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Search continues for new Student Life Director

As September ends, Northampton Community College is still looking for a new Student
Life Director. Frank Pologruto, the previous director, had held the position for more than three
decades and retired in June.
Since then, the college administration has been interviewing several applicants, looking
for a candidate who has experience with supervising projects, working with leadership programs,
and can work with students in different capacities.
The duties of the Student Life Director include setting up events on campus, coordinating
with the administration, consulting with clubs and student organizations, as well as interacting
with countless students and meeting their needs.
Currently, Miranda Baker, administrator for Student Life as well as an adviser to Phi
Theta Kappa, is acting as the de facto head of the office.
While students working with her speak well of her work, it does not change the fact that
Student Life finds itself severely understaffed and its great deal of responsibilities are stretching
the office thin.
With no director to oversee the day-to- day operations and only having one full-time
administrator to run the office, programming has suffered. A higher priority is given to larger
events that generate more student interest, such as the Halloween dance, with smaller events
being put on the backburner and diminishing.
Campus officials expect this situation to change soon, with another administrator starting
work full time in the next week and they hope to find a new director very soon.
However, the position still remains vacant. When asked why a successor hadn’t been
chosen by the start of the semester, Associate Dean of Student Life Janelle Howey said, “Search
processes really just take time. They have to be posted, and there’s an application period, and
there’s a first round of interviews, a second round of interviews.”
Students considered Pologruto to be tough but caring. According to Katelyn Schoelles,
president of Phi Theta Kappa, Frank was like a father figure to many students.
“If you talk to a lot of these students out here, that’s kind of what they’ll say about him, is
that he helped students a lot. And so, I think that director position, it gave students a feeling of
importance and a feeling of home.”
While he was director, he was credited with building Student Life from the ground up;
playing a major role in putting together Quadfest and decorating the Student Life Zone during
the holidays.
He was known for approaching students who he saw potential in and urging them to seek
positions or opportunities to until they got involved in some capacity. This was a common
enough occurrence that there was a name for it – getting Frank’d. Many of the current student
senators got involved in student government because of Pologruto, who persuaded them to run
for Student Senate. This includes the current president, Jesse Sharpe.
Though Pologruto cannot be replaced in terms of his impact on NCC, his successor will
surely live up to the high standards of the office he helped build and make their own mark as
well.