Spring 2015

Professor Makes Good Neighbor for Freshmen

Geography Professor Amy Rock hosts arts and crafts night in the Sunset residence hall.

HUMBOLDT STATE is giving students a unique opportunity to interact with faculty in the residence halls

Through the Faculty-in-Residence program, faculty members live side-by-side with students, hold office hours, and organize academic and extracurricular activities to introduce freshmen to campus.

“Believe it or not, you do actually get living quarters fit for humans,” jokes Geography faculty member Amy Rock, the program’s first participant. She lives on the first floor of Sunset Hall, where she serves as the resident faculty member for 200 freshmen. Her private living quarters include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room and office, where she meets with first-year students.

Rock’s digs include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room and office, where she meets with students.

As the Faculty-in-Residence, Rock supports freshmen in a number of ways. She interacts with students on a one-on-one basis outside of the classroom, answers questions about academics and support services, and acts a bridge between students and the university administration.

“A lot of our freshmen are first-generation students, and sometimes they are shy about asking for help and interacting with faculty,” she explains. “My job is to be there to help break down those barriers. I also do a lot of little things to get them acquainted with campus.”

As a recently hired faculty member, Rock was searching for housing options when she received an email about the Faculty-in-Residence program from her department chair. The application process was extensive and included interviews with Residence Life and Academic Affairs. Rock says the position is the perfect fit.

“It absolutely dunks me in the middle of the campus community and gives me a reason to approach people,” she says.

Unlike community advocates who organize social events for other students in the residence halls, Faculty-in-Residence develop both social and academic programming for freshmen. Rock organizes guest speakers, field trips, arts and crafts night and a math and science tutoring session through the Learning Center.

Research shows that faculty-student interaction outside the classroom is positive for many reasons:

GPA Graduating with honors Degree attainment Moving on to graduate or professional school Career preparation

Students often come to her with activity and programming suggestions. “Having a faculty member in the residence halls, allows us to do a broader range of activities,” says Michelle Goldberg, a freshmen biology major from Laguna Hills, Calif. “It’s an awesome program, and I hope it stays.”