College Staff

Every Residential College has its own college staff, which comprises the faculty chair, associate chair, and assistant chair. The faculty chair, a senior faculty member, guides the academic and programmatic life of the college. The associate chair shares some of the faculty chair’s responsibilities, while assistant chairs—graduate students—assist in administrative matters, help the executive board, and help communication between the students and both the faculty chair and the Office of Residential Colleges.

 

For more information about the College Staff of Residential Colleges, click here for our information source.


 

List of College Staff

NAME POSITION TITLE, DEPARTMENT
Sara Broaders Faculty Chair Associate Professor of Instruction, WCAS Psychology
Michael Smutko Associate Chair Associate Professor of Instruction, WCAS Physics & Astronomy
Jess Meyer Assistant Chair Ph.D. Candidate, Sociology

 


Faculty Chair

Each residential college has a Faculty Chair. The main roles of the Faculty Chair are to provide leadership for CCI and to provide an example of student-faculty interactions aside from within the classroom. In addition, the Faculty Chair has certain responsibilities, which include facilitating student-initiated programming, administering the budget of the college, recruiting the Fellows, and appointing the Associate Chair and/or Assistant Chair.

Ayers CCI’s current Faculty Chair is Sara Broaders.

Sara C. Broaders

Associate Professor of Instruction, WCAS Psychology

Office: Swift 104B

Phone: (847) 491-3652

E-mail: s-broaders@northwestern.edu

 

Sara Broaders is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. She teaches a variety of courses, including: Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Research Methods, Psychology and Law, Children and the Law, and a Freshman Seminar on Psychology and Weird Beliefs. Her research interests concern the role of gesture in cognition and communication, particularly in the contexts of forensic interviews and problem solving.

For more information about Sara Broader’s work and achievement, click here to see her website.

 

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ASSOCIATE CHAIR

Most residential colleges have one or two associate chairs. Usually full-time faculties at Northwestern, the Associate Chair typically shares some of the Faculty Chair’s organizational responsibilities, sometimes assisting in the recruitment of fellows. The responsibilities of the Associate Chair involves accommodating the needs of the residential college, the needs of the Faculty Chair, and the special capabilities of the individual.

 

Ayers CCI’s current Associate Chair is Michael Smutko.

 

Michael Smutko

Associate Professor of Instruction, WCAS Physics & Astronomy

Office: Dearborn 9A

Phone: (847) 491-4568

E-mail: m-smutko@northwestern.edu

Michael Smutko teaches astrophysics and physics and manages the operations of the Dearborn Observatory. Since arriving at Northwestern in 2003, he has taught thousands of students in courses and hosted thousands more at observatory events. Dr. Smutko worked for nearly a decade as an Astronomer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. As an expert in his field, he has given countless interviews, including one with a robot on the Cartoon Network.

For information about Dr. Smutko’s work and achievements, click here to see his website.

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ASSISTANT CHAIR

The College Staff also includes a designated graduate student position, or the Assistant Chair. Assistant Chair are full-time graduate students who act as resource person, performing various administrative tasks under the direction of the Faculty Chair and RC Coordinator. Some organizational tasks include working with the Faculty Chair to ensure Fellows participation in the life of the RC, attending meetings, participating in college events, and interacting with students. Other responsibilities of the Assistant Chair include facilitating budgetary procedures and advising the executive board in planning events, as well as overseeing the special equipment and facilities of the college.

Ayers CCI’s current Assistant Chair is Jess Meyer.

 

Jess Meyer

PH.D. Candidate, Sociology

E-mail: jessmeyer@u.northwestern.edu

Jess Meyer is a Ph.D. Candidate in Northwestern’s Sociology Department. Her main areas of research explores interconnections between family life and health, and how social inequalities might impact these interconnections. Jess also investigates how social factors relate to the genome and epigenome. She has earned an M.S. in Statistics while at Northwestern and, before arriving here, received a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Indiana University. In her free time, Jess enjoys traveling, salsa dancing, and attempting to do yoga.

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10 QUESTIONS FOR THE COLLEGE STAFF

Sara Broaders

If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be and why?

I don’t think I would want to be a fruit….too short a shelf life. If I had to choose, I guess I would say a fresh fig, since they’re my favorite, and they’re a little out of the ordinary.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Flight!

If you could go swimming in something other than water, what would it be?

Lime Jello

What are you planning to be for Halloween this year?

Probably a witch, mostly because I have a costume for that.

What is/was you favorite stuffed animal? And what did you name it?

When I was little, we had a huge stuffed lion, which was as big as I was when I was 6. His name was Clarence. I have no idea where the name came from, though…

What was your dream career as a child?

Actually, to be a psychologist!

Whats your personal theme song?

I don’t have just one. In part it depends on my mood. “Crazy” by Patsy Cline is my husband’s and my song. I’m not sure that I could pick just one other song to be “mine”. Some of the songs that might be in the running on a particular day are: “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor; “Beautiful Day” by Colin Hay; “Without You Here” by the Goo Goo Dolls; “Better Class of Losers” by Randy Travis; “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash”, and “If I Had $1,000,000” by the Bare Naked Ladies. Music is totally a mood issue for me…. And my taste is a bit eclectic (e.g. everything from Classical to AC/DC to Dragostea Din Tei).

What has been your favorite encounter with the police?

You don’t really expect me to answer that question, do you? [Note: I definitely have one, but I’ve never been arrested or even come close to being arrested…]

Whats your most embarrassing moment?

You don’t really expect me to answer that question, do you?

Whats the first thing on your to-do list after you retire?

I’m not sure that I ever will retire. Travel would be the highest on my list if I ever do.

Michael Smutko

If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be and why?

Blackberries – once you get past the thorns and the exterior (with all those annoying seeds) you can’t beat what’s inside.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation

If you could go swimming in something other than water, what would it be?

Champagne

What are you planning to be for Halloween this year?

I will be disguised as the parent of an elementary school kid going trick-or-treating.  I even have a child all set to walk around with me and knock on doors to complete the look!

What is/was you favorite stuffed animal? And what did you name it?

A teddy bear that used to be my mom’s that she named Algie.  (I never did find out why she picked that name.)

What was your dream career as a child?

Astronaut

Whats your personal theme song?

Welcome to the Jungle on all those me-against-the-world kind of days.  Otherwise, Rocket Man fits pretty well (“All this science I don’t understand–it’s just my job 5 days a week.”)

What has been your favorite encounter with the police?

On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer that question in accordance with my 5th Amendment rights.

Whats your most embarrassing moment?

On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer that question in accordance with my 5th Amendment rights.

Whats the first thing on your to-do list after you retire?

Cashing in on those sweet senior citizen discounts and early bird specials!