In conjunction with University Honors, the Division of Student Affairs is accepting applications for live-in faculty principals in the Residential Colleges at Ambler Johnston.

“The success of these living-learning communities exceeded our expectations,” said Frank Shushok, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “Much of that had to do with the dedication of the live-in faculty principals. Now we have extraordinary opportunities for faculty members to continue the legacy established by Rob, Heather, and Ben.”

Robert Stephens and Heather Gumbert, faculty principals of the Honors Residential College at East Ambler Johnston, will complete their three-year term this spring. Stephens is associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and associate professor of history. Gumbert is assistant professor of history.

Ben Sax, faculty principal of the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston, will leave Blacksburg in July to assume the position of resident scholar for the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore. Sax is assistant professor of religion and culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The Residential Colleges at Ambler Johnston were planned as a partnership between academics and student affairs to provide seamless learning and growth. The Honors Residential College at East Ambler Johnston, opened in 2011, houses about 320 students. The Residential College at West Ambler Johnston, opened in 2012, houses about 800 students and is divided into four smaller “house” communities, each led by a live-out associate faculty principal.

As with other Virginia Tech living-learning communities, the Residential Colleges at Ambler Johnston place a heavy emphasis on student engagement with faculty and staff, providing opportunities to gain knowledge both in and out of the classroom, and creating physical spaces that encourage and enrich the learning experience.

“Residential colleges are a way to reconnect students’ academic and co-curricular experiences,” said Shushok. “These vibrant communities are transforming how students experience the large complex research university. The residential college is a place where students ‘know’ and ‘are known’ by fellow students, faculty, and administrators.”

Interested faculty can learn more and find information on submitting an application online. They can contact Terry Papillon, director of University Honors, at 540-231-4591 or Shushok at 540-231-8604 to discuss the positions. For questions related to the application process, contact James Penven, search committee chair and associate director of academic initiatives for Housing and Residence Life, at 540-231-6205.



Written by Sandy Broughton.

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