A Day in the Life of: Charismatic, caring Residence Life professional staff

Residence directors and area coordinators have the unique job of overseeing residence halls and working personally with students while living on-campus amongst them.

These RDs and ACs have many responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. RDs' main responsibilities include supervising their resident assistants, managing buildings and working closely with both RAs and residents.

"The most important aspect of my job is student development," said Garry Morgan, RD of Allegany Hall. "I work closely with a great deal of students in and outside of my specific hall. That is in the form of conversations about relationships to opportunities for leadership development."

Kimberly Bilinski, AC of Seneca and Ontario Halls, has a few different responsibilities from that of an RD. Her duties include overseeing two buildings, supervising a staff of 10 and serving as a mentor and resource for an entire village, which includes a handful of halls.

"I am also responsible for handling upper level judicial meetings, chairing committees, managing events and meetings within the quad and organizing professional development," she said.

According to Bilinski, ACs and RDs often work at least 10 hours a day, often on weekends or late nights. "It becomes very hard to relax and have down time, especially when you live in the same building you work," she said.

As much of a time commitment student staff and residents can be, working with them is a perk of the job. "I really enjoy my staff, they keep me moving," said Nicole McCawthan, RD of Genesee Hall. "We have some great times together."

"I get the largest joy from having a conversation with a student and witnessing the light bulb turn on," Morgan said. "When my students understand what I am trying to say or do for them, it gives me a feeling of immense success."

Beyond working with on-campus students, past experiences have motivated many of these campus figures.

As an undergrad, McCawthan didn't really know her RD, in fact, she only saw her in the loading dock unloading her groceries. "I took a vow that if I ever became an RD, my residents would know who I am," said McCawthan.

On the contrary, Morgan had a great experience with an RD at SUNY Cortland who inspired him. "He took a personal stake in my success," he said. "He took his time to show me the ropes of life of a RD. That really intrigued me."