Michael S. Brown Jr.

Assistant Dean for Access Programs/EOF Director,
Rutgers University School of Engineering

What was your favorite part about working in Rutgers Residence Life?
“I was a part of Rutgers Residence Life for eight years. I held the role of Resident Assistant, Hall Director, and finally a Graduate Resident Assistant. While all of those roles were uniquely important to my development in Student Affairs, the roles I enjoyed the most were those working with our first year population. Students that come to the university are very heavily influenced by the experiences, attitudes, and personalities that surround them. For me, every interaction with a student was an opportunity for mentorship. Watching each of these students embark on their individual paths with my support was a rewarding experience. I was happy knowing that I played a part in shaping how they felt about university.”

What other opportunities did you partake in while working at Rutgers?
“While pursuing my undergrad and graduate degrees, I was also an active member of the engineering community. I sat on executive boards for both the Minority Engineering Educational Task (MEET), the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and the Alpha Pi Mu Honor Society. I was fortunate to participate in internships and cooperative learning experiences with Fortune 500 companies, and I worked closely with Residence Life to implement the Student Assistant Program when we acquired the residence hall safety program from the Rutgers Police Department. I served as an engineering tutor/study group facilitator during the academic year, and spent summers coordinating projects and math classes for summer

enrichment programs like the Governors School of Engineering & Technology and Upward Bound. The network I established, along with the experiences from my involvement in Residence Life opened the door to many of these opportunities.

How did Rutgers Residence Life best prepare you for your current position?
“As a dean I advise students through many of the personal, academic, and professional transitions to be successful, engaged members in the Rutgers community. Most of my knowledge in these areas started from the programs I hosted to educate my residents. The fundamentals of my advising skills can be traced back to the counseling skills I learned to understand my residents and build communities in the residence halls. Ultimately, it was my experiences with Residence Life that triggered my passion for a career in student development and support services.”

Advice/words of wisdom?
“The best piece of advice I can offer was given to me before I accepted my first role as an RA. Being a part of Residence Life is not a job, it is a lifestyle. To do any position in Residence Life well, it must align with your sense of self. Therefore, the passion to enhance student growth and development should exist before stepping into the role.”