Residence halls should be more than places to sleep, says new director

By Brett Smith
YJ Staff Writer

She was young immigrant. Experienced the chaos of 9-11. And she persevered through multiple degree programs to rise to her position as director of residence life and services

Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Dr. Nancy Nkumsah moved with her family to the United States when she was 5. Raised in New York and New Jersey. She clearly remembers the Sept. 11 attacks her freshman year at the High School of Art and Design.

“It was chaos, of course, in Manhattan. We could see the dust rising. There was a mass exodus of people from our school,” she said.

“I want their experience living on campus to be enjoyable to the point where students feel they are getting their money’s worth.”

She didn’t graduate a residence director. Dr. Nkumsah earned a degree from Rutgers University in 2009. A Masters in Leadership and Public Administration from Centenary University in 2011. There she was residence director. While a doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she was a full-time residence director until graduating and joining WVSU earlier this year.

Then she found her calling.

“Once I got my degree, I wanted to expand my horizons and take the next step up in my career,” she said.

Dr. Nkumsah describes her job as ensuring the department is “a well-oiled, well-running machine.” She’s improved communication with other departments and on-campus student access to information they need, such as general campus information or housing applications.

Dr. Nkumsah hopes students come to view the campus as a home away from home. She approves that Damon and Keith halls are now called “residence halls” as opposed to “dorms”.

“Residence halls reinforces the idea that they are places where students truly live during their time on campus, as opposed to the buildings where students go to after classes and extracurricular activities merely to sleep “ she said.

“I want their experience living on campus to be enjoyable to the point where students feel they are getting their money’s worth.”

About The YJ Staff

Our mission is to provide news and information for students, created by their peers. To be a strong voice for all students. To connect students living on campus and those who commute. Our staffers are volunteers, passionate about creating this new form of student media. All of us work for you. We are accountable to you.
View all posts by The YJ Staff →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *