Housing starts semester with fresh, new faces

Campus Times
October 9, 1998


by Shiva Rahimi
Managing Editor

Three new female staff members ­­ Catie Mccorry-Andalis, Lorena Gomez and Laura Lopez -­ have filled positions in the University of La Verne Office of Housing and Residential Life as Program Coordinator, Housing Services Coordinator, and Area Coordinator, respectively.

Not only do they all work in the same department, but they are all experienced, hard working individuals who are willing and determined to make a difference at ULV. The Office of Housing and Residential Life has greatly benefitted from their assistance with the largest enrolling class, but these three women have plans for the housing department that will benefit the University for future years.

Director of Housing and Residential Life, Julie Thurman-Francisco, said that every year the department goes to a conference where they select several prospective candidates. A search committee then looks through resumés, and interviews the applicants until they make a final decision. This is the process that Mccory-Andalis and Lopez experienced.

Gomez, on the other hand applied through Human Resources and "her resumé rose to the top," said Thurman-Francisco.

After experiencing with different housing programs in a few different regions of California, Mccory-Andalis now serves as the new program coordinator at ULV.

She has had five years experience at Cal State Hayward, near San Francisco, as the assistant director of housing. From there she was a residence hall director at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes for two years, and then she set off to get her bachelor's and master's in Northern California at the College of Notre Dame. Mccory-Andalis worked there for four years running the conference programs in the residence halls.

"My first year at La Verne is going to be a learning experience to see what is happening around campus," Mccory-Andalis said.

As a program coordinator, she oversees the programs and activities in the residence halls. She also oversees the Homecoming committee, the Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) committee, and New Student Orientation.

Senior Elizabeth Rodarte, a program assistant in Stu-Han, said, "Catie has a strong background in housing. She puts in her own ideas and helps the PA's develop those ideas. Catie is also very supportive by attending our programs."

Mccory-Andalis said that she would like to see more faculty involved with the programs in the residence halls. The department hopes to have cosponsorships with Davenport Dining Hall, campus safety, and the Health Center.

Making the move from Seattle to sunny Southern California is exactly what Lorena Gomez had to do.

After attending the University of Washington, she worked at an architecture and accounting firm. Gomez said that she had no past housing experience, but she does have office administration experience which helped her get the housing services coordinator position.

"It was a good opportunity for me to move down to La Verne," Gomez said. Her cousin, Claudio Muñoz, works as associate professor of accounting at the University. Two of her other cousins have graduated from the University's College of Law.

As a housing services coordinator, Gomez works closely with student assistants and takes care of the basic administration duties. Gomez is replacing Joel Perez who was the coordinator last year.

"I had to go in there and get my hands wet. It was overwhelming and frustrating at times, but the help I had was incredible," said Gomez. "So far this has been a great experience and it has thought me a lot."

Laura Lopez, area coordinator, attended Mt. Saint Mary's College in Santa Monica. While attending, she moved her way up from a Resident Assistant to a Program Assistant to a Summer Housing Supervisor. Her last year attending the college, she was the acting director of housing. Lopez also attended Azusa Pacific University and Scripps College and continued to involve herself with various housing positions.

"Overall, I want to be more visible than the area coordinators have been in the past," Lopez said. "I would like to attend more of the programs and activities."

"She's really professional about her job, but at the same time she is a really nice and caring person to be around," said Maria Muñoz, a sophomore Resident Assistant, said about Lopez.

Lopez said that she had interviewed for the assistant area coordinator two years ago, but did not get the position. There was an opening for the area coordinator position this year searching for a replacement for Chris Freeman, and Lopez became one of the two finalists after interviewing with both students and faculty.

"All three of them work very well together, because they have different attributes," said Thurman Francisco. "Lorena has brought us a business prospective. Catie has brought us her many years of experience and different perspectives from the different institutions she has attended, and Laura has brought her appreciation for the culture at ULV and her belief in the Mission Statement. She is very holistic which is important to our services."