Mid-semester changes in Student Life lead to restructuring

Mid-semester changes in Student Life lead to restructuring

“Observe. Ask questions. Do not ask your team to do something you’re not willing to do yourself.  Be where you say you’re going to be.”

This is just some of the advice Corie Steinke has for whoever takes her place when she leaves Goshen College on Friday, just a few months after the start of the fall semester. 

After five years of filling numerous roles in GC Student Life, Corie Steinke will be leaving Goshen College on Friday, Sept. 25, to begin a new position as the director of discipleship and community outreach at Zion Lutheran Church in Lima, Ohio. 

With her departure, her role as director of student involvement will be divided up between current Student Life staff, including Chad Coleman, Mara Beck, Rocio Diaz and Gilberto Perez.

Perez and Steinke began creating a student involvement coordinator position at the end of last year to help Steinke with growing responsibilities.

Mara Beck currently fills this role, working with the campus activities council, student leadership and commuter students. 

With Steinke’s departure, Lauren Ford, assistant women’s volleyball coach, will become a second student involvement coordinator in Steinke’s absence. 

According to Perez, Ford “will also work with Mara and take on the COVID-19 support responsibilities Corie was previously managing.”

Steinke began at Goshen College in YEAR as the assistant director of student life. A few years later, she transitioned into the role of associate director of community life, and in the last year she held the position of director of student involvement. 

As director of student involvement, Steinke had many responsibilities, overseeing and managing a wide variety of student clubs and groups, including: student senate, student leadership, commuter students, campus activities council, residence life, clubs and organizations, student conduct and career networks. 

Perez and David Kendall, coordinator of career networks, will be taking over Steinke’s leadership responsibilities of student senate. 

According to Steinke, it is hard to quantify just how much she has done over the past five years, because so much of her work was student led. 

“I’m pretty proud of how my area of student involvement has expanded to include new things.” She said, I’m proud of the way commuter student leaders have evolved and gotten more done over the last few years.  But so much of the work isn’t about me and what I’ve done. It’s about what I’ve helped students believe they can do.” 

Gilberto Perez, vice president of Student Life and dean of students, received Steinke’s resignation a little over a month ago, and Perez says the news did not come as a surprise, citing Steinke’s passion for ministry.

“The upcoming work for Corie in discipleship and community outreach will be a wonderful opportunity for her,” he said.

Axel Brown, resident assistant of Yoder 4, said that he was “shocked when Corie announced her resignation at one of our meetings,” and that “the real pressure will be placed on Zach [Frank] and Phil [Brown] to try and make up for Corie’s absence”

While Steinke’s departure will definitely be felt, Perez is confident that students and staff will be able to rise to the challenge. 

“This year will offer our student involvement staff [the opportunity] to step further into leadership responsibilities. I believe this is positive for all of us in student life, residence life, athletics, community engagement and student life operations.”

Gussie Nafziger, resident assistant of Kratz 2, agrees with Perez.

“Corie’s departure is definitely going to change the way residence life functions,” Nafziger said, “But I’m sure that everyone will be willing to step up to help fill her role.”

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Written by Greta Klassen, Copy Desk Chief

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