BY OLIVIA MURRELL – STAFF WRITER
As of July 1st, Brian Daniel assumed the position of Director of Residence Life here at Centre College. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Afterwards, he earned his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. With his graduate degree, Brian served as the Community Director at Guilford College for three years. Most recently, Brian worked as the Assistant Director of Residential Life at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the past year. Danville, Kentucky is the farthest west Brian Daniel has ever lived.
The position at Centre seemed like a good fit, namely because the students he met during the decision-making process were wonderful. Brian thoroughly enjoys small private liberal arts colleges, and has interacted with them for all of his college and work career. His main goal as the Director of Residence Life here at Centre is to, “Create safe and inclusive spaces for all students and to work closely with the RAs and RDs to ensure that that [work] is being done.” Outside of work, he enjoys playing and coaching basketball and hanging out with his cat, Griffin.
Brian’s graduate research was in bias and hate crime intervention, and is certified trainer in both fields. Thus, he quickly created a committee of faculty, staff, and students to establish on a Bias Incident Team and a bias incident form. These mechanisms will eventually allow students to report acts of bias and hate they witness on campus. He notes, “We hope to provide a recommendation by the end of the academic year. However, we are more committed to producing a recommendation we are all proud of; rather than reaching a deadline.”
Although he has only been on campus for a few months, Brian has already been a part of important changes at Centre. One of these changes, Brian mentions, is the effort to, “increase the sense of community at Centre, as well as increase the positive opinion of RAs.” This initiative is in direct response to data collected from Centre’s Student Life survey, sent in May. One strategy that the RLO is excited to implement is the “fish philosophy.” The fish philosophy holds four principles: Play, Be There, Choose Your Attitude, and Make Their Day. The philosophy was used in the most recent RA training in order to help RAs, “embody these four principles in their residential communities this year.”
Another change is to residence life staff accountability. From this year forth, current RAs and RDs will go through a reactivation process, or a yearly check, to ensure that they are still performing at the level required of a Centre RA or RD. Not only will this hold the residence life staff to high standards, but it will also ensure that the student body feels confident that their RAs and RDs are not infallible. Brian, and the rest of the residence life team, also plan on reevaluating at the new RA Pursuit process and making changes in the near future.
Brian’s office is located in Nevin Hall on the first floor in the Residence Life Office and he welcomes anyone who wants to chat. He sincerely thanks Cody Cook, Margaret Kaus, and Ann Young for being so helpful in his transition to Centre College.