Two new area coordinators take up posts

By Joe Cahill
September 2, 2010

Among the new faces arriving on the campus of Cabrini College this summer were two new area coordinators—Ellen Wagner and Michael Mullen.  Wagner and Mullen arrived at Cabrini after the departure of veteran area coordinators Toni Baisden and Krystal Barbera.

Wagner and Mullen both have professional experience in collegiate residence life.  Mullen attended graduate studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, working as an assistant residence director at the school’s Punxsutawney campus for two years.  Wagner spent two-and-a-half of her undergraduate years at Drew University as a resident assistant, before becoming residence director of the College of Notre Dame in Maryland.

Once they saw Cabrini, both Mullen and Wagner knew they had found the right place.

Mullen said, “I was looking for a small campus atmosphere; somewhere where I could get to know my residents and where they wouldn’t be thought of as ‘just a number.’”

Wagner, a Delaware County native, said, “I was looking for a job where I could focus more on Residence Life, as opposed to my dual position [as both Residence Director and organization manager] at Notre Dame, and I was eager to get back to Pennsylvania.  Cabrini is all of those things, but it is also the type of environment I like to work in—a small, welcoming community.”

So far, Cabrini College and its community have impressed both of the school’s new chief residents.  Mullen, a native of the Buffalo, N.Y. area, said, “I really like it so far.  Everyone has been welcoming and willing to step up and lend a hand.  It’s a very comfortable environment.”

Wagner agrees.  “It’s definitely a good fit for me. I think I have been most impressed by how quickly I felt welcomed…people have gone out of their way to make me feel at home here, which is such a great quality of the Cabrini community.”

Wagner and Mullen make it clear through their approachable demeanors that they are both here to connect to the students and stay down-to-earth.  “I’m pretty easy-going,” says Wagner, a former art major with a love for music, dancing and crafts.  “I think it would be difficult to live and work in the same place if you weren’t being real. I try to use my hobbies to keep work fun – even if it’s by doing something simple, like playing music in the office.”

When he isn’t hunting or exploring the great outdoors, Mullen is an avid sports fan with a soft spot for the Buffalo Sabres, the Chicago Cubs and the Miami Dolphins.  “I might not fit in that well,” he said.  “I’m looking to learn from students and have them learn from me as well.  What’s most important is being there for my students one hundred percent.”

Cabrini students seem optimistic for what the new area coordinators will bring to the college.  Samantha Monastra, senior math major and one of Cabrini’s resident assistants, said, “I think they’ll bring a presence to the college.  I remember in my freshman year, I didn’t even know we had an AC.  So I think [Wagner and Mullen] should make themselves known and come to events.  That way, students will feel comfortable around them and talk to them in a friendly way.”

Joe Cahill

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