New LEGO director hired

New LEGO director hired

By Mike Devine

Freshmen aren’t the only new faces on campus this semester. Two weeks into her job as director of Student Leadership and Engagement (LEGO), Christine McGill is adjusting to her new job with help from students and faculty.

“I have received such a warm welcome from everyone. It really has been a great experience thus far,” she said.

McGill replaces John Silveria, who left the position in July after nearly five years to become assistant dean of students at Suffolk University.

As director of leadership and engagement, McGill will oversee student leadership groups, including Leadership Education Growth Opportunities (LEGO), Co-op Connections, Student Government Association (SGA), Student Media, Greek Life and other programs.

She has already meet with students and faculty from these organizations.

“The reason why all these organizations are interrelated is because the leadership component and student involvement threads us together,” she said.

In addition to overseeing the activities of these leadership programs, McGill will be directly involved in coordinating events such as the Emerging Leader retreat and the Engaged Leader series.

McGill’s experience in student leadership organizations began when she was an undergraduate. A University of Connecticut alumna, she worked at the university’s women center, where she presented programs about sexual assault. McGill also attended the College of William ‘ Mary in Williamsburg, Va. for graduate school, where she was active in developing alumni affairs and Greek life.

When a new office opened up at the University of Virginia for student affairs, McGill was one of its first employees. At UVA, she worked with Greek life programs, alcohol education, sexual assault and other leadership education programs. Also at UVA, McGill taught the first credit-bearing class dealing with emerging student leadership.

McGill then moved to Boston to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she spent one year with the Greek life program there before applying for the director of student leadership and engagement position at Northeastern.

One of four finalists for the position, McGill impressed her interviewers, who included student leaders like SGA President Rogan O’Handley.

“What stood out for me about Chris was her extensive background in student leadership programs and her true sense of listening,” O’Handley said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Ed Klotzbier said the students’ impressions of McGill were by far the best of the four finalists.

“The students’ input was heavily considered in Christine’s hiring process, and they were truly impressed with her credentials and approach to leadership programs,” he said.

As director of student leadership and engagement, McGill has a chance to build on the existing system and to bring new ideas to the table. Her immediate goal is to assess and evaluate programs currently in place, and to see how they can be improved.

“I think it’s important to always look for ways to improve. You can always strive to be better,” she said.

One of the topics McGill will deal with as director is the Leadership Scholars Program, which awards scholarships to select students in leadership positions in university organizations. The program was designed last year by Silveria and Klotzbier, replacing a system that previously granted full tuition to the six members of the SGA e-board and the editor in chief of The News. McGill said she has no plans to change it for now.

McGill said she is already feeling connected to the university and feels a sense of involvement among the students. She also expressed excitement about her new position.

“In today’s world, there are over 2,000 different definitions of ‘leadership.’ It is such an evolving field, and that’s what I like about it,” she said.

As for having to fill the shoes of recently departed director John Silveria, McGill said she is thankful for his encouragement and up to the task.

“[Silveria] seems to be the most popular man in Boston,” she said. “He let me know how great the students and faculty are here and offered me words of encouragement.”

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