Saturday, May 20, 2006

What does a faculty resident do?

What follows is a brief note I wrote last week to AU's Vice President for Campus Life about my work in Anderson Hall. Rarely do I think of this as "work"

In my capacity as Anderson Hall Faculty Resident, I now interact with substantial numbers of undergraduate students. 100 or more have had a meal in my apartment or joined me for late night study breaks, held during the final examination period. I am a prime candidate for ‘interviews’ when those are required for undergraduate term papers or other assignments. Propinquity and availability in late evening hours give me a comparative advantage in offering these services. Occasionally, I also comment on term papers, applications and other student projects.
• In over the course of the fall and spring semesters, I held ten dinners in my faculty resident apartment for faculty members and students. About 15 faculty members participated in the program. Spring semester participation averaged about 10 students per-dinner. Participation in the fall averaged about 15 students per dinner.
• I participated in New Student Orientations in both the fall and winter terms and participated in and spoke at other events organized by the Office of Campus Life and the Student Confederation. In particular, this provided an ‘academic face’ to the orientations for parents of our new students.
• I attended, and actively participated in the weekly staff meetings of the Anderson Hall Resident Director and Resident Assistants. Also, I participated in the interview process for the new Anderson Resident Director.
• During final examination periods in the Fall and Spring Semesters, I opened my apartment from 10:45 to about midnight on the evenings before final exams were scheduled. for coffee, snacks and conversation. More than 200 students dropped in for these events. Some were repeaters, of course.
• With production support from CTE staff members Justin Schauble, Nicole Haddock and Jason Diebler, I scripted, shot and produced a video: From Experiment to Program: Three Years as Anderson Hall’s Faculty Resident which was presented at the meeting of the Board of Trustees, Committee on Campus Life and subsequently distributed to all Board members.
• I held weekly office hours in my apartment from 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM or later each Tuesday evening. On average I saw two or three students each week.
• During “moving in” in the Fall Semester and “moving out” in the Spring, I served snacks, drinks and ice cream on the quad to parents and students, probably interacting with 150 or more parents at each event. .
• I continued to write my blog, and gave presentations on blogging at three on campus events. My blog was featured in an article on blogging in the Washington Post and in AU’s Annual Report.
• I continued to lighten the atmosphere at South Side Fire Alarm evaluations by distributing candy from a bowl decorated with a flashing red light. I not keep count of there events, but there were about ten in each semester. Including two on one memorable late winter night.
• I delivered or participated in floor programs on a variety of topics: “Finding a Great Mentor,” “What to do When you Have a Bad Teacher,” “Getting Help to Solve your Problems at AU” “Planning for Study Abroad”, “Learning about Conflict and Terrorism from Sri Lanka’s Civil Wars” to students in Anderson, Letts, Tenley Campus and McDowell.
• I was particularly pleased to be voted by the members of the Anderson Hall Resident Assistant staff as the “Most Respected Staff Member” and the staff member with the “Most Anderson Spirit" at our end of the year meeting, devoted to acknowledging each other's contributions.
Moving out day activities were, I think, a particular success this year. I began serving orange juice, coffee and donuts to parents in the quad about 8:30 and wrapped up with soft drinks and Klondike Bars about 12:00. At least one mom remembered the routine from the fall asking “where are the fresh strawberries?” when I first appeared. I assured her they were coming shortly. It was fun to chat again with parents whom I had met on their first visit to AU in the fall and with parents of students I have come to know well over two or three years.


Post a Comment

<< Home