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Student Affairs makes residence coordinator hires

The Office of Student Development placed another piece of the residential life puzzle Wednesday, naming the University's first ever residence coordinators.

The nine full-time positions were created last year to serve a broad set of duties--ranging from quad programming to planning in-dorm academic services--in the new quad-based system set to debut this fall.

The newly-selected RCs all hold master's degrees from universities across the country, including the University of Georgia, Colorado State University and Ball State University in Iowa. All have career aspirations of working in student affairs in higher education and have previous experience working with students on residential life issues.

"They are going to be an important resource for students in a variety of ways," said Assistant Dean of Student Development Deb LoBiondo, who oversaw the selection process. "And their experience will really help."

Six of the RCs will live on West Campus and three will live on East. Central Campus, which has never had residential advisors or area coordinators, will also not have RCs, although LoBiondo said two new graduate associateships for Central will be appointed next week.

Under the new system, the RAs, RCs and ACs will have more clearly defined roles, LoBiondo said. RAs will continue to work with the small groups of students assigned to them in their dorms, and ACs, renamed "graduate assistants" or GAs, will advise the house councils and oversee programming in their buildings.

RCs will assist with house courses, cultural events, faculty interaction, housing management and any other area of residential life.

LoBiondo said the RCs are also free to explore their other student affairs interests, including working with multicultural groups and student orientation committees.

"Our goal is to have them make an impact, be an asset to our program and provide them with the tools they'll need to get them where they want to go two, three and four years down the road," she said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said he was very pleased with the RCs chosen. "They're a very diverse pool, in terms of race, ethnicity and sexual orientation," he said.

Terry Lynch, who received a master of education in policy and evaluation degree at the University of Virginia, said he is eagerly looking forward to arriving at Duke in July to begin training as one of the new RCs.

"The main reasons why I was excited about applying to Duke were that it's a nationally-known school and I'll have the opportunity to work with talented students all the time," Lynch said. "I graduated [from Virginia] on Saturday and I'm ready to get my feet wet in student affairs."

Lynch, who also served as a graduate assistant for Asian Pacific American Students and Programs at Virginia, said that along with his day-to-day duties, he also hopes to initiate programs in leadership education and minority mentoring.