Penn State Hazleton coordinator of residence life and student engagement named

David Laird, coordinator of residence life and student engagement at Penn State Hazleton.

Credit: Penn State

HAZLETON, Pa. — David Laird has been appointed coordinator of residence life and student engagement at Penn State Hazleton, Chancellor Gary M. Lawler announced.

Laird will be responsible for administering residence life, student activities and student services programming focused on engagement, community service, and diversity and inclusion. He will also serve as an advocate for students by communicating their concerns.

“This integrated job brings student programming and community development together to engage students in the robust activities and events offered at Penn State Hazleton,” said Tracy Garnick, director of student services and engagement. “We’re thrilled to have David as part of the student services and engagement team and look forward to his contributions to the student experience.”

Laird joins the campus after three years as a coordinator of residence life at Penn State Altoona. 

“My goal is to increase engagement for students both in the residence halls and throughout campus,” Laird said. “I’d also like to develop new ways to assess success in engagement with the aim of building lasting bonds that may result in student retention and recruitment efforts for the campus.”

In working toward that goal, Laird said he will tap into his professional experiences in student conduct, residential curriculum, campus ecology and event planning. As a former resident assistant and fraternity president while in college, Laird has a variety of ideas to draw from in his new role on campus.

“David’s experience in Greek life, residence life and student engagement, among other important areas, make him the perfect person to inaugurate this new position,” said Robert Knight Jr., associate director of student services and engagement. 

Laird said he is planning to start a weekly "Rock the Block" program where students and staff can get together and interact with music, activities, and information on campus resources.

“I’m also excited to help students create groups where they can build a connection with classmates, staff, and faculty at Penn State Hazleton through shared interest,” he added. 

Laird, from Tampa, Florida, earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and master of education degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of South Florida. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in higher education administration at Penn State.