“I’m part mentor, part advisor, part counselor,” says Tom Vicino. It’s December, just a few days from the end of the fall semester, and he’s in his cozy two-bed, one-bath apartment on the 16th floor of East Village explaining his role as one of Northeastern’s three faculty-in-residence. “It’s really about helping students integrate the academic experience with the residential experience,” he’s saying. “Above all, it’s about creating community.”
Vicino—like Mindelyn Buford and Shan Mohammed—is charged with facilitating, strengthening, and expanding the relationship between students and faculty. All three say that the program has improved their teaching prowess and enhanced their understanding of the student experience, shedding light on the ins and outs of college life. As the crucial link between campus living and learning, they’ve become quintessential mentors and confidants, equally adept at listening and doling out nuggets of hard-earned wisdom.
“I’m much more relaxed in the classroom now and better able to relate to students,” says Buford, assistant professor of sociology, who joined the program in 2012. “I’m more comfortable integrating hands-on activities in class and making explicit connections between what students are doing academically and what they will go on to do in post-grad life.”
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