New directors of student life join community

June 28, 2007 4:05 p.m.

Six staff members who will be responsible for leading efforts to support and enhance the residential and extracurricular experience of undergraduates in Princeton's new college system are joining the University community this summer.

Working with other members of the residential college staff, the new "directors of student life" in each of the six colleges will assist students in promoting a strong sense of community and in making the best use of nonacademic resources. They will provide guidance and support around personal and social issues and will serve as the primary liaison to other campus life offices.

"We see these positions as integral to the success of our new residential college system," said Janet Dickerson, vice president for campus life. "The directors of student life will complement and support the work of the deans and directors of studies, and will strengthen and enhance our network of administrative supportive services."

Each college traditionally has been staffed by a faculty member, who serves as the college master; a dean and a director of studies, who are responsible for helping students with academic matters; a college administrator, who provides financial and some programmatic coordination; a college secretary; and a student staff of residential college advisers, each of whom is responsible for a group of about 15 freshmen and sophomores.

The University is in the midst of expanding the size of its undergraduate student body by 500 students by 2012. In addition, it is improving its residential system to better serve students as well as to provide them with more options. Under a plan created by faculty, students and administrators, three four-year residential colleges will be established and paired with three two-year residential colleges.

The new college system will begin this fall with the opening of Whitman College and the conversion of Mathey College into a four-year college. Butler College will become a four-year college in fall 2009 after the existing dormitories are replaced.

A committee of faculty, students and administrators that proposed a program for the four-year colleges in August 2002 called for the creation of the position to be responsible for student life in each of the colleges.

In addition to coordinating nonacademic educational programming, the directors will supervise the juniors and seniors who serve as residential college advisers. The directors will serve as a resource to the College Council and other student groups in the college as they plan and implement social activities. They also will adjudicate disciplinary infractions that involve resident members of the college community and coordinate efforts to assist students in personal crises, serving as the liaison between the student, his or her family and other campus life offices.

"The directors of student life will work to encourage the highest standards of good citizenship and respect for others among members of the residential college community by resolving conflicts, upholding expectations for good conduct and helping students understand the value of living in a diverse community," said Kathleen Deignan, dean of undergraduate students.

Deignan said the University received more than 200 applicants for the positions and selected the following:

Andrew Adair (Rockefeller College). He earned his B.A. from Antioch College and his M.Ed. from Fordham University. He has served most recently as director of the Office of Diversity at Friends Seminary in New York City. His previous experience includes positions at Fordham and the University of Pennsylvania in the areas of residence life and student advising and programming.

Mindy Andino (Butler College). She earned her B.A. and M.Ed. from Rutgers University and most recently was director of special services there. She has previous experience in judicial affairs, residential life and academic support programs at Rutgers.

Lesley Nye (Forbes College). She earned her B.A. from Williams College and her M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Harvard University, where she has served as resident dean of freshmen and lecturer in social studies. She has previous experience as an admission officer at Williams and as a middle school and high school teacher.

Matthew Frawley (Mathey College). He earned his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He currently is a lecturer in Princeton's Department of Religion and has served as an academic adviser in Mathey College. He has previous experience as an assistant pastor at the Westerly Road Church in Princeton.

Mentha Hynes-Wilson (Whitman College). She earned her B.A. from California State University-Sacramento and her M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts. She most recently served as associate dean of multicultural and student affairs at Smith College. She has previous experience in admissions at both Smith and the University of Oregon.

Michael Olin (Wilson College). He earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, his M.A. in counseling from Loyola University of Maryland and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from New York University. Most recently, he served as assistant dean of students at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy at Seton Hall University. He has previous experience in counseling and student services at Columbia University and NYU.