New position to focus on student care

by Sarah Hope / Beacon Correspondent • January 21, 2016

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Amanda Turnley is beginning work at a newly created role.
Amanda Turnley is beginning work at a newly created role.

Amanda Turnley, former senior associate director of housing and residence life, took on the newly-created position of Director of Assessment, Care and Case Management at the beginning of the month.

Turnley said her duty is to make sure students are getting appropriate support with any issues they are experiencing by referrals to departments that can help them.

"[We want] student[s] to feel supported in their experience at Emerson, and knowing that there are resources available and there are people behind those resources,” Turnley said.

Takara Larsen, former associate director of housing and residence life, will take on the role of Interim Associate Director of Housing Operations as the department searches for someone to fill Turnley’s old position. Larsen said she is looking forward to having a larger role in housing issues.

"During her time she's done so much for us, and really moved us forward as a department,” Larsen said. “I think she leaves a really great legacy for us to move on with."

Turnley said that she’s still figuring out the best practices for the role, and evaluating what Emerson students want and need from her.

“Being a brand new position is exciting,” Turnley said. “But it also means that there’s no precedent here for what has been done.”

Turnley began at the college five years ago. Erik Muurisepp, associate dean and director of housing and residence life, said Turnley’s knowledge of Emerson and experience at the school has equipped her well for the role.  

"I think it will be good for her, good for the dean's office, good for our students, as she sort of helps them on a case by case basis," Muurisepp said.

Turnley said that her history in OHRL, and as a resident assistant at Drew University and a residence director at both Fisher College and Lesley University, has given her the skills to work with student crises.

According to Muurisepp, the office will begin searching for a replacement for Turnley this spring and should have a job posting by February.

As Turnley sets the precedent for this new position, she said one of her main concerns is with students.

"I feel like the 'care' aspect is having the time and the dedication to be able to reach out to students, and that whatever they're going through there are resources available,” Turnley said. “[Students should know] that they’re not alone, and that there are people here that care about them, and that want them to succeed—whatever that means for that particular student at that particular time.”