Wellesley College is in the process of hiring a Director of Residential Life and a Director of Student Involvement. Although the positions are different, “in both positions I’m looking for someone that can lead their department, someone who can be a mentor for staff and generate new ideas and new programs to address student needs …someone who’s approachable and who students will feel comfortable bring their questions, issues, ideas” said Sheilah Shaw Horton, Dean of Students and Vice President said.
Currently, the role of Director of Residential Life is being filled by Dean Horton and Associate Dean of Students Dean Bate. The director’s duties include “working with staff and campus colleagues to reinvigorate a mission driven, high impact residential experience that meets the needs of students across all class years and sustains a robust student-led residential governance structure.” Dean Horton, who began her position at Wellesley in July, said that she put herself in this role because “this is a good opportunity for me to spend more time with the staff to learn how things are done at Wellesley in residential life.”
The Director of Residential Life position was previously filled by Interim Director Shawn DeVeau. Following his departure, Dean Horton expressed that she hoped to move quickly towards finding a permanent replacement. To speed up the process, the Dean is working with the student affairs search firm Spelman and Johnson. According to Dean Horton, the firm specializes in people who do student life work, and she has used this firm in the past at other institutions. A search committee which includes students has met with the firm, who are now marketing the job to bring back potential candidates. Dean Horton does not expect interviews to begin for about a month.
The Office of Residential Life is a source of on- campus support for student leaders. “In my experience as a student leader, the Office of Residential Life has been instrumental in allowing me to fulfill my role in the community, providing me with a solid and dependable resource to turn to for challenges both personally and related to my position,” Amanda Hernandez ’18, McAfee HP, said. She noted that the former Interim Director was heavily involved with student leader training.
About the new Director of Residential Life, Dean Horton said she is looking for “not only someone who can manage what we have but who has visions for the possibilities of residential life at Wellesley, someone who understands that residential life here is so much more than the buildings, it’s really the experience we’re trying to create for our students.”sentence between quotes
“I am excited about bringing someone with new energy and ideas who will also bring wisdom and experience as our department continues to work to meet the evolving needs of students” commented Erin Doherty, Area Coordinator of Stone Davis Hall and and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
Dean Bate is leading the search for a new Director of Student Involvement following the former director Meg Jordan’s departure over the summer. “We actually changed the position, it had been an associate director, and I made it a director because of the importance in my mind of strengthening our student involvement social life on campus, and now that I’ve heard from campus last week I’m glad that I made that decision because clearly it’s needed,” Dean Horton said. Now, according to the job posting on Wellesley’s website, “The Director oversees a comprehensive co-curricular program providing advising, training, leadership development and support for student government, clubs, organizations, societies, and cooperatives; an engaging and robust program of campus events that encourage the development of community and promote student wellness; and a leadership development program consistent with Wellesley’s model for leadership development.”
The search for a new Director of Student Involvement is not being carried out by Spelman and Johnson, but instead by a committee which includes students. They have some candidates who they expect to interview in the coming weeks.