Robert Knight Jr. named associate director of student services and engagement

HAZLETON, Pa. — Robert Knight Jr. has been named associate director of student services and engagement at Penn State Hazleton, Chancellor Gary M. Lawler announced.

Knight was hired in 2018 as coordinator of student engagement and served as interim associate director of student services and engagement since last year. 

“Since joining our campus community, Rob has proven his dedication to inclusive excellence and involvement for our diverse student population,” Lawler said. “We look forward to seeing him continue to design and develop programs that engage our students and help them thrive as members of the Penn State and global communities.”

Robert Knight Jr.

Credit: Penn State

As associate director of student services and engagement, he will support the University’s commitment to student growth and development by providing oversight and direction for student engagement, including clubs and organizations, and co-curricular activities and events. 

He will also oversee the residence life program, including the residence hall staff and residence assistants, serve as liaison to international students and initiatives, oversee multicultural affairs and programming, manage the student conduct process, and direct the campus’ student diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Additionally, Knight will collaborate with the Office of Academic Advising for New Student Orientation and develop programming for the campus’ annual Welcome Weekend for new and returning students.

Knight said that as the University prepares for a full on-campus learning environment for fall 2021, Penn State Hazleton students can look forward to more active and in-person experiences, starting with a “robust welcome experience” in the fall.  

“We’re excited to give students a big Penn State Hazleton welcome and show them what they experienced over the past year or two of the pandemic was not traditional,” Knight said. 

In addition to the planned return of live, on-campus entertainment like musicians, artists and comedians that all students can experience, student services and engagement is planning to host specific activities and programs geared toward first- and second-year students, Knight said. 

“Rob’s proficiency in providing a vibrant campus experience for our students will be a key catalyst as we begin to resume full on-campus activities in the fall,” said Tracy Garnick, director of student services and engagement. “His experience and enthusiasm make him an excellent fit for this role and the campus community as a whole.”

Knight holds a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and master’s degree in business administration, both from the University of Scranton, and a master's degree in higher education administration from Marywood University. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in higher education at Penn State.