So here I am. Actually writing a blog entry. This comes off the heels of a fruitful #SAChat that took place yesterday. The encouragement was outstanding and terrifying. Those who know me know that I am not a wordsmith. I am a math guy. I can ramble at times (I’m being generous here) and have a strong sense of self preservation which at times limits the extent that I feel comfortable sharing about myself. After some reflection last night I decided “The Hell With It” and decided to put myself out there.
Now where to start? What to write about? Am I really that interesting? Nice people will say yes. Honest people will say….ummmm
Currently I am an Associate Director for Residential Life at Binghamton University. I oversee all things urgent. From facilities emergencies to personal crises to students of concern and threat assessment, I am your guy when it hits the fan. I currently am the departmental rep for all confirmed and suspected Title IX cases. I have worked with some amazing university staff to develop a comprehensive response to responding to those affected by gender based violence. I also serve as a vice chair for ACPAs Commission on Housing and Residence Life. That commission is a great way to get involved on a national level (shameless plug).
In addition to traditional responsibilities, I am that guy that seems to have bad duty voodoo. I must have drank while on duty in another life and now the duty gods are getting their revenge. The curse is strong with me.
Prior to my life as a university administrator I was a police officer and elementary school teacher.
***Insert Kindergarten Cop Joke Here***
Although I only acted in these roles for a few years, they significantly influence my professional persona. Think about it, sometimes we work with students who act like 2nd graders and sometimes we work with students who need a firm “Come to Jesus” talk. I use strategies I learned in both professions all the time. One unforeseen benefit of this is that I get a lot of love from our university police department. They see me as someone who understands both sides of the job and those relationships have paid out 10-fold.
And now the future. What am I looking for? Ideally I want to be in a position like Terry Webb, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. He gave me one of the best compliments I have ever been given. He compared me to himself, saying that we are “fixers.” People can feel comfortable handing us a mess and trusting that we can right the ship. What helps is the understanding that if students and families don’t know what I am doing, then I am doing my job well. Working behind the scenes is how we are most effective. I have always believed that. Seeing Terry have a full career in that role drives me. We both want to give those around us credit. To see them shine is our success. People within the Division know what folks like us do. That is what matters to me. Now how to get there. I am patiently looking for a great opportunity to move ahead in the field. Trying to find the right balance between fit, balance, community, and opportunity is a job in itself.
Well that is where I will wrap this up for today. The struggle will be what topic to tackle next time. If anyone has any ideas, shoot them my way.
Take care and be safe.