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Manager strives to support staff members

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Chauncey Kennedy, the manager of Residence Life, ends his one-on-one meetings with staff members with two questions.

“I ask them ‘how are you taking care of yourself, and is there anything I can do to support you better?’” he says. “I pose those questions because I want to make sure they’re balancing work and life commitments and they’re progressing toward their individual development goals.”

[Chauncey Kennedy with Sonja Smiljanic]Chauncey Kennedy accepts the Mentor of the Year Award from the Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers alongside Sonja Smiljanic, the Residence Life co-ordinator who nominated him.

Mr. Kennedy’s particular attention to the personal and professional well-being of Residence Life staff and co-ordinators recently earned him the Mentor of the Year Award from the Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers (OACUHO). The award recognizes a person who has shown interest and assisted in the success and career development of new individuals within the association.

Mr. Kennedy says he views mentorship as a key part of his role at Queen’s.

“We recognize in Residence Life that it’s quite cyclical, especially for professional staff who live in residence,” he says. “With that in mind, I try to focus on how I can help them get to where they want to be.”

With a large team of staff members and 118 residence dons, Mr. Kennedy believes it’s important to maintain a consistent management style while also supporting the strengths of different individuals. Sonja Smiljanic, the Residence Life co-ordinator who nominated Mr. Kennedy for the award, says she appreciates his management style.

“He approaches mentoring and coaching in a kind and compassionate manner, yet stays firm and challenges us in ways we need to be challenged based on our own individual strengths and areas for development,” she says. “I believe that Chauncey has created that kind of positive work environment for us by emphasizing the importance of being professional and doing our jobs well, but also having fun along the way.”

Mr. Kennedy recently accepted the award at the OACUHO Annual Spring Conference.