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Residence Life Shadow Program Fosters Cross-Campus Mentoring

Residence Life staff and the staff members they shadowed gathered recently to reflect on the experience.

For the second year, Belmont’s Office of Residence Life conducted a Residence Director Shadowing Program for all RDs on campus. The program, which occurs once per semester, gives participants the opportunity to spend a day working alongside other professionals among the Belmont community, allowing the RDs to explore areas as diverse as Athletics, Human Resources, Event Planning, Communications, Career Services and more.

Residence Life Director Anthony Donovan is proud of the program and the relationships it fosters among his RDs and campus partners. He said, “Great professionals paired with great aspiring young professionals makes for a great idea.”

The 13 residence directors have the chance to rank what areas on campus most interest them and after a matching process, are assigned a Belmont staff member to shadow. Once the shadow days are completed, participants write a follow-up reflection that is compiled into a book, and all directors, along with their campus partners, come together for a celebratory lunch to share what knowledge or perspective they gained from the experience.

Director of Organizational Development Deborah Baruzzini (Human Resources) has been grateful to participate in the mentorship program, noting that she has forged helpful bonds with the professionals she has been paired with. “When I was growing professionally, I had two fabulous mentors to whom I could go with any kind of question comfortably. I hope to provide that kind of support through this program and haven’t been disappointed yet with my two colleagues.”

The RD Baruzzini was paired with this semester, Sarah Norton, agrees. Norton is grateful for the professional development the program offers on campus and said she has learned many things that she will transfer with her to her job in Residence Life. “It gives us a way to see the work of professionals in anything from organization development like Deborah, to dining services, to athletics — how we can learn from each other and how are departments are interrelated, since we’re serving the same students,” Norton said.