By Scott Bruxvoort
When newly hired assistant director of residence life and new student programs Andrea Gruger accepted her position at Quincy University she was confident that her past experiences in residence life would aid in a smooth transition to the staff on campus.
“Most all of my professional experience has been in housing.” Said Gruger.
“My graduate work was in first year transitional programs, and I worked closely with new student orientations.”
Gruger’s previous work with first year students and orientation programs were beneficial at Quincy University welcome weekend activities. In fact, Gruger was thrust into welcome weekend within a month of being a part of the residence life staff. Gruger handled herself with composure and performed well even with little time for preparation.
“I learn best by doing.” Said Gruger.
“Until I actually experience something I am not going to truly absorb it.”
The desire to jump in and take on an event as significant as welcome weekend is what makes Gruger such a good fit for the university.
“I was actually most excited about jumping in.” Said Gruger.
“It was a great experience getting to know all of the connect mentors as well as the first year students.”
Gruger will work closely with first year students as she oversees both Garner and Helien Hall. She is also a supervisor of the RA’s of both first year residence halls as well as the connect mentor program on campus. Having previous experience at a variety of institutions not only allowed Gruger to adapt to her new position, but also in moving to Quincy, Illinois.
“I was excited to move back to a Catholic institution after being at St. Louis University.” Said Gruger.
While St. Louis might have been a larger University, the mission aspect is what made Quincy University attractive for Gruger.
“Being at a mission driven institution is very important to me and to my job.” Said Gruger.
With Gruger’s diverse experiences coupled with the ability to adapt and work under pressure, she is a great asset to the residence life staff as well as the Quincy University student body.
“I have a lot of confidence in crisis.” Said Gruger. “Things don’t tend to surprise me or catch me off guard, I just need to remember to stop and breathe and think about what is going on.”