After three years as assistant director of Residential Life (ResLife) and seven years as a member of the Bowdoin community, Chris Rossi ’10 will leave his position to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education next fall.
“This is my one experience as far as what a school is like,” said Rossi. “Grad school gives me an opportunity to explore different systems, to explore different directions.”
While a student at the College, Rossi majored in government. He also worked with ResLife as vice president of Baxter House, head proctor of West Hall, and head RA of Harpswell Apartments. While his experiences affected his approach working at Bowdoin professionally, Rossi tried to be open minded about his position.
“While there is a familiarity that’s positive, you also have to stretch yourself and understand that your Bowdoin College—your experience—is not everybody’s experience,” said Rossi.
Rossi’s responsibilities include supervising the College House system, running Intramural Sports, and managing ResLife staff. He is also an assistant coach of the women’s ice hockey team. One of his biggest impacts has been reforming the College House system, particularly when it comes to programming.
“Before Chris got involved in this process, [a College House] partnering with an academic department was unlikely to happen more than a handful of times in the course of a year,” said Director of Residential Life Mary Pat McMahon.
“He understands that it is a group of people who want to live together, and have fun, and have that party aspect that is inherent to the College Houses,” said Inter-House Council President Neli Vazquez ’14. “He also encourages and makes it easy for everyone to have that diversity of programming.”
The search for Rossi’s replacement is already under way. A hiring committee composed of both students and staff is reviewing over 60 applications for the position. The position could be filled by a recent Bowdoin alum, but there are benefits to introducing an outsider as well.
“Somebody that comes in from not Bowdoin is able to bring some fresh ideas from other places,” said McMahon. The committee will announce their selection as soon as the position is filled, hopefully by July.
After seven years, Rossi’s presence at Bowdoin will be missed.
“He has the perfect personality,” said Vazquez. ”You can talk to him about anything, even something you might be nervous to talk to an administrator about.”
Fortunately, Rossi is open to future interactions with the College.
“Given the opportunity, if it was right for me, of course I would come back because I’ve enjoyed my time here,” said Rossi. “I like the relational piece here, I like the idea of supporting students. I like the idea of being part of a community that way.”