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Flowers hired as Reslife senior director to provide strategic vision

Former Trinity University director hired at Reslife after departures of former administrators

Contributing Writer
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

After an extensive national search, Melissa Flowers has been appointed senior director for residential education and operation, wrote Mary Grace Almandrez, associate vice president for campus life and dean of students, in an email to Residential Life staff.

“Melissa will provide innovative leadership and a strategic vision for the Office of Residential Life, staff, programs and facilities,” Almandrez wrote in the email. “She will also partner with colleagues to ensure Brown’s residential programs and operations cultivate educational environments that promote transformational learning and community-building among our interconnected community of students.”

Flowers’ appointment follows the summer 2016 departures of both former Senior Associate Dean of Residential Life Richard Bova and former Director of Residential Experience Natalie Basil. In the interim, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life MaryLou McMillan served as the director for ResLife until she left the University Sept. 1 after 30 years of service.

Almandrez told The Herald that Bova and Basil left “to pursue other opportunities” and that since their departure, ResLife has been operating as a result of “hardworking staff who had to pick up a lot of additional responsibilities” and “strong student leaders.”

Flowers said she has worked in higher education and residential life for nearly 15 years, most recently serving as director of residential life at Trinity University.

Carolan Norris, senior associate director of athletics and member of the search committee, said “she was the best and most qualified candidate of the people brought in,” adding that the committee “had a very strong pool and she rose to the top with all the different constituencies that she met with.”

Flowers hopes to cater to the needs of students by working with them directly. Upon reading the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, she remarked how “intellectually independent, curious, principled and collaborative” Brown students are.

“I want to hear directly from the students and turn that into a strategic plan for the department moving forward,” she said.

Norris said Flowers was “very engaging, had a very calm presence and was a very good listener.”

Moreover, Flowers said she “appreciated the three-year residency requirement at Brown” and that working at Brown “felt like a really nice fit.” She is very excited about the great potential of the staff and facilities and aspires to “enhance the experience of students,” she added.

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