Section: News

Key departures in Residential Life leave office understaffed

Over the summer, two administrators departed from the Office of Residential Life (ResLife), leaving it temporarily understaffed.

Jill Engel-Hellman, director of ResLife and Assistant Dean of Students, requested leave on Aug. 23, the day before first years moved in. Lisa Train, former Associate Director of Housing operations, accepted a job at the State University of New York College at Cortland at the end of June.

According to Associate Director of ResLife Jillian Yoder, while Train’s departure was anticipated, Engel-Hellman’s was unexpected. Yoder is currently serving as interim director in Engel-Hellman’s absence.

“We don’t have a date about the end of [her] leave or any information about that,” Yoder said. “I think because it is a little bit of a unique situation where Jill is on leave — she’s not separated from the institution, she’ll remain on the website. I am updating my materials to reflect [that I am] interim director so people know that they can send communications to me.”

The College has hired Jenn Bermudez as Train’s replacement, and she will begin in the role of assistant director of housing operations on Sept. 25. “We acted as quickly as we can because it’s a key position in that office and within Student Affairs,” Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Bonham ’92 said.

Two additional hires have joined the ResLife office: Carl Mackey and Helen Eckhard began in late June as Residential Life Coordinators (RLCs), replacing the Head Community Advisor role that was previously occupied by student employees. Both Yoder and Coordinator of Housing and Office Operations Beth Pae agreed that Mackey and Eckhard had helped tremendously in easing the turnover.

“We are very lucky that Carl and Helen joined us, and very excited,” Pae said. “They’re doing a great job, and [we] just enjoy working with them. I think they’ve been two great additions to ResLife, been immensely helpful with the changes that have happened.”

Neither Yoder nor Pae knew much about Engel-Hellman’s departure. When asked when Engel-Hellman would reassume her position, Bonham said she didn’t know. She said she couldn’t speak publicly about whether Engel-Hellman plans to return.

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