New director of community life leaves resident director role

“This job is awesome! I see it as another way to be involved in the life of this community….get it? Community life.”

Jake Gilbertson jokes with cheery optimism from a swivel chair wedged between unpacked boxes in his new office above the Caf in Nicholson Commons. After serving for six years as the resident director of Goodwin Hall, Gilbertson will now fill the position of Director of Community Life this school year, a role previously held by Melissa Burt-Gracik.

Burt-Gracik left the position to start her new sStrengths coaching business, Flourish., “Flourish is my new business where we deal with strengths,” Burt-Gracik said. “We have worked on Point Loma’s campus with LEAD week and other events. We are in the San Diego area.”

Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Jeffery Carr encouraged Gilbertson to apply for the open position and offered it to him after several discussions.

Gilbertson will work closely with ASB, overseeing events and activities throughout the year. ASB Director of Finance Matt Herskowitz is one of the eight student leaders planning out the year with Gilbertson’s help.

“He brings an incredible amount of energy and ideas to ASB,” said Herskowitz. “NSO was a huge success, as well as LEAD week. I’m looking forward to the rest of this year with Jake..”

Gilbertson and his wife Lisa recently moved off-campus for the first time in their five year marriage, a transition that comes along with this new opportunity. He may no longer be your next-door-neighbor but Gilbertson plans to hold on to the close relationships he formed with students as a resident director.

Sam Bravo, PLNU alumnus and former resident assistant to Gilbertson in Young Hall, raves about the effort Jake Gilbertson puts into student relationships.

“He’s Just the kind of guy that has a contagious joy that spills over wherever he goes, especially with that ridiculous half-chuckle-half-giggle he does.’ Bravo said. ‘he starts with something as simple as a guy who remembers your name and asks how your day was but doesn’t stop there,. He brings you in, gets you plugged in and pushes you.”

Glilbertson shared his confidence in ASB student leaders. He defines his role as support for ASB, an advocate with an administrative title.

“I want to walk alongside them [ASB] and help them bring everything together as cohesively as possible,.” Gilbertson said.

His focus will be on one of ASB’s main themes this year, the spirit of inclusivity.

“I know there are people on this campus who sometimes feel like they’reir left on the fringes,” Gilbertson said. “. We want to do our best make to make sure everyone feels invited. We want to give students a broad offering.