University Housing Highlights Faculty in Residence Program Participants

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Faculty in Residence is a University Housing initiative that encourages interaction between residents and faculty members in a hall setting. University Housing has two people serving in the Faculty in Residence role currently. They live on campus in the residence halls and support undergraduate students living on campus.

The purpose of the initiative is to enhance the social, cultural and educational life of residential students through programs and activities designed to foster feelings of community among the students.

University Housing would like to say farewell and thank you to Lissette Lopez Szwydky-Davis, assistant professor of English, for six years of service, as a Faculty in Residence participant.

While in the position, Szwydky-Davis created and participated in various programs and initiatives for not only her specific community in the Northwest Quad neighborhood, but also for the entire residential campus community.

She worked collaboratively with other faculty members, University Housing staff, coordinators for residence education and resident assistants to create social and academic growth opportunities to students.

Szwydky-Davis shares that some of her accomplishments as a Faculty in Residence were to mentor students professionally and educationally. She enjoyed the opportunity to provide programming suggestions focused on educational development and the personal growth of residential students.

According to Szwydky-Davis, the most successful program throughout her years of service, has been the Life Raft Debate, part of the @Home series of signature programs hosted by University Housing.

In addition, she has been able to implement a variety of other programs such as the Diversity Dialogues Series and Are you Smarter than a Professor.

Throughout her experience, she states that "the biggest takeaway is to see how the university works from this particular side of [the Division of Student Affairs]."

She shares that many faculty members may have little training and limited understanding of student life outside of the classroom and the importance of engaging in co-curricular activities. She believes that acquiring such knowledge can be especially beneficial to faculty members and the campus community.

University Housing greatly appreciates Szwydky-Davis' immense service and engagement with the campus community and wishes her the best as she continues her path as an educator. 

As fall 2020 approaches, University Housing welcomes Shirin Saeidi, assistant professor of political science.

Saeidi is excited to become a part of the FIR and University Housing team. Saeidi will replace Szwydky-Davis as the FIR serving on the north end of campus.

"I look forward to demystifying the role of professors for students" and "look forward to hosting workshops where we can discuss logistical tasks such as how to ask for extensions, how to write emails and how to trust yourself during the writing and thinking process," Saeidi said.

She also plans to conduct community outreach toward vulnerable populations, focusing on the importance of students that graduate and give back to the community by serving the state of Arkansas.

Saeidi will officially begin her role as a Faculty in Residence on July 1 joining Brian Holland, assistant professor of architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Holland shares his excitement to continue in the role and live in Adohi Hall.

"It's been particularly exciting to play a role in bringing this innovative new building to life, and to do so alongside my partner Janet Foxman.

"We're delighted to be working with  Dr. Stephanie Adams and her team in University Housing and  Adohi Hall resident assistants to create student-centered programming that seeks to promote intellectual and social vitality and wellness outside the classroom" says Holland.

In the position for a year, Holland and Foxman were able to host various events for Adohi Hall residents.

"Last fall,  we  hosted an evening of Pizza and Politics centered around the presidential primary debates. It's something we hope to reprise in some form this year as part of an effort  to foster an inclusive environment for  gracefully  addressing political differences during a tumultuous election season," Holland said.

During Spring 2020, Foxman and Holland established a pilot monthly series focusing on health and wellness in partnership with Ed Mink and the wellness team. Mink is the director of the Pat Walker Health Center's Wellness and Health Promotion unit.

"Our goal with this series is to help students find productive techniques for managing the pressures of college life, and to do so in a creative way that resonates with Adohi Hall's emphasis on environmental health and sustainability. We're looking forward to furthering these efforts in the coming year," Holland said.

To learn more about the Faculty in Residence initiative hosted by University Housing, please email Stephanie Adams, associate director for academic engagement at sgadams@uark.edu

Contacts

Stephanie G. Adams, associate director for academic engagement
University Housing
479-575-3150, sgadams@uark.edu

Christopher Spencer, assistant director of strategic communications
University Housing
479-575-5084, cjspence@uark.edu

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