Summer Sees Staff Changes

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As always with the commencement of a new academic year, St. Mary’s has undergone cuts, hirings, and changes to the faculty and staff on campus. Among those who have left the College are Rich Edgar, former Director of Admissions, Office Administrator Lisa Crowe, and Director of Public Safety David Zylak.

Edgar who was also the President of the Staff Senate, joined SMCM in 1986 and was recently named an honorary alumnus of the College. In an email to the campus community President Urgo explained that the College’s new strategy to restructure the admissions office to unite admissions and financial aid, “has necessitated a reorganization of positions, which included the departure of colleagues who have contributed a great deal to the College over the years.”

Also included in the restructuring was Crowe, office administrator to the Office of the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid; Crowe was with the College for 37 years. In his email, Urgo also said, “We will miss Rich Edgar and Lisa Crowe. I want to thank them for their hard work over many years in the service of St. Mary’s and wish them the best in their future endeavors.” Other than a change in restructuring admissions and financial aid, no other reason was given for Edgar or Crowe’s departure.

Zylak was the Director of Public Safety for the 2011-2012 school year, after serving as the interim director following the departure of Christopher Santiago at the end of 2011. Santiago had been the director for only a year before he was replaced by Zylak, who was formerly the St. Mary’s County Director of Public Safety and before that, the County Sheriff. No reason was given for his departure, and in an email to the campus, Interim Dean of Students Roberto Ifill said that the new interim director would be Melvin A. (Mac) McClintock. McClintock “has provided strong leadership as Assistant Director of Human Resources and as Affirmative Action/EEO Officer in the five years he has been at St. Mary’s, following a distinguished 20-year career in the military,” Ifill said. Ifill also said the College hopes to appoint a new director “as soon as possible.”

Also in Public Safety staff changes, Officer Mary Johnston, frequently referred to by students as “Officer Mary,” was announced to have transitioned to the Physical Plant, with the new title “Operations and Customer Service Coordinator.” Assistant Vice President for Campus Operations Derek Thornton sent an email alerting the community of her change, and explaining that her duties will now include “ processing daily work orders and data input into [the Physical Plant’s] computer maintenance management system, fleet support, events management system coordination and oversight of mailroom operations.” Previously, Johnston has been a part of Public Safety for seven years.

The office of Residence Life also experience staff restructuring, beginning with Kelly Smolinsky’s move from Assistant Director of Residence Life to Student Conduct Officer. The position was previously called Judicial Affairs Officer and was formerly held by Regina Curran. In an email to the campus, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Beth Rushing listed Smolinsky’s experience, saying, “Kelly has been at St. Mary’s College since 2006, first as an Area Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, and then as Assistant Director of Residence Life for Housing Operations. She has served as our interim Student Conduct Officer for the past few weeks, following Regina Curran’s departure.”

In addition to the position changing hands, the name of the office has been changed from Judicial Affairs to Student Conduct. According to Smolinsky, the name reflects a change in attitude to the office. “‘Judicial Affairs’ makes the office sound like it’s more oriented toward a court system, and that’s not what we want,” Smolinsky said in an email. “Student Conduct is largely a peer-to-peer based system that seeks to educate, as opposed to a criminal system that seeks to punish.” Smolinsky explained that the position of Student Conduct Officer won’t change, but she does intend to “expand the services of the office to include more approaches to conflict resolution,” like mediation. Additionally, Smolinsky is reviewing the College’s policies and procedures and the minimum expected sanctions, so she’s “looking for a lot of student feedback during that process.”

Taking of Smolinsky’s position as Assistant Director of Residence Life working with Housing Operations is Derek Young, ‘02. In an email to the College, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Joanne Goldwater said that Young graduated from St. Mary’s with a B.A. in psychology and returned in 2007 to serve as an Area Coordinator. In 2010, Young became the Assistant Director for Staff Recruitment and Development. Now, as Assistant Director working with Housing Operations, Young “will be responsible for managing room selection/assignment process, break housing, and room inspections, coordinating openings and closings, key distribution, working with enrollment management, and working with the Physical Plant to facilitate maintenance concerns in the residences.” He will also continue to serve as an adjunct instructor for the psychology department.

Finally, filling the position of Assistant Director of Residence Life for Staff Recruitment and Development is Clinton Gilbert ‘07. Gilbert graduated from St. Mary’s with a B.A. in economics and anthropology/sociology, according to the same email sent by Goldwater, and returned in 2010 to work as the area coordinator for multicultural initiatives. In addition to continuing to supervise the Multicultural Achievement Peer Program (MAPP) and the MAPP mentors, Gilbert will now be responsible for selecting “training, and [evaluating] the RHCs and RAs, creating study groups within the residences, coordinating recognition and appreciation efforts for the department, and developing and implementing the Academic Improvement and Management program for academically at-risk student staff members within the Office of Residence Life.” A search is underway for area coordinators to fill the vacancies left by Young and Gilbert.

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