Spring Cleaning

Arcadia CTLM Newsletter Issue #10

Stand with Ukraine Vigil

Photos by Tessa Wrice

On March 3rd, people from all across the Arcadia community gathered on Haber Green to stand with Ukraine. They stood in solidarity, against war, against loss, and of course in support of the Ukrainian people. CTLM fellow, Tessa Wrice was able to capture some important moments through these incredible photos. Thank you, Tessa!

Shoes & Chins

By Daniel Pieczkolon

I prefer a loafer in the warmer months, so I don’t have to worry about my socks matching anything, and a high-topped boot in the cooler months (so I can look down and briefly mistake myself for a Highway-61-era Bob Dylan). My chin is fairly unremarkable, though my mother likes to remind me that its barely perceptible cleft is a gift from my grandfather who passed away before I was old enough to get to know him—well before meeting someone and being able to take in their shoes & chin simultaneously became such a rare occurrence.

At the onset of Covid-19, like so many institutions, we made the smart & safe choice to trade shoes for chins and embraced Zoom as our primary meeting space. Last fall, as we returned to mostly in-person education and the necessary mandates that accompanied it, I couldn’t help but think of the moment as a transitional one. Our shoes were back on the ground and our chins, for the time being, were tucked back beneath our masks. It is becoming apparent though that that was a silly and stubbornly linear way of understanding things.

Following spring break, I’ll be teaching & learning with some students whose shoes & chins will be on full display while others will float as black boxes on the monitor hanging in the back of the room. I, like many people, have been doing this since the fall, so it shouldn’t feel new, but our return to a pre-Covid chin policy while maintaining our Zoom-friendly All Modes posture feels like a useful time to examine some of the cultural shifts that have occurred as a result of this type of flexible learning environment.

Broadly speaking, I’ve admired how this type of classroom flexibility allows us to center student safety concerns and address issues of equity. In practice though, I’ve had difficulty consistently interpreting & applying the policy.

At the beginning of the semester, I tell my students that we’ll only be using Zoom for students who are approved for fully remote learning and/or students who are passing through University-mandated protocols. I tell them that our course has been designed to utilize the physical classroom space as an engagement tool. I tell them that I’m wary of students Zooming in when they are (non-Covid) sick or having to attend to any of the other million legitimate reasons one might need to miss an in-person class because I don’t want to normalize a culture of constant working/learning (even if that working or learning is distracted by other, more pressing needs). (As an aside, earlier this semester, when we had a delayed campus opening due to snow, I responded to my 8:30am students’ emails asking if we ‘d be holding class over Zoom with a recommendation to think about the literary merit of snow and then paraphrased a section of a Ben Lerner novel wherein he valorizes snow’s ability to suspend the labor economy, thus, temporarily, disentangling time & capitalism.) This is all to say that I thought long & hard about how to best use Zoom in my classroom, and, on that first day, I felt as if I had a rational & legible syllabus policy. None of that has made enforcing this policy easy or clean or consistent though.

Over the past two semesters, various students have requested to Zoom in to class for incredibly different reasons—too many to name in this already-long-winded introduction—and I’ve permitted some and not permitted others (based on what I believe to be sound circumstantial logic). There’s no real way to communicate that logic to the rest of the class though while also preserving students’ privacy. John—whose request to Zoom in was rejected because “stayed up too late watching Euphoria, can I zoom in?” didn’t feel like a genuine emergency to me—doesn’t know that Jane’s request to Zoom in was accepted because she has returned home for 2 weeks to care for a family member who is fighting a losing battle to COVID. And beyond the apparent inconsistency within our one class, what about the rest of John’s day where he moves from class to class and different professors are interpreting & applying this notion of flexibility vastly differently?

Obviously inconsistency and a certain ad-hocness are inherent to flexibility, but I feel like we—professors & students—were more willing to accept & permit that instability because we recognized it as spurred on by a world historic event beyond any of our control. As we move back into a campus full of shoes & chins while also trying to engage the shoeless & chinless black boxes hanging in the backs of our classrooms, it feels like we’ll need to develop new ways of understanding and communicating what a classroom is to one another.

The CTLM was founded right as COVID was redefining our lives. At many of those first meetings, people used this metaphor of “building the plane as we fly it” to try to describe the combination of triage and innovation occurring. Just last week, Dr. Jodi Bornstein—who, by the way, is serving as the Acting Faculty Director of the CTLM and doing an absolutely heroic job!—responded to someone’s use of that metaphor by quipping “I don’t even like flying!” We all laughed in that gracious & tepid way that happens during meetings, and then returned to our work. Later that day though, as often happens with things Jodi says in meetings, I couldn’t shake the poignancy of the statement. Why are we building a plane if we don’t like flying? Are we even flying? Is it possible that the plane has landed and we now need to build a car to take us from the airport to our home? So far this semester, the CTLM has been trying to consider some of these conceptual questions as we pass through to whatever the next phase of this is.

We feel grateful to have welcomed new Faculty Fellows in Deja Edwards (who has a LOVE Pilot update later in this issue!) and Dr. Prash Naidu, as well as new Student Fellows in Caitlin Bennett, Roksana Cerne, Dez Gaud, Irene Hoang, Jessica Hornig, and Olutobi Tella to help us do that work. And we are looking forward to hosting a number of events & engagement opportunities with the broader community so that we can successfully take what we’ve learned over the last 2 years and bring it with us into whatever we decide the future of an Arcadia education looks like.

Global Learning in a Global Pandemic

Big picture

By Ashley Knueppel

It is Friday afternoon and stray beams of golden hour light filter through the open windows into the student lounge at the Civic & Global Engagement House. I am sitting in a plush armchair with my laptop perched on my knees as study abroad mentors happily chat around me, discussing ways to encourage other students to venture abroad like they have.

“We should cook some international dishes together and take over the @arcadiaknightsabroad Instagram account!”

“Oh! I have a few recipes from when I was in Italy last semester!”

“Can I share photos and videos from my travels?”

“We need more interviews!”

I look around at the students - from such varied life experiences, from such a wide variety of majors, each with their own life goals - and feel utter gratitude. Gratitude for that fact, that not only they were able to spend a semester abroad in the midst of the challenges presented by global pandemic, but that it still excites them to talk about their experiences and their willingness to do so much to pay it forward.

I can understand why their stories from abroad bring about animated laughter, excitement, and inspiration. That’s what studying abroad does. Personally, I still feel that same enthusiasm when I think back on my own study abroad experiences through Arcadia nearly ten years ago. (Where has the time gone!?)

For a lot of us, the desire to travel feels like an essential part of being human. It is the perfect outlet for adventure-seeking and exploring curiosity. Learning along the way helps us develop our sense of identity, our place in the world, how we are interconnected, and how we can affect positive change. As an Arcadia community, we embrace those themes and look to amplify them through off-campus experiences. It is why the Division of Civic & Global Engagement emphasizes the active pursuit of “the world in which we want to live,” as touted in Arcadia’s vision statement.

Even over the past two years when many thought it intimidating, improbable, or impossible, I’ve been grateful to the students and colleagues who have been dedicated to making student travel achievable. It is fair to say that working in global engagement has brought a special layer of challenges to our work in an already challenging higher education landscape.

Uncertainty has altered our ability to plan much beyond the current moment. While difficult and unexpected, we remind each other that these challenges pale in comparison to the opportunities that the pandemic took from many students. I recognize that there are fewer study abroad mentors gathered in the lounge this afternoon than there should be. The numerous shortened or missed opportunities to engage with the wider world weigh on me. I know that disappointment still lingers with many Arcadians.

Even with all the constraints around international mobility we’ve been slogging through, and those that still exist, I remain hopeful.

That hope comes from different places than I would have imagined. Am I encouraged by the news updates on my phone about reduced entry requirements, border re-openings, flight prices, and increased mobility? Absolutely. But what keeps me motivated is more human than that. It is coming into my office each day and meeting with masked students who are willing to be vulnerable enough to dream of studying abroad and to be brave enough to pursue it. It is the ethic that my colleagues bring to work everyday as they create exciting, life changing experiences for students on campus, in the local community, and abroad. It is the university’s sharp focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and centering the Black experience, and our efforts towards helping more students of color study abroad. But most of all, it is the resilience our students display as they study abroad during the pandemic and return with a renewed enthusiasm and energy.

Now that it is past 5:00pm, my colleagues have left for the weekend, and I’m here with one lingering student. I’ve asked him how his experience abroad has changed him and his thoughtful response is every reason I have ever needed to continue this work. “Epiphanies,” he calls them. “I had multiple epiphanies while I was abroad about… well, everything: life, me, my future.” He expresses that he still isn’t quite sure what that future holds but that the world feels wide open to him for the first time. Studying abroad gave him the space to explore all of it. It gave him the time to reflect. It gave him the opportunities to build connections and see himself and the world around him in a different light.

Teaching and Learning as Empowerment

Big picture

By Tobi Tella

While I was looking for poems to use for the first real assessment I’d ever designed, one threw me into a slight existential crisis. It seemed like it’d be easy; look up “poems about perspective”, find ones that were comprehensible enough to understand but not too clear to analyze deeply, copy/paste and move on. Just as I thought I should probably move to another site, Annette Wynne’s poem smacked me in the chops.

“The Land of School has desks and books

But has no fences, hills, and brooks;

The children live there every day

Even when they’d rather play;

But the teacher, quite content,

Is the king or president.”

-Land of School, Anette Wynne.

This whimsical metaphor combined with my fragile and sleep-deprived mental state to send me into a tailspin. Starting my full student teaching experience after spending most of my life as a devoted student has given me a strange perspective, and something about the comparison at the end of Wynne’s work made me consider my own place in the system. Was I on-track to be another tyrant teacher who killed students’ enthusiasm? Was a profession I chose for its ability to help people really an exercise in ego?

If the teacher was king, the high school version of me was a loyal subject. Being told I could take an Honors English class in 9th grade, the first truly advanced class I’d ever taken taught me that being willing to engage and try could reveal talents I didn’t know I had. I can’t pretend I was as excited about Algebra II and Chemistry as I was about English classes, but I never really took strict teachers to heart. I know now that this experience was nowhere near universal, and for many young kids school felt limiting or even prison-like; killing their creativity or genuine interest on a subject by commodifying it and making it about memorization and assessment. It’s a representation of the unfair systems of the outside world for many minority students, both socially and academically, and this silly poem made me ultra-cognizant of how I could break that pattern rather than perpetuating it.

Fighting metaphor with metaphor, if high school taught me the teacher was king, college told me they were the president that may not be overthrown but can easily be protested against. When the professors were more willing to be frank, I was more willing to share my honest opinion rather than pander. When it came to the professors who still wanted to play king, I was much less likely to bend to the rule mindlessly or try to justify their behavior. My ability to engage from high school kept me passing, but it was freeing to admit that not every person designated as an expert was going to have an opinion or perspective that I found useful. The freedom of curriculum allowed me to add a Theater Arts minor, which may have added stress and summer classes to my life but allowed me to meet some amazing people and explore passions in a way high school couldn’t. For its ups and downs, my time at Arcadia has empowered me to be confident in my opinions and abilities, and given me the courage to advocate for myself.

I’m so grateful to join the Center for Teaching, Learning and Mentoring because it shows the university’s commitment to challenging these authoritarian classroom presidencies. Working as a Student Pedagogical Consultant, with amazing professors that are truly willing to listen, gives everyone in the classroom power by placing student concerns and suggestions at the forefront and allowing them to truly impact the course structure. These same ideas have eased the anxiety about my own student teaching experience- every time I throw in a “does that seem fair?” or “do we like this or not?”, I feel the classroom shifting from a place where two people decide the path for everyone to a collaborative space. If I can convince just one student to take ownership of their own education and empower themselves, I’ll consider my student teaching a smashing success.

The Need for L.O.V.E.

Big picture

By Deja Edwards

When I arrived at Arcadia as an adjunct professor after years of being a student of color, I was shocked to learn about the Living Our Valued Experiences Pilot Program. I was stunned at the invitation to become a co-facilitator by the program's founder Ellen Skilton. We met at a faculty meeting, and I happened to speak up about the additional support needed for black professors trying to tackle issues of race in a predominantly white institution. Honestly, I battled with speaking up or letting the meeting shift its trajectory to a different subject. However, my courage provided me with an opportunity to reshape my perspective on Arcadia's community.

When I studied at Arcadia from 2014 to 2018, I felt isolated because there wasn't talk about racism within classrooms outside of the sociology or pan-African department. During this time, police brutality was on the rise, with the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice. I was a black English major trying to find my place at an institution and the world at a university that was afraid to use the term racism. At the same time, the few faculty and staff of color opened their arms to young minds like me, who felt like they were doggy paddling to stay afloat in the world and university. I watched those faculty and staff battle burnout. I watched my classmates of color band together to take up space on campus with a Black Lives Matter protest while battling the stress of being a student and post-traumatic stress. I share my experience with you to explain why L.O.V.E. is essential.

The setup of L.O.V.E. allows faculty and staff of all races to discuss with students of all races about race and discrimination. The structure of L.O.V.E. alleviates some weight from some students, faculty, and staff of color because they do not have to create a space for this conversation or take it on by themselves. L.O.V.E. offers the students, faculty, and staff the freedom to collaborate on ideas to combat race, class, and gender while emphasizing student-led initiatives, using faculty and staff to aid student exploration instead of leading it. For example, the Health Equity group created an Instagram, @humansofhealthequity, to share experiences of unfair treatment in healthcare. Irene Hoang started the account as a participant of L.O.V.E. Now she is co-facilitating a new group of students to develop a health resource lab on campus. Her involvement in L.O.V.E. inspires and motivates me to continue tackling disparities within higher education and the world.

In front of my eyes, the one thing I longed for began to form-- a community striving for change and inclusion. Inclusion cannot happen without everyone's voice, from student to staff to faculty. L.O.V.E. healed some of the scars that I forced myself to ignore to pursue my education: it healed the part of me that felt invisible within the classroom within the curriculum; it healed the part of me that felt silenced and muted. The students inspired me to take up space, inquire, inform, and make a difference for all of the students who are doggy paddling through life. My experiences led me to L.O.V.E., which led me to the Center of Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (C.T.L.M.). I believe in two things: the philosophy of Ubuntu, "I am because we are," and knowledge is power. Those ideas inform my decisions and my teaching pedagogy. I don't claim to know everything because I believe I can learn from anyone. Also, I think we are our individual and shared experiences because we are informed by them and learn to act accordingly. I know I stand on the shoulders of the black professors who took me under their wings and showed me that this career choice is possible. I teach with the experience of all of the professors who taught me, and I witnessed them practice their pedagogy for teaching.

At Arcadia, I learned that community happens in small groups and a vast collective thriving for understanding, change, and empathetic approaches to learning. The C.T.L.M. surrounds me with passionate individuals who strive to expand our thoughts on inclusive education and community. It is another space where students and faculty join forces to create collaborative classrooms and pedagogies that adapt to the student's reality and the ever-changing world. I have the opportunity to be a part of a space hell-bent on preventing students from feeling unsupported and unheard. My journey has led me to this moment from student to adjunct with the support of a progressing community. I leave you with one thought: We all have something to bring to the table, so let's make sure everyone has a seat and time to speak.

Mentorship as Collaboration

Big picture

By Dr. Rachel Collins

In recent years, I’ve had the great fortune to work with graduate students who serve as Wertime Scholar Teaching Assistants in my writing courses. What I love most about the Wertime Scholars program is that it explicitly defines the faculty-TA collaboration as a pedagogical mentorship in which the faculty member helps the TA develop as a teacher, rather than simply relying on the TA to assist with classroom tasks.

I assume (I hope!) my TAs have learned many things about teaching from me. But it’s also very much a two-way street: my pedagogy is profoundly enriched through collaborating with my TAs. Three of my TAs remain at the university today and over the past week I’ve spent some time thinking about how mentoring each of them has enriched my own pedagogical practice.

Encouraging and Supporting Students

Sara Wenger (who graduated from the MFA program in 2017 and now teaches writing courses in the English Department) served as my TA in EN 101. One of our shared goals for the course was to encourage students to take ownership of our class readings through student-led class discussions. We developed a plan for Sara to meet with each student to help them prepare, and during class I often saw the student discussion-leader glancing at Sara for encouragement and reassurance that the discussion was going well. The respect and care with which Sara related to each student as an individual served as a semester-long reminder to me about how important mutual care and trust are in the learning process.

Designing for Student Perspectives

Tori Bissonette (who will graduate from the MFA/MA program this spring) served as my TA in EN 202. She and I decided to meet every Friday in order to plan the following week’s class activities together. One of our aims was for Tori to see how I design scaffolded assignments that help students move forward, incrementally, through the research and writing processes. During those meetings Tori often suggested slightly different ways we might shape the scaffolded assignments, in order to respond more directly to ideas and questions she saw students expressing in our class discussion boards. Tori always held our students’ experience as a top priority, and she was right every single time she suggested an adjustment to my plans.

Engaging Classroom Activities

Isabella Perri (who will graduate from the MFA/MA program next spring) served as my TA in EN 100. She wanted to develop her skill in guiding full-class discussion, and so we designed the course to give her plenty of time in front of the classroom. I often shared my own tried-and-true class plans as the basis for activities she would run, explaining how the exercise was designed to meet specific class goals. By the time Isabella ran the activity herself, she had customized it into her own fresh and updated version of the exercise I had originally given her. Throughout the semester I was inspired by the way she transformed my existing teaching materials into her own activities that sparked new types of conversation among our students.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to collaborate with each of these remarkable Wertime Scholars, and in full seriousness, I can say that class-planning with my TAs has always been one of the joys of my week. The purpose of those meetings is ostensibly for me to provide guidance and training to the TA, but the reality is that our meetings are a shared space to reflect on what is going well in our classroom, to collaboratively troubleshoot things that need to be improved, and to discuss how we can best support our students. Mentoring a Wertime Scholar TA gives me the opportunity to have deep, meaningful conversations about pedagogical choices with someone else who’s actually in the classroom with me every single day. Outside a structured program like this it’s easy for faculty to feel like we teach in isolation– we so rarely have the opportunity for colleagues to join us in the classroom. And while most faculty members can relate to each other about general teaching experiences (commiserating when a classroom activity flops, sharing the joy of a class that goes well), mentoring my TAs gives me a built-in colleague who shares a deep, rich, and nuanced understanding of our specific classroom and our individual students.

It’s been tremendously rewarding to watch my TAs develop as teachers– certainly in the ways that I have directly guided them, but perhaps most especially in the areas where they depart from my own teaching style. These are the areas in which they’re finding their own voices and figuring out who they want to be at the front of the classroom. And that’s what mentorship is all about, in the end– not creating pedagogical clones, but helping emerging teachers find and develop their own strengths and styles.

Senior Year: The Last Lap of the Race

Big picture

By Barbara St. Fleur

Senioritis (noun): an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.

As a senior myself, I can say the urge to develop a severe case of Senioritis is very high. I’m at the last leg of my undergrad and I really want to slow down a little. The last year of university is no doubt one of the most stressful things that someone could go through. That is, of course, after childbirth, grad school, and maybe your wedding. I hate to be melodramatic, but this is hard. I say that while enjoying my final year in London, but being in London does not diminish my hardships.

Imagine being in a beautiful city, having the time of your life, but graduation is looming over your head. I have thought many times about if I actually want to walk across the stage at graduation or if I just want to have my degree shipped to me. To prove that I’m not being a drama queen, I asked a friend of mine who is also graduating in May about her experience this year. Yes, this is an actual friend and I am not making this up.

Everyone seems to have a different perspective on your senior year and how it must go. I have been thinking about my last year since I was a first year; I never thought that I would be in London in my last year contemplating if I actually want to walk across a stage for graduation. I had a four-year plan and things happened a little differently. My friend's senior plan didn’t happen how she thought they would either.

I talked to my friend about what we were feeling about graduation and other things revolving around being in the last year of college. My friend is a bio major doing her thesis course this semester. She is also taking classes that go beyond her degree requirements because she has to be enrolled in four courses to be “fully enrolled.” She is taking classes that are rigorous to appease her advisor, her future employers, and the medical schools she plans on applying to.

I am a Global Media Major studying abroad in London. I am currently taking hands-on classes that are geared towards advancing my skills for my career. I finished my senior classes my junior year; I took five to six courses every semester to ensure I finished all my requirements earlier. I wanted my final year to be as carefree as possible. .

I was supposed to study abroad my junior year, but something happened in the world that resulted in people being quarantined and stuck doing college courses from home. I didn’t have much time to sulk; I created a plan B and moved on. I took my senior thesis courses my junior year and did an online internship for a London company. I also planned my escape to London for Fall 2021.

My friend didn’t have any plans to study abroad, but while everything was online junior year, she decided that she would also try to study abroad in Fall 2021. My friend spent one semester abroad and left me in December 2021. As mentioned before, she had to return and take her senior thesis and I had already finished those requirements.

I didn’t realize how carefree my final year would be, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m still stressed about graduation, finding a job, and whether I want to go back to my parents’ house or get an apartment of my own. I am absolutely terrified because college was supposed to be the trial run of adulting, and while I feel like I passed the trial period, I don’t think I want to buy into adulthood just yet.

My friend already has plans to stay with her family because Med School is so expensive and she has more education stress ahead of her. She also has to find a job to support herself. She is glad that she is graduating, but she doesn’t know if she is ready for what comes next.

When my friend returned to campus this Spring, she struggled to find the familiar feeling she had at Arcadia during our sophomore year. I mean, can you blame her? We haven’t been on campus for about two years, and there's not a lot of familiar faces. Throughout the years, people have graduated,transferred or left college all together. The familiar became very unfamiliar.

At the beginning of my senior year, I was excited and motivated to start your final semester on the right page. Then, Senioritis creeps in and lives rent free in your head. You don’t realize this has happened until it’s almost too late to stop it. While I am very much excited to graduate, I don’t feel the same motivation to get my work done. Senioritis symptoms are the lack of motivation in your courses, absences, or tardiness. It happens to the best of us. My friend is in courses that she doesn’t have to even take to graduate, so it is hard to motivate yourself when the classes that you are taking aren’t going to affect if you graduate or not. My courses are very enjoyable and important for my AUC requirements, but sometimes I have to drag myself out of bed. I remember when going to class was a must, but I think now I have learned that skipping a class or two isn’t going to kill me. If anyone questions it, I blame it on Senioritis. I told my friend that maybe our bodies are aware that we are close to the finishing line and maybe we don’t have to damage our mental health anymore to get to the end. I remember our freshman selves staying up late to study for tests that were weeks away. All the headaches that I had because my brain was tired of thinking and reciting for tests. I think we are just realizing that we can take a break and it isn’t bad to miss one class. Unless it is the day of a test. My friend and I worked very hard the first three years so that we could have a little leeway with the final year.

A word of advice, treat senioritis like a disease. Find out the symptoms and try different cures.

Symptoms of Senioritis:

  • excessive wearing of sweatpants

  • Procrastination (which is nothing new. A lot of students have been procrastinating since the beginning)

  • Lost of interest in studies

  • Educational fatigue

Fighting Senioritis:

  • Talk to your friends about these feelings

  • Accept the feeling

  • Set goals for graduation

  • Plan an after-graduation trip

  • Make some money

  • Try something new

  • Savor your senior year


Big picture

By Spenser Norman

PIVOT! The last two years have felt like an episode of Friends where Ross, Rachel, and Chandler try to take a giant couch up a narrow staircase. Campus Life has been navigating how to provide a warm welcoming environment and a safe environment in navigating the Covid 19 pandemic. We have had some great success and some challenges as a community, but we keep moving forward to better serve our campus community.

I started my job at Arcadia University two weeks before Spring Break of 2020 when the campus closed down. Conversations around campus were mixed with panic and the optimistic and a bit naive “this will pass soon”. So we had to adapt and PIVOT to figure out how we provide support to our residents and what the student experience looks like.

While the University closed its doors and did not open, Housing kept its door open to a few students in Oak Summit, and these doors remained open from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 when we invited residents back on campus.

We brought back a limited number of RAs and opened select communities. We wanted to make sure that as we opened up we had mitigation efforts in place. In Spring 2021, everyone had their own room and classes were still remote. Campus Life Housing had to identify ways to engage with the residents who were staying in our communities, but who may not have the need to leave their apartment or rooms. We created Wellness Checks via a google form in order to have a pulse check of how our community members were doing, while keeping our RAs safe and reducing their exposure as they found a new and unique way to engage with their residents.

With these efforts we still did not have a very vibrant and engaging community. Programming in Housing pre-pandemic is all centered around a student’s favorite activity, FOOD! We had limitations and we were no longer allowed to provide food for students. No more communal chip bowls, double dipping, and half eaten crusts of pizza in a pizza box. If Covid put something to the forefront it was some of our eating habits. So, how do we still get students engaged in this unique situation? RAs created “Grab and Go” events similar to the “Fun-til-1’s” in the Commons. RAs did a Bob Ross painting night, Succulent Painting and Planting, and a Smores Under the Stars event. We became creative in how we could again provide community and not just focus on safety within our residential spaces. Residents began to show up and we were starting again with some foundational building blocks that are necessary for the residential experience.

That is where we were and to some extent still are, at the base level of our foundational building blocks, rebuilding and working towards creating our community spaces stronger than before. It has been a challenging process to start something new. In addition, you have your own pressure and expectations of what you know the residential community experience should be, but your priorities have shifted so drastically during the PIVOT and after the PIVOT that you don’t know how you are going to bring focus back onto the residential experience.

In this challenge, we have remained focused on the 2025 Adaptive Strategy of “Creating a Vibrant Residential and Campus Environment”. Housing will institute its first 2-year live on requirement for the incoming class. We are developing a curricular approach to the learning that happens within the residence halls. This will be valuable in providing opportunities to continue engaging and learning outside of the classroom. We have strengthened our recruitment efforts this year for our community Resident Assistants, with many students with unique and diverse perspectives who want to engage within their community.

We are growing our Living-and-Learning communities for residents to participate in a cohort of students with the same academic, personal, or lifestyle interests, from students passionate about Social Justice, Advocacy, and Action to a First-Year Seminar Experience where First-Year students can live together who take the same class together. This will create unique Neighborhoods of Knowledge within our residential communities.

We are working on identifying student leaders to bring back the Residence Hall Association organization here at arcadia. This organization will be an opportunity for residents to take pride within their community and be involved in the change they want to see in the residential communities on Main Campus and in Oak Summit Apartments. The organization allows students to provide additional activities and events in the hall. The organization also serves as an SGO within your residential spaces where students can advocate for change in their community spaces and work to provide additional resources and opportunities from a gaming lounge to updated furniture in the community.

Thanks to the Campus Life Team, Facilities, and the support of many Campus Partners. We are finally getting to the place where we are no longer stuck in second gear and we are making the residential experience a place where it will be your day, your week, your month, and your year of a vibrant residential experience. We no longer have to PIVOT and we can focus on a welcoming community where we are there for each other and support one another as Friends.

The CTLM Team

Faculty Director

Dr. Jodi Bornstein, Associate Professor of Education

Projects & Strategies Lead

Dr. Brittani Smit

Inclusive Excellence Administrative Coordinator

Monica Day

Faculty & Staff Fellows

Deja Edwards, Adjunct Professor of English

Lindsay McGann, Student Success Projects Manager (Division of Student Success) and

Professional Faculty, Public Health

Dr. Katherine Moore, Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Prash Naidu, Assistant Professor of Historical and Political Studies

Daniel Pieczkolon, Adjunct Professor of English

Student Fellows

Caitlin Bennett ‘23

Roksana Cerne '22

Julie Edmundson (SGO Liaison), ‘23

Leigh Ferrier, ‘22

Dez Gaud, ‘23

Ryan Hiemenz, ‘23

Irene Hoang '23

Jessica Hornig ‘23

Barbara St. Fleur, '22

Olutobi Tella ‘22

Courtney Thoroughgood, ‘22