Norman Makes a Home at UST
The University of St. Thomas has recently named Yolanda Norman as Residence Life director. Norman joined the Student Affairs staff on July 23 and has quickly found the campus to be like home.
“UST is very family-oriented and that’s evident in everything from the interview process to meeting the staff and walking around the campus,” Norman said.
Norman holds two master’s degrees in College Student Personnel and Counseling and in Sports Management and Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has a bachelor of arts in radio, television, and film with an emphasis in broadcasting.
Originally, Norman wanted to work with student athletes, but her career took a turn when she began working with students in residence life. Quickly, Norman knew that she’d found her calling. Before coming to UST, Norman served as a Graduate Student Hall Coordinator at The University of Southern Mississippi and as a Residence Life Hall coordinator at The University of Texas at Austin.
“I’m well versed in student life, but working on a small campus is new to me,” Norman said. “This is the first Catholic School that I’ve worked at and it feels really good to integrate my work and my faith. It is truly a blessing.”
Norman’s responsibilities include, among many other things, handling residents' housing contracts, overseeing the residence life office, handling discipline issues, directing the work of the coordinator of resident life and the resident assistants and sophomore assistants, and overseeing programming in the residence hall.
Norman will work directly with the students housed at Guinan Hall and more cooperatively with those in Augustine Hall. The programming piece of the Augustine Living Learning Center is being developed and overseen by the Franciscan Sisters, led by Sr. Paula Jean Miller, FSE. However, the residents at Augustine are still part of the larger residential campus community and Yolanda will continue to provide leadership for that aspect of Augustine. Two resident assistants at Augustine will report to Yolanda, and will provide the link to the Residence Life program.
“Yolanda is charged with providing a place for our residential students to not just live, but to study and learn so they can be successful academically and develop relationships that will enrich their lives at UST and beyond,” Patricia McKinney, dean of Students and director of Career Services and Testing, said. “We received very positive feedback from a cross section of our UST community after Yolanda's interview for the director of residence life position. She has taken on a huge responsibility and is already proving that she is up to the challenge.”
Norman feels she can make a difference at UST. “My job is about connecting with people and seeing them grow and develop,” Norman said. “This is what completes me.”
Norman said, she sees the great potential of the University and the beauty of what the community has already become. Just like her students, she sees the University developing and growing before her eyes.