Kristin Vitacco has been hired as a residence life coordinator at Penn State Hazleton, Chancellor Gary M. Lawler announced.
"A significant portion of students at Penn State Hazleton live on campus, and Kristin will ensure that student priorities continue to remain the focus in our residence halls. She will be an important advocate for our students' needs and desires, helping create an environment that is conducive to academic success," Lawler said.
As residence life coordinator, Vitacco lives in an apartment on campus while supervising the residence hall community on campus. She communicates closely with more than 300 residential students, assisting in the areas of counseling, conflict resolution, crisis management, mediation, discipline, organization advising and social justice training. She also will plan and oversee events that contribute to the student experience and student development at Penn State Hazleton.
Vitacco said she welcomes the opportunity to work closely with students at Penn State Hazleton.
"Not only is the campus beautiful, but it's a smaller campus setting where I have the opportunity to get to know the students. I really wanted that one-on-one connection and I look forward to working with our students," she said.
Director of Student Services and Engagement Tracy Garnick said, "We are excited to have Kristin join our student affairs staff. Her knowledge and experience will certainly be a plus as we continue to grow and develop the services offered to our residential students."
Vitacco works alongside the rest of the Residence Life team and supervises the campus' seven resident assistants (RAs). She serves as co-adviser for the Association of Residence Hall Students (ARHS), helping them plan events and develop their leadership skills.
"I want to use the skills I have to make the student experience a better one for the students. It's my goal to make sure they feel comfortable and enjoy their time at Penn State Hazleton, and that they become better men and women once they move on. I look forward to the opportunity to create new events and to help students discover what they enjoy or learn something new," she said.
Vitacco earned a bachelor's degree in speech and interpersonal communication with a minor in public relations from Rider University and a master's degree in student affairs leadership from Widener University. She spent two summers in Italy and England studying higher education in those countries and how it relates to higher education in the United States.
Her student affairs experience includes roles in higher education, including as a recruitment adviser with Phi Sigma Sigma Fraternity National Headquarters.