Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

    College hires eight new Residential Life staffers

    In two months, Mark Roth went from being a community advisor and captain on the basketball team, to serving as the team’s new assistant coach and the resident director for Transitional Living Areas (TLAs).
    Roth is one of eight new staff members in residential life this academic year.
    “The transition hasn’t been to tough for me,” said Roth. “My familiarity with the college is big with our staff, with so many new faces, but it’s been a really smooth transition.”
    Evelyn Campbell, dean of students, says that this large turn over in res life staffing changes is expected and happens periodically.
    “Other than the director’s position, all of the other positions are entry level positions, so there is turn over to be expected every two to five years,” said Campbell. “If you get into a situation where you’re hiring everybody around the same time, you’re likely to lose everybody around the same time, and that’s what happened.”
    Campbell said that that is how the residential  life program is structured, because it allows younger professionals to gain experience.
    “Usually, once they feel they’re ready, they’re going to go up for an assistant director position or they’re going to go up to something’s that’s just a step up,” said Campbell. “So you get different people with different interests, and you just doing know when they’re going to pursue them, so it was just a perfect storm.”
    Campbell said that all of the staff members were hired during the 2014-15 school year, with Chris Beyer, Residential Life Director, starting June 1.
    “I think this is one of the most qualified, experienced staff members, as a whole, that I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said Campbell. “They bring in a diversity of perspectives and experiences, passions, talents. It’s exciting.”
    Joe Sagar, assistant director of residential life, and executive secretary Cathy Atkinson will join the other new-hires, resident directors Evan Weyrauch, Mark VanNatta and Jon Miedema.
    In terms of retention within the residential life staff, Beyer said that the three area coordinators have a 20 percent collateral assignment, where they collaborate with another department. Area coordinators Brittney Henson, Hilary Charles and Michelle Mason are working with CORE, the Multicultural Student Life office, and academic affairs, respectively.
    “I hope that getting more of a well-rounded experience professionally might also result in a little bit more longevity,” said Beyer.
    So far, Beyer said the campus community has been very welcoming. He said that residential life’s peek season is August, with training all of the new staff members and finishing the construction of Westerlin Hall’s new Jenny Lind wing that was completed on Aug. 19, the day before the first-years moved in for orientation.
    “Finally, we are just at the point where we can catch our breath and assess and plan and start moving forward for the school year,” said Beyer, who served as Assistant Director of Residence Life at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, for two years before coming to Augustana.
    As of Aug. 27, Beyer said that the Jenny Lind wing is 94 percent completed, with the elevator still needing to be finished as well as blinds being attached.
    “The feedback I have heard so far has been positive, not withstanding a few air-conditioning mishaps, but I think that’s been resolved now,” said Beyer.
    Beyer said that the refurbishing of the Jenny Lind wing was the first phase in a three-year project. During the next two summers, the Immanuel, and Westerlin wings will each be redone as well.

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    College hires eight new Residential Life staffers