus in an honest and open way.
Q: How did
you get into this type of work?
graduated from Quinnipiac University with a B.A. in psychology and sociology
and then received my masterís of education from Springfield College in
student affairs administration. Iím currently working on my doctorate in
educational leadership. The biggest reason why I became involved in
Residential Life as a career was my experience as a resident advisor. In my
early college days I was a communications major hoping to be on ESPN one day
-- I wanted to broadcast Red Sox games -- but the whole world of student
affairs lured me away. After I made my decision to change majors I never
factor can a living arrangement play in a studentís academic success?
students live with impacts everything. Where a student resides is the place
where they get their sleep, where they probably study and create their
Q: How does
Residential Life go about providing students with resources and direction
needed to be academically successful at Wesleyan?
A: My office
tries to make sure that when roommate problems occur that we are dealing
with them quickly and effectively. We also have many resources for students
such as their resident advisor, house manager or head resident; these are
student peers employed by our office who are extensively trained to handle
conflict resolution and roommate issues. Residential Life also has five Area
Coordinators; professional staff who have advanced degrees in counseling or
student services administration that supervise all the student staff in a
particular area and will resolve all sorts of problems or issues in their
area. My office knows that if a student resides in a good residential
environment, we are creating a place where they can be academically
Q: How do you
determine their housing and roommates?
A: I meet
with students on a fairly regular basis, usually relating to housing
assignments or the room selection process. We house all first year
students by the preferences they submit to our office in May via an on-line
process. We give first-year students roommates based on similar housing
preferences. All continuing students receive housing through the General
Room Selection Process. This process is based on student seniority at
Wesleyan through a ranking system, giving all seniors the first pick of
housing, then juniors, etc. Students self-select their roommates.
Q: What are
studentsí housing options?
A: Oh thatís
a big question. Undergraduate students can live in a variety of housing
options including traditional style residence halls, program houses,
apartments, or senior house. Their options range so that they can live by
themselves or up to six people, so there are a lot of configurations
students can put themselves in to get a good place to live. Graduate
students really have two choices. They can live in either a group house -- a
one person single in a house with other grad students -- or a family house,
which is obviously for those grad students who have a partner or children or
explain what Program Housing is.
Housing is tremendously important asset to Residential Life at Wesleyan. It
consists of 25 houses on campus that all have different missions; these can
be spiritual, religious, cultural, or academic. Each year my office sponsors
a very competitive application process as part of general room selection to
apply to these houses. There are almost 300 students who live in this
programmatic housing option and its one of the things that makes Wesleyan so
Q: What is
the role of a resident advisor?
A: RAs are
student staff members who have a wide variety of duties; some of these
include being on duty, planning programs for their residents, and creating
an overall positive community in their residential area. But the most
important role an RA plays is that they are a doorway to campus services for
their residents. Many offices on campus whose main objective is to help
students in some important way like Behavioral Heath, their class dean, or
health education hear about students issues from the RA staff. They are the
ones who really dissolve the line between students and administrators and
are vital to continued success of the Residential Life program.
Q: Take me
through a typical day here.
is truly something different and itís always interesting. Even though the
nature of my job includes a lot of computer work, students are always coming
in asking questions about assignments or different housing options. Since
weíre in the midst of room selection Iím meeting with many students daily.
Q: What are
your personal hobbies or interests?
A: I am an
avid runner and Iíve ran many races in the past couple of years. The
highlight has been running the Boston Marathon in 2002. Also, being raised
in Boston I am a sports nut and these past couple of years have been great.
Thereís nothing better than beating the Yankees! My wife and I try to get
to as many Sox and Patriots games as I can. She is a registered nurse at New
Britain General Hospital.
Q: Do you
have any children?
expecting our first child next month which is tremendously exciting.