17-year director of campus life steps down

Annie Brock | Contributing Reporter

After 17 years at Washington University, Jill Carnaghi left her role as assistant vice chancellor for students and director of campus life last June.

Several administrators, including Executive Director of Campus Life Michael Hayes and Associate Vice Chancellors Mark Smith and Justin Carroll, will take over her responsibilities for the foreseeable future, according to Vice Chancellor Sharon Stahl.

During her time at the University, Carnaghi worked in the Student Involvement and Leadership Office, helping to facilitate Student Union, Event Management and the Community Service Office. She was also heavily involved in the planning and building of the Danforth University Center, which was completed in 2008.

Carnaghi’s role evolved throughout her tenure, however.

“Dean [James] McLeod had an incredible vision for the undergraduate experience, and I hope that…we accomplished a lot of it,” Carnaghi said. “When I got here, [my role] was working with Student Activities, Student Union, Student Life. Over time, we created the Community Service Office. Student Activities and the Greek Life office consolidated to become Student Involvement and Leadership.”

According to Stahl, Carnaghi’s position will not be filled immediately and may never be filled at all. Instead, her previous duties have been redistributed.

“There are other members of the team who are picking up various pieces of what we do. It’s not like one of us does everything. We have a number of people who are professionals who are tending to the quality of the student experience. The transition has gone exceedingly smoothly,” Stahl said.

One of Carnaghi’s main responsibilities involved advising Student Union.

“She would help out if we were having trouble talking to or getting in contact with administrators, suggest advice on ways to go about moving forward with various projects or resolutions [and] keep us updated on things that were changing with the University,” junior Sawyer Kelly, speaker of SU Senate, said.

Hayes will take over the Student Union portion of Carnaghi’s responsibilities.

Despite no longer working at the University, Carnaghi doesn’t see this leave as the end of her career.

“How I look at it: it is what it is. It doesn’t feel like a retirement because I don’t think I’m ready to say that was the last chapter,” she said.

Carnaghi hopes to continue to work with college students and stay in the St. Louis area.

“I love the place, I still love the students, I went to two volleyball matches this weekend and I live right across the street. I think over 17 years, Washington University in St. Louis has really become my home,” Carnaghi said. “This is where I found myself, so now [the questions are], what are the next steps for me and what are the next steps for the institution?”

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