University hires new director for suites

The biggest mistake people make when they see Kelley Woods on campus is identifying her as a student. The youthful looking Woods is the new hall director for the University Suites at Northern Kentucky University. “Intimidation will never be my skill,” she said. Woods, who is 25, admits that she looks young for her age and plans to use her appearance as a way to better connect with the residents of the building. “I may not be a student, but I’m not far from it,” she said. Woods graduated from the University of Cincinnati earlier this year with a master’s degree in the educational foundation program. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in middle childhood education at the same university. When Woods began college, she planned on becoming a teacher. “Right before graduation I had reservations about teaching,” she said. Woods said she broke down to her advisor six weeks before she was to graduate, after realizing she didn’t want to teach. She thought about what she enjoyed doing: working with college students. While an undergraduate, Woods worked as a Residential Assistant for three years on UC’s campus. “I loved every minute of it,” she said. It was through these experiences that she decided she would like to work with students. While in graduate school, Woods also worked for two years as an assistant supervisor, otherwise known as a hall director at UC. Once Woods graduated, she applied for a hall director position at NKU as well as several different schools, including some out of state. The Cincinnati native said she really wanted to stay close to her home, friends and family and was excited when she was hired at NKU. “Honestly, NKU would have been the best deal, regardless of location,” she said. “People here are positive and excited about what they do.” Housing Director, Matt Brown, said that Woods is a “great fit for the staff. She brings additional excitement and energy to the team. I think (she) has the energy level for the staff to reach full potential.” Brown said that the staff has bonded with her since she began as hall director and she has developed a strong relationship with the RAs. Woods said the RAs are her favorite part of her job. “We have a small close-knit staff that are ready to invest time with their residents,” she said. She said the RAs that she works with have set high expectations for themselves, as well as others, and have made her transition to NKU an easy one. Though she has had a smooth transition, Woods still recognizes she is new to the team. “I’m not going to come in and change things,” she said. She plans to learn the system of the University Suites and become knowledgeable of the things that work or do not work for the residents of the building. She wants to then evaluate them and see if there is room for improvement. “I want to make what is already great even better,” Woods said. As the first full week of all of the University Suites residents living in the dorm approaches, Woods said she isn’t stressed. With an all time high of 40 percent of first year freshman living on campus this year, according to Brown, Woods said people are going to test their boundaries. “I’m not afraid of bad behavior. It’s going to happen,” she said. For the first year freshman living in the University Suites, Woods wants them to keep an open mind as they begin college. “People always have expectations, whether it is when they first meet their roommate or when they get their first bad grade. Just be open minded and it will help you to receive change better,” she said. Though many students will have to abide by new rules as they live away from home for the first time, Woods said she wants students to remember she follows the same rules. “It is just as hard for me to adhere to quiet hours as it is for (students),” she said. “If you hear Dave Matthews Band late at night, it’s probably me.”