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Professional Development

Residential Life supports robust professional development for Resident Directors, including attending conferences, becoming involved in professional organizations, and continued education. There are myriad opportunities also at Pacific Lutheran University and in the Puget Sound region of which Resident Directors have been able to take advantage.

Paul Metellus, Former Resident Director for Pflueger Hall: One of the best things about working in Residential Life and PLU is the investment in professional development opportunities on and off campus.  This does not only include conference attendance, but opportunities to get involved in other areas and committees that make me a more robust professional.”

Maggie Hendrickson, Resident Director for Tingelstad Hall:I have appreciated how much support and encouragement we receive as RDs to engage in professional development. This January, our team spent time exploring trauma stewardship with other higher ed professionals at the Puget Sound Colloquium and followed it up with participating in the South Puget Sound Higher Education Diversity Partnership Institute focused on decolonizing academia that was hosted on campus at PLU. In addition to taking time to learn together as a full team, we are consistently encouraged to find opportunities that align with our individual passions and where we see ourselves in our professional futures.”

Professional Development Opportunities


Workshops & On-Campus Education


  • Six Sigma Green Belt Training
  • Diversity Trainer
  • Ombudsperson
  • Me­­­n Against Violence Trainer
  • Lutes as Active Bystanders

Staff and Administrator Leadership Development

  • Wild Hope Staff Seminar
  • PLU University Leadership Seminar
  • Faculty/Staff Reading & Discussion Groups through Diversity Center and Center for Gender Equity

Jes Takla - at the ACPA conference

Passion Projects and Experiential Opportunities

Resident Directors do so much at PLU beyond the Residential Life department. PLU is an incredibly collaborative campus that provides opportunities for Resident Directors to gain a wide variety of professional experiences. Below are just a few examples of ways in which RDs have collaborated across the institution.

  • Planning Residential Life Institute (RA/CA Training)
  • Planning and facilitating new student staff (RA/CA) hiring process
  • Planning and facilitating new professional staff (RD) hiring process
  • Creating new themed learning communities and events for those communities
  • Coordinating the Mapworks (retention survey) and LuteConnect (1:1 RA/Resident meetings) process as part of the community development model
  • Participating in the Residential Life marketing and assessment strategic planning
  • Participating in/facilitating Diversity Center Retreats: (e.g., Students of Color Retreat, Men’s Retreat, Women’s Retreat, Queer Student Retreat)
  • Present/facilitate for Emerging Leaders Program Series and/or EXPLORE! Retreat
  • Facilitating Returner Reflection Series
  • Serving as an On the Road guide for New Student Orientation
  • Serving as a New Student Registration counselor
  • Co/Instructing or presenting for a EDUC 287: Transitions to PLU (1-credit course)
  • Act Six Mentor
  • Club Advisor
  • Collaborate with Student Media (e.g., RDs have had DJ shows on LASR [Lute Air Student Radio])
  • NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship Program (NUFP) Mentor