by Rachel McCloskey
Residential Directors (RDs): what exactly are they? Honestly, not many know, but according to Brett Greene, Juniata College’s Sunderland Hall RD, “Being an RD is much more than writing people up and shutting down parties; it’s ensuring that each and every student is having a happy and safe college experience.”
Brett is this issue’s Human of Juniata, as he is one of the new, bubbly RDs here on campus. Brett not only ensures that Sunderland Hall is taken care of, but he also works in The Office of Student Activities (OSA) as the Assistant Director of Student Activities.
During my time spent talking with Brett, he filled me in on his journey to becoming a Juniata College RD, a journey that I found fascinating, because not many know how one becomes an RD. He told me that he first acted as a Resident Assistant (RA) at Point Park University, his alma mater, both his junior and senior years of his undergraduate career. He explained to me that Point Park’s Residential Life staff approached him and that they quickly recruited him for the job. They thought he would be a perfect RA candidate, which I am sure he was.
As an RA his junior year of college, Brett was hired to work with first year students and “absolutely fell in love with the role.” He raved about how much he enjoyed helping the freshmen transition into their first year. It must have been obvious that he was meant for the job, as he was granted an RA position senior year as well. During his senior year, he was asked to work with freshmen again. Along with assisting the first year students, his senior year consisted of working closely with his supervisors, as he planned and led training sessions as well.
Brett explained that being an RA promotes a person’s personal development and the development of their leadership skills. “I always stepped up and assumed the leadership position when needed, and that was because I was an RA,” Brett said. As an RA myself, I agree with Brett wholeheartedly. He later said, “In the role, I thrived.”
After Brett explained his life and duties as an RA, he continued to explain how he landed the RD position at JC. As mentioned briefly above, this is Brett’s first year here, and he admitted something that I feel could resonate with many of us. It resonated with me at least. “Juniata spoke to me, metaphorically, when I toured and interviewed, which was something that no other college had the capability of doing,” Brett said. After hearing what Brett had to say about his initial tour and interview, I agreed completely, and I am sure many of you can agree as well.
“After I graduated, I worked at an insurance company, dealing with their marketing and social media projects,” Brett explained. “As I was working at the insurance company, I got back in contact with my residential life supervisor at Point Park University.” Going off of Brett’s story, they recommended that he should apply as an RD to schools he would be interested in working at. “I applied to schools all over the state of Pennsylvania,” Brett said, “but no school caught my attention like Juniata College did.” Again, I feel you, Brett.
Just like JC, Point Park University is a small, liberal arts school, but unlike Juniata, it is in a large, bustling city. Brett emphasized Point Park’s student life in our interview and related it back to our student life here at JC. He mentioned that that similarity alone set JC apart from the other institutions at which he interviewed. “Every interview I went on, I never felt as if it was the one until I came to Juniata,” Brett said with a grin. Brett also told that once he was offered the job here at JC he accepted it immediately.
Truth be told, I found Brett’s story fascinating because I personally found many similarities lying within it. For starters, how many of us Juniatians can say, “Juniata spoke to us?” I know I can, and I am sure that many of you can as well. That is what makes JC, JC.
Towards the end of our interview, Brett made an interesting point, “If you have any interest in working in higher education after college, being an RD is the perfect trial run.” Along with serving as a JC RD, Brett enjoys spending time with his friends and family, baking (specifically cupcakes), shopping, watching movies and being a full-time dance uncle to his niece, Makenzie.
Continuing on with my trend that I am so very happy that I started, “I always remember that when times are tough or even when things are going great that I did not come this far to come this far,” Brett said. “Always be the best version of yourself that you can be.”
Categories: Volume 97 Issue 8 Campus Spin