Meet Our Team!

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9 adults standing in front of the library smiling

The Office of Residence Life is made up of 13 full time staff, nine graduate staff in the Assistant Residential Community Director roles, 89 RAs, and two student workers. Get to know us better below!

 


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Skip Begley

My name is Skip Begley (he/him/his) and as the veteran of the Office of Residence Life, thank you for your interest in our staff positions! I have been at CWRU in a variety of positions in residence life since 2001, arriving from Longwood College (now University) where I was a Residence Education Coordinator. I have loved working in Residence Life since I was an RA - no other position in student affairs brings the sense of teamwork, the daily variety, the challenges, and the opportunities that Residence Life does. A wise ACUHO-I Intern of ours once remarked - "you don't choose the ResLife, the ResLife chooses you." True words indeed.

In my work, I concentrate on providing leadership for the department, developing the Residential Experiences, budgeting, and advising our Residence Hall Association. I believe that we can orient ourselves to our work in three ways - we can do things TO students, we can do things FOR students, but we do our best work when we do things WITH students. I find tremendous joy in building community with our students. 

Working at CWRU has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. I have been able to connect with some of the finest professionals I have ever known, work with students who are truly dedicated to making a difference where they live, and explore ideas and concepts about residential communities that have shaped me into the professional I am today. I hope that you find the same experience as well.

Favorite Restaurant: Pizzazz on the Circle

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Grab a pizza from Danny Boy’s and head to Rocky River Beach to eat dinner, watch the sunset, and then hit up Mitchell’s for some ice cream afterwards.

The First Year Experience consists of three RCDs, who each oversee a community of 230-480 residents, 6-12 RAs, and one Assistant Residential Community Director (ARCD).


Athena Folino| Residential Community Director, Cedar Magnolia
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Hello! My name is Athena Folino and I am a Residential Community Director in the First Year Experience. I joined the department as an ARCD in July 2018, and have been in the full-time RCD role since July 2020. In May 2018, I graduated with my bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from Thiel College in Greenville, PA. Go Tomcats! After that, I went to graduate school at Kent State University to study Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs. 

I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but have enjoyed living in Cleveland the last few years. I love living on campus and in this part of the city because we are so close to Little Italy, several museums, parks and a great food scene! In my free time, I like to shop local, try new restaurants, hangout with my cats and try to keep my house plants alive. 

My favorite restaurant: Barrio (can't go wrong!)

My favorite thing to do in Cleveland: pick up Mitchell's ice cream and go to Lakewood Park (in the warmer months!).


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Antonio Tate | Residential Community Director, Juniper

Hello! My name is Antonio Tate (he/him/his) and I currently serve as the Director of Juniper Residential Community. I joined the CWRU Residence Life team in August of 2017.  I attended the University of Mount Union for undergrad and stayed as a graduate assistant for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, working with the campus programming board, while also serving as a Resident Director.  During that time, I completed my Master’s in Sport and Recreation Management at Kent State University. Prior to arriving at Case, I spent the 2016-2017 season with the Cleveland Browns within the Community Relations department, and the 2017 spring semester back at Mount Union as a Resident Director.

Born and raised in the city of Cleveland, I love being home while getting the opportunity to work with college students.  I love having day to day interactions with students and aim to make their experience worthwhile.

Personally, I love trying new foods and watching/attending various sporting events.  I am also a huge Star Wars fan and try to keep my Netflix/HBO/Hulu/Disney+ binging to a minimum. 

Favorite Restaurant: Chipotle

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Go to concerts


Coming Soon! | Residential Community Director, Mistletoe

Justin Wilhite, our new RCD for Mistletoe, starts June 28, 2021!

The Second Year Experience consists of three RCDs, who each oversee a community of 300-450 residents, 9-14 RAs, and one Assistant Residential Community Director (ARCD).


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Kaitlyn Abbott | Residential Community Director, Carlton Road

Hello! My name is Kaitlyn Abbott (she/her/hers) and I am the Residential Community Director for our second year students in Carlton Road. In addition, I assist with the Student Life Assessment Committee for the Division of Student Affairs here at CWRU. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from Ball State University and my Master’s Degree from Western Michigan University in Higher Education Student Affairs with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. While at Western Michigan University, I served as a hall director for a complex of 750 first year students. In addition, while at Western Michigan University, I  worked with the Disability Student Resources Office to create accommodation for students. I also created workshops for faculty members about ADA laws, accommodations, and how to best support students with accommodations.  Lastly, I conducted mixed method  research on universal design for learning for undergraduate students. ADA advocacy as well as evaluation and assessment are professional passion areas of mine that I love to incorporate into my work as a Residential Community Director at CWRU. 

On a personal note, I am an avid runner and participate in several races a year. You can often find me running at local parks  or around campus.  In addition, I absolutely love to travel, especially to explore new places!  If I am not running or traveling, you can find me trying new recipes as I enjoy baking/cooking in my free time.  I am fairly new to Cleveland so I also enjoy finding new restaurants and activities to try in the area. 

Favorite Restaurant: Heck’s Cafe 

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Running through Cleveland’s MetroParks 


VACANT | Residential Community Director, Clarke Tower & SYE-North

We are currently conducting a search for a new Clarke Tower RCD! Visit the Professional Opportunities page for more information


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Meghan Lechner | Residential Community Director, Murray Hill

Hello! My name is Meghan Lechner (she/her) and I am the RCD of Murray Hill aka "the bottom of the hill!" I earned a B.A. in Political Science & Communication from Hope College and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the College of William & Mary. Prior to joining the Residence Life team here at CWRU, I served as a Resident Director at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington (4 years) and as a Graduate Assistant in Outdoor Education at William & Mary (2 years). My professional experiences and research have been centered in the worlds of student identity development, interfaith leadership, and prison education reform. 

While I have lived in several different corners of the country, Northeast Ohio is my home! I am a diehard Cleveland sports fan and spend most of my free time exploring Cuyahoga Valley National Park! If I am not at Progressive Field catching a game or hiking in CVNP, you can usually find me baking, kayaking, or with my nose in a book. 

Favorite Cleveland Restaurant: Brewnuts!

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Watch baseball in "The Corner" at Progressive Field! 

 

The Upperclass Experience consists of two RCDs, who each oversee a community of 500-800 residents, 8-12 RAs, and one Assistant Residential Community Director (ARCD).


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Matt Dvorak | Residential Community Director, UCE I

Hello! My name is Matt Dvorak and I have been the Residential Community Director for Murray Hill since October of 2018. Prior to my time with our second year students on Murray Hill, I served in Residence Life as a graduate assistant, living in and working with our Upperclass Experience for over 4 years. I also served as the Assistant Conference Coordinator for our Office of University Housing during that time. 

I triple majored as an undergraduate here at CWRU, majoring in Sociology, History, and Women's and Gender Studies. During my time as an undergraduate, I worked in numerous capacities in the Office of University Housing over the course of 4 years. I have a Masters of Science in Urban Studies, and a Graduate Certificate in Local Management from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Studies and Public Affairs. 

When I am not here at CWRU or down the street at Cleveland State, I am likely out and about enjoying the Cleveland food scene. I love Cleveland sports, and am a Fantasy Football fanatic. I've spent nearly 10 years at CWRU now, and I love being able to call Cleveland home. 

Favorite Restaurant: I really go through phases with this, but right now, Washington Place Inn and L’albatros

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Explore Cleveland’s food, coffee, and bar scenes.


Vacant | Residential Community Director, UCE II

We are currently conducting a search for a new UCE II RCD! Visit the Professional Opportunities page for more information

The Office of Residence Life couldn't function without the stellar support of our administrative staff!


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Kim Blackmon | Administrative Assistant

Hi, my name is Kimberly Blackmon and I am the Administrative Assistant for Residence Life.  I have been with the department for 30 years!  Yes, 30 years! I enjoy my job because I get to interact with so many staff and students within and outside of the department. I have found the key to my job is being able to work with so many different types of personalities and being able to build individual relationships with all of them. This has made my job both fun and rewarding. I'm always here ready to listen and assist whenever I can. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Favorite Restaurant: Oaks and Embers

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Plan a party


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Gerri Collier | Department Assistant

Hello, my name is Gerri Collier and I started working at CWRU in Residence Life in 2014. I support the four Residential Community Directors (RCDs) for the First Year Experience students. I love working at CWRU and I love working with, as I call them, “my scholars”.  Here in Residence Life, our goal is to help students transition from being away from home, in most cases, for the first time; into college, and help them achieve their academic goals by helping direct them to overcome their hurdles. The scholars keep me on my toes as I watch them go from undergraduates to flourishing young adults who have become graduates and leave home for a second time.

I think Cleveland is the best place on earth to live; the people are friendly and helpful. I love the four seasons that we have here in Cleveland, but;  fall is my favorite season. I've lived in numerous states but I always come home to Cleveland where my heart and family are located.

Favorite Restaurant: Angie's Soul Food

Favorite thing to do in Cleveland: Host gatherings with family and friends