April 20, 2022

Meet April Jenkins, MSM’s new Director of Residence Life

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m from East Orange, NJ, but I am excited to call New York City my new home! I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies at The College of New Jersey, and I earned my Master’s degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Outside of my work with students I enjoy crafting and DIY projects, hiking, and spending time with Blossom, my 10-month old puppy.

I am so excited to be joining MSM again. MSM has always held a special place in my heart ever since I had the privilege to serve this community as a graduate intern for the office of Student Engagement in 2016. In that role I took pride in connecting with students and helping them to have meaningful experiences. In that capacity I served as the advisor of the student government and the Black Student Union, which allowed me to help students celebrate and embrace identity and develop a passion for leadership. I am thrilled to return to MSM as the Director of Residence Life, where I plan to continue to build relationships with students, support them in their journey through higher education, and help create a welcoming and engaging community.

We’d love to know about your dog, Blossom!

Blossom is my adorable 10-month-old puppy. She’s a Cavapoo, and she is one of the friendliest dogs you will ever meet. At my previous school, they called her the hall mascot. She always brings a smile to people’s faces, and she’s excited to be making new friends at MSM. Blossom has a great memory, so once she’s met you if she sees you again, she’ll probably bunny hop towards you, hoping that you’ll pet her.

What is it that excites you about taking on this new role?

Through my new role, I am excited to lead in with integrity, intention, and innovation. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be inspired by the talented members of the MSM Community and play a role in celebrating MSM traditions, while also helping to support the growth of the residential community.

What do you think it is that makes MSM exceptional?

What makes MSM exceptional is the community. It’s the students who come from all over the world to share their gifts and work to continue to grow as artists and musicians. It’s the faculty and staff who dedicate themselves to advancing the arts and supporting the personal growth of their students. It’s also the celebration of culture and identity and the openness to continue to evolve as an institution.

April's office is located off the Andersen 6th-floor lounge in the right-hand corner of the lounge and is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM

In your opinion, what makes a good residence life program at a higher education institution?

A residence life program should help students feel at home away from home. It should cultivate a welcoming environment where all students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful ways and inspire personal growth. Residence life programs should bring the community together and provide students with a means to connect and learn outside of the classroom. Residents should be learning more about themselves, how to live with others, tools for becoming more independent and living away from home, and how to contribute to a community.

What are your plans for your new role at MSM?

In my role at MSM, I want to carry the torch, honoring the work that those before me have done, while exploring opportunities to continue to advance the residential community. I want to lead a staff that takes pride in serving that community. I want to amplify the voices of our student leaders and residents. I want to bring forth programing that residents would like to engage with, and I want to help Andersen Hall feel like home.

I’ve created a hall newsletter called Inside Andersen which will help to keep residents updated on what’s happening in the hall. I also hope to explore ways to grant residents easier access to some of our resources through taking advantage of technology and the digital space.

Is there anything you’d like MSM resident students to know about you and your team?

My office is located off the Andersen 6th-floor lounge in the right-hand corner of the lounge. Feel free to stop by and say hi or set up an appointment if you’d like to meet. My office hours are between 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday to Friday. Also, Blossom loves when students say hi to her, so if you see us on our walks feel free to show her some love. Congratulations to everyone on all you’ve accomplished this year. The Residence Life team looks forward to seeing all of our residents again next year, and we’re wishing the very best to those who are graduating and on to their next journey.