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      Faces of Widener

      Brenda Cruz, Assistant Director of Residence Life

      Diamond Schuler, communication studies, '18

      Brenda Cruz

      Assistant Director of Residence Life

      As a first-generation college graduate, Brenda Cruz understands the stresses of college, which is why she hopes to provide the happiest and healthiest environment for Widener students.

      As assistant director of residence life, Cruz has a lot of responsibilities, but her main duty is to help students – from assisting them through the housing-selection process to mediating roommate concerns. She serves as an advisor and coach for students during their time at Widener.

      With the start of spring, the Office of Residence Life is busy preparing for the fall housing process. Cruz and her team not only work with upperclassman to choose housing, but they also help students who are unsure of their housing situation.

      Cruz joined the staff at Widener as an area coordinator in 2015. Prior to joining the Widener team, Cruz was a graduate residence director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

      One of the hardest parts of the job for Cruz is not always being able to help students – some things are just out of her control. Her goal is to help take as much stress as she can off students and their families when it comes to residence life.

      She wants students to understand that, residence life is here to support students and make their college process easier and more personal. “We’re not only here for the administrative tasks, but also to help students. They're our main priority.”

      The most rewarding part of her job is working with the students. “After working closely with so many students, it’s very rewarding to see them excel on campus,” she said. 

      Cruz has a lot of memories of her time so far at Widener, but the most unforgettable one was an experience she had with a student and his mother. After spending days talking with this mother about various parts of the college process and helping her son get acquainted on campus, Cruz’s supervisor received an email expressing gratitude for all Cruz had done for their family.

      She now has that email saved in a folder called: “for the tough days.”

      “There are always tough days, but memories like that remind me of why I work so hard every day.”

      In her spare time, Cruz stays up to date with her passion for higher education. She often attends conferences and gives presentations with her fellow colleagues about residence life and student activities.


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