The University received a boost this afternoon with the hiring of Joanne Rafferty as the new Director of the Student Activities and Leadership Development Office (SALD). Four candidates were interviewed for the position, and Rafferty, who has been employed at the University since 2007, will transition on Nov. 1 from her previous job title as Associate Director of Operations in the Usdan Administration Department.

The news first broke in an email sent from Director of Usdan Administration and Operations Michelle Myers-Brown to the students and faculty who participated in the job search, then in a email to the wider University community.

“I am very happy to announce that the SALD Director Search has come to a successful conclusion and Ms. Joanne Rafferty was offered and accepted the position of Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development/New Student Orientation,” Myers-Brown wrote.

Rafferty holds a Master’s of Science Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. Prior to arriving at the University, Rafferty was the Assistant Director of the Student Center at CCSU from 2004-07, and before that, she worked in the Office of Student Activities at Trinity College from 2003-04.

She will be replacing Elisa Cardona, who is now an administrator and teacher at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Conn. Myers-Brown assumed the responsibilities of the SALD director while the position was vacant for the first month and a half of the academic year. As Rafferty shifts into her new role, Myers-Brown plans to help her colleague and stay involved with SALD for the remainder of the semester.

An important aspect of the position’s responsibilities includes social justice work, and Rafferty has experience in creating an environment that fosters equality for all voices.

“She brings a great deal of experience to the table from her work with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Connecticut through experiences in event planning, student activities, orientation and leadership development,” Myers-Brown wrote of Rafferty.

Rafferty is an active member of the Association of College Unions International, serving as the regional conference coordinator from 2012-13. Furthermore, for the past 16 years, she has devoted time to the World of Difference Institute, a section of the ADL, as an Anti-Bias and Diversity Education program facilitator.

Wanting to challenge herself, as well as wanting to give more to the University, were two thoughts that Rafferty expressed when asked why she wanted to become the new director of SALD. Rafferty was questioned about what she loved most about the University, and her response was diversity and activism, two concepts that she had trouble finding at her previous locations.

In addition to her work obligations, Rafferty is a member of the Administrators and Faculty of Color Alliance (AFCA), advisor to the Usdan Music Co-op, and part of the University Safety Committee.

As for replacing Bulaong Ramiz-Hall ’11, the former assistant director of SALD and current Director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Amherst College, the office is working hard to find the right candidate.

“Joanne and I will be working together to jump right into the search for the SALD Assistant Director search as well,” Myers-Brown wrote. “In the interim, please continue to contact me for anything related to the responsibilities of this position.”

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