Residence Hall Director Testimonials

Testimonials

Residence Hall Director Testimonials

Do you want to know what current and previous Residence Hall Directors think of their time at BGSU? Do you want to know what types of positions they have gone on to hold after BGSU? Well then this page is the right place for you. Below, you will find some testimonials from past BGSU Residence Hall Directors.

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I have been a part of Residence Life for much of my student experience. First as a Community Assistant during my undergraduate work and then again as a Graduate Hall Director during my graduate work. While I was job searching for my first professional position I knew that I wanted to continue my work in Residence Life at an institution that had strong values that aligned with my own as well as a place that felt like home. I found that place at Bowling Green State University.

As the current Residence Hall Director of Centennial Hall I have the responsibility of directly supervising a Graduate Hall Director, a Student Desk manager, 17 Resident Advisors, and 17 Desk Clerks. Needless to say my supervision skills have increased immensely during my time at BGSU. Other skills that I have been able to improve upon during my time at BGSU include crisis management, advising student groups, collaboration within the department as well as across campus, public speaking, budget management, and I feel as if the list can go on and on. 

Being a Residence Hall Director at BGSU often means that you could be (and typically are) dealing with multiple competing priorities at any given time. It helps to keep my mind at ease knowing that I have a very strong support system of supervisors, colleagues, and student staff surrounding me while I work through these priorities.

I also greatly appreciate the autonomy that I am given in my position. There are, of course, specific procedures and protocols that I need to follow, but I have the freedom to make my experience as a Residence Hall Director my own. This has been done by being a part of different committees within our department, taking on projects that I am not completely familiar with, and being offered a number of different experiences that are helping to grow my skill set as a Student Affairs Professional.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to work as a Residence Hall Director at Bowling Green State University and I cannot wait to see where my time here takes me.

Meghan-Kilfeather

Serving as a Hall Director at Bowling Green State University allowed me to further develop my skills as a professional while helping both students and the BGSU community. During my time at BGSU I made lasting relationships with both students and staff, got involved throughout campus, and was able to explore my interests within Student Affairs.

As a Hall Director I was given autonomy over my building and staff, which allowed me to tailor our residential curriculum model to best fit the needs of my upper-class residents. Working with my Graduate Hall Director and RA staff, we were able to focus our efforts based on the time of year and what was happening around campus, Bowling Green, and the world. Helping RAs break out of their comfort zone in approaching and interacting with residents of various backgrounds, experiences, and interests and having meaningful relationships with residents and then following up with the appropriate resources for students as needed was an enjoyable puzzle that we solved together.

The building I worked in at BGSU was part of a public-private partnership on campus where we collaborated closely on all facility issues, opening and closing preparations, and providing seamless service for our residents. I learned how to navigate the processes of both the university and the private corporation, build effective working relationships, and advocate for the student experience as necessary. I enjoyed learning from my counterparts who managed the facilities in my building and working together to accomplish all of our goals while effectively and efficiently serving our residents.

At BGSU, one of my favorite things was being able to explore my interests outside of my work within my building while also representing our department and students. I was able to interview new Hall Director candidates at The Placement Exchange, serve on the housing contract appeals committee and the departmental training committee, help edit and clarify the Community Living Standards, work with our Dean of Students Office to develop training materials for our staff on the student conduct process, assist with readying the new Greek Village for opening, and help advise RHA and NRHH. BGSU is a community in every aspect of the word and getting involved around campus is easy and encouraged.

Pierre Banks

Being a Hall Director at BGSU equipped me with a variety of necessary skills to continue my career as a Student Affairs Professional. The Hall Director position at BGSU evaluated me as a professional and provided me with many opportunities. The first and most important skill-set gained from my position, as a Hall Director was supervision and management.  As a Hall Director, I had the opportunity to supervise a variety of positions, which enhanced my leadership skills and taught me the importance of collaboration, supervising through others, leading staff meetings, and coaching individuals toward success. Providing me with this pragmatic leadership opportunities aided in my admission into a Leadership Studies Doctoral Program. As a doctoral student, there are many Hall Director experiences I have drawn from to establish and refine my research topic.

Another important skill I gained from the Hall Director position is learning how to put theory to practice through the great deal of professional development opportunities coupled with student interactions and programming experiences. As a Hall Director, I had the opportunity to plan and implement Resident Advisor training, write curriculum, work with various learning communities, and adjudicate student conduct. These experiences were tremendous assets in preparing to become an academic advisor. As an academic advisor, I use many of the techniques and methods I learned through student conduct, advising hall council leadership, and supervision meetings.

The Hall Director position at BGSU also helped enhance my administrative skill as well as taught me the importance of administration in the student affairs profession. I gained a great deal of administrative skills as a Hall Director such as budgeting, writing reports, serving on university committees, developing a community development model, and establishing standard operating procedures within my hall. These skills and experiences have been tremendously beneficial as I create programs and retention initiatives for students as an advisor and continue to serve on university committees.  I am truly thankful for my time as a Hall Director because it gave me a wide variety of meaningful experience in such a short period.

CARLY BLOOMINGDALE

For me, supervising a Graduate Hall Director was the greatest benefit of my experience as a Hall Director position at BGSU. I had just graduated from a masters program in Higher Education Administration and had a very different course of study than what my graduate student was experiencing in the classroom. The conversations we had in our one-on-ones about what they were learning in their studies helped me to grow and develop in Student Affairs. I gained more knowledge in some areas of College Student Personnel by supervising a graduate student in BGSU's recognized program while my graduate student was able to learn about topics that I studied in my masters program.

I appreciated that while I was at BGSU, I was able to build my own experience by getting involved in other professional development opportunities. When I wanted more challenges within the department, I was given the opportunity to organize the Student Staff Banquet. When I wanted to learn what other departments on campus were doing to support students, I was given the opportunity to work with Academic Advising for New Student Orientation in the summer. These opportunities were all beneficial in my growth in the field and helped me in my next few positions after being a Hall Director at BGSU.

Matt Bloomingdale

Being a Hall Director at Bowling Green State University served as a critical experience in my development as a residence life professional and prepared me for success if future roles. Within the position, I was provided the autonomy to make learning-based decisions tailored to my community while understanding the importance of being a contributing member to the vision of an organization. Being able to serve on departmental committees provided the opportunity to gain skills within various functional capacities that now allow me to act from a place of experience when making leadership decisions within my department. BGSU was supportive of my professional development and provided a number of opportunities to develop and grow both within and outside of the department. I always felt like there were people at BGSU that had both my best interest, and my student’s best interest, at heart. To this day, there are a number of professional relationships that I value immensely that were created and developed during my time as a hall director at BGSU. 

Kristin Brewer

From July 2013 through June 2015, I served as the Centennial Hall Director at Bowling Green State University.  Reflecting on my first professional position after graduate school, I realized there is so much responsibility that comes with this role; I often joked it wasn’t for the meek of heart.  Over those two years, some lessons came easily while others were tough growing pains.  One of the most precious things I learned during my time as a Hall Director was the importance of establishing strong mentoring relationships with professionals vested in my personal and professional success. I found several within our department and across campus; these mentors were an integral part of my education outside of the traditional residence life realm, helping me to learn “just enough to be dangerous” in housing operations, summer conferences, facilities (including emergency preparedness and damage billing), and Academic Affairs.

I learned many other things that I brought to my current position, such as the ability to balance multiple (and oftentimes competing) priorities, including expectations of the department, institution, and my own wants/needs.  I discovered how invaluable Outlook was as an organizational tool (particularly when trying to balance said priorities) and wondered how I ever lived without it.  I recognized my responsibility as an employee to my supervisor and department, including anticipating what my supervisor(s) would want/need and being ready with an answer or action.  I learned to own the autonomy that comes with working independently while simultaneously learning how to function in a larger organization.  I saw the importance of passing on lessons learned so others could work smarter, not harder.  In the 2013-14 year, I oversaw a pilot programming initiative that focused on intentional interactions with residents and involved volunteer faculty members participating in small-scale programs throughout the year.  Designed to positively impact student persistence and retention, this initiative was a collaborative effort between the Provost’s Office and the Division of Student Affairs, giving deeper significance and perspective on how to establish successful working relationships with campus partners.  At the close of each semester, my staff and I provided critical feedback to improve the program for its campus-wide implementation in 2014-15.  Listening to their perspectives demonstrated firsthand the importance of buy-in from staff and how critical it is to invest in those who work for you.  I became more adept and confident having difficult conversations, including advocating for staff.  I developed my supervision style and can adapt it as needed, which has been an asset in my current position.  My former supervisor and mentors emphasized that my professional development was my responsibility, powered by intrinsic motivation.  With consistent encouragement to seek out different opportunities, I successfully diversified my skills.  Though at times challenging, the Hall Director experience was critical in preparing me for my next professional position.  Most importantly, BGSU taught me how to layer in the cold!

Kevon Christian

During my time at Bowling Green State University (2006-2008), I was a Residence Hall Director in McDonald Hall (or MAC as we affectionately called it). This was my first professional position after graduate school. While at BGSU, I was able to gain a great learning foundation by attaining invaluable experiences in crisis management, advocacy, mentoring, supervision and conduct management. These experiences help tremendously in providing outstanding services to the students I have served currently and previously. Additionally, I was able to build great, long lasting relationships with professionals and students. To this day, I am still in communication with several of my student staff members and students I had the privilege of getting to know from BGSU. As a professional, it is great to continue to receive (ever so often) a thank you note or encouraging message from former students. It is in these moments, I am reaffirmed that the work I do matters and is effective.

My time at BGSU assisted my growth professionally and within the field of Student Affairs and Higher Education. I was able to move on from BGSU and work two other institutions while moving up the position ladder. Again, it was the skills and experiences I received from BGSU that granted me those opportunities. If it was not for the time I spent learning and developing my professional identity and networking at BGSU, I honestly do not think I would be where I am today in my professional career. I owe a lot of my growth to the time I spent at the wonderful BGSU!

Raul Fernandez

The Residence Hall Director position at BGSU has really forced me to develop tremendously as a professional because of the fast-paced environment and the responsibilities that are asked of the position. The position has been able to give me the opportunity to develop my supervision skills because of the wide variety of student staff that I have been able to supervise, especially a Graduate Student from the College Student Personnel Program at BGSU. I have not only become an effective supervisor, but I have also been given a lot of experience with crisis management, advising, training development, student conduct, student staff selection, and among a variety of other areas. With all the experience I have been able to gain, I know that it will take me into the next position.

The position has forced me to be able to advocate for myself as a professional. There are many opportunities that are available just because of the Bowling Green State University name. A lot of professionals both nationally and regionally always state that BGSU is the crossroads of student affairs, because some would say that the profession really developed at BGSU. Therefore, I have been able to participate in a variety of professional development opportunities such as serving on conference committees, attending conferences, and taking doctoral level classes. All of these opportunities help me serve my students better and prepare myself for the next level professionally.

Sarah Jurden

I began working in the Office of Residence Life at BGSU in July of 2013 and it truly was an experience, which helped shaped me into the young professional I am today. As I am writing this, I am currently working in the Career Center at BGSU as a Coordinator for Employer Interactions and Internships. In my role I use many of the skills I developed while working as a Hall Director.

The Hall Director position is a position where you are taught how to multitask and prioritize work task while keeping students and the mission of the department at the forefront of all you do. I learned not only how to be an effective supervisor but also how to become and a true practitioner in the field. I also credit the Hall Director role for helping me to discover my passion of helping students in the area of career readiness. In my current position I have to listen to students, help them create action plans for their job or internship searches, as well as assist them in articulating their experiences on their resumes and cover letters. All of these skills are ones I enhanced during my 1:1 meetings with my student staff as well as judicial meetings with students. I learned how to create a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment, while at the same time creating an environment where students are expected to meet expectations. Throughout my time as a Hall Director I was also given the opportunity to work with multiple offices on campus. Being able to collaborate with other offices has enhanced my ability to serve our BGSU students by providing me with the knowledge of resources BGSU offers so I can inform students when I meet with them. The two years I worked in Residence Life were very important to my growth and I value not only the time I spent in the office, but the lessons learned and relationships I built.

Mike Orlando

BGSU helped me to embrace my purpose in life!  As an undergrad here, I learned how to thrive as a student leader with multiple Residence Life leadership opportunities.  Years later as a full-time staff member, I realized my passion and commitment to Student Affairs had only just begun.  I was able to lead in creating and enhancing those same opportunities I was given for new generations of student leaders.  Bowling Green truly has some of the best living-learning communities in the country.  More than national rankings, the genuine relationships and meaningful student outcomes are what really count.  Even now, I stay in touch with many of my students and colleagues.  As a Residence Hall Director, you will have the opportunity to get proximate with your community, develop and refine your practices in diverse student development areas, and lead department and university committees.  I advised student organizations, supervised staff, developed programming models with learning outcomes, collaborated with faculty and staff across disciplines, started academic success initiatives in the residence halls, and led position searches.  Most importantly, I rolled along with our students during their most difficult moments, their most celebrated achievements, and everything in between. If you are ready to fully immerse yourself in the spirited community at BGSU, I hope you will consider adding your contributions as a professional in the Office of Residence Life. Once a Falcon, always a Falcon!

Evan Owen

I came to Bowling Green State University after two years of full-time experience to enhance my resume and prepare myself to advance in the field.  I searched for an institution that had a strong administrative structure, but still focused on the student experience.  My search led me to BGSU, in the beautiful city of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Bowling Green State University is a welcoming campus for new professionals, and a culture of collaboration exists at all levels of administration.  Staff working at BGSU have pride in their work, and are passionate about the institution.  I have authentic conversations with both my supervisors and peers about how we can improve our practice, and everyone’s opinion is valued.  Professionals working at BGSU are encouraged to be ambitious in their practice, and are pushed to continuously improve.  While working at BGSU, I have improved my practice in many areas such as: public speaking, budget management, student conduct, program development, and student outreach.  Many positions will offer these same opportunities, but few will invest the same level of trust and resources in their staff as BGSU.

The Office of Residence Life expects Hall Directors to function with high levels of autonomy in their buildings, and undertake ambitious tasks to improve the department.  Since I began working at BGSU, I have engaged in many impactful projects such as: revising policy, participating in the recruitment and selection of student and professional staff members, facilitating department wide training, and working with important stakeholders across campus.  I have developed my own priorities and expectations for the student staff I supervise, and leadership recognizes me as the expert for the student populations living in the building I supervise.

Bowling Green State University is a challenging and exciting place to work, and it would be a good fit for any ambitious professional looking to work in a cohesive team environment.