Dorms Welcome New HousemastersBy Charu Chaudhry
One graduate and two undergraduate dormitories welcomed new housemasters for the 1992-93 academic year.
Green Hall, a graduate dormitory for women, has two new associate housemasters, Professor Anne E. McCants and her husband William. Two undergraduate dormitories also have new housemasters: Professor Charles Stewart III and Kathryn Hess moved into McCormick Hall, and Professor Halston Taylor and Katherine Dabulis joined Random Hall.
"It is a great opportunity to meet more students," said McCants, a history professor. "I went to an all women's college for my undergraduate studies, so it is especially important to me that I am at an all women's housing facility."
"The experience for women at MIT is both a unique and difficult one, especially as graduate students. So, I welcome the opportunity to be their role model or at least a female presence," she continued.
Hess and Stewart, a political science professor, have a low-keyed, yet interactive, approach to housemastering at McCormick. They feel it is important for them to be visible in the dorm, and to work and talk with the students and tutors to ensure that things are running smoothly.
"It is important to us to make sure that McCormick as a community keeps running, and that natural tensions that could arise are dealt with creatively," Stewart said. The couple plans to eat in the dining halls from time to time. They also hope to talk more with students by making frequent appearances in the halls, having a barbecue, and inviting residents over for dinner in smaller groups.
McCormick Hall President Sonia Ensenat '94 said the new housemasters are really interested in the dormitory, come to house meetings, and care about the students.
Taylor enjoying Random position
Taylor was equally enthusiastic about his new position at Random Hall.
"I get to interact with students a lot more," he said. "I have always taken the opportunity to pick up new duties. This gives me a chance to become a bigger part of MIT, and by living near campus, it gives me more time to work at MIT."
"I will bring a younger, new perspective to the students that they might not be used to," he added.
Random Hall President Haider A. Hamoudi '93 said both Professor Taylor and his wife seem eager to interact with the dormitory in a positive way, and seem to be interested in listening to residents and getting their input on various issues.
The selection process for the new housemasters varied from case to case, but generally the candidates filed an application with James R. Tewhey, the associate dean for residence and campus activities. Then the candidates met with the former housemasters and a student committee from the dormitories they were interested in.
The final decision was then made collaboratively by the three parties, attempting to match each housemaster with an appropriate dormitory. Many factors were considered, including how the dormitory's personality and the housemaster could both adapt to and benefit from one another.