Andrew Gurka is serving as the interim director of the University of Richmond's Center for Student Involvement following the retirement of Alison Keller, according to an email sent to the campus community on Oct. 25.
Keller worked at UR from 1985 to 2022, and Gurka has worked at UR since 2005.
Gurka started at UR as an area coordinator for Richmond College and oversaw the University Forest Apartments on-campus, Gurka wrote in a Dec. 1 email to The Collegian.
Gurka now works as the director of new student and transition programs within the Living-Learning Programs at UR. He is working concurrently within both the Living-Learning office and CSI.
CSI is responsible for getting students involved and connected with different clubs, organizations or affinity groups, Vittoria Tripp, assistant director of student organizations for CSI, said.
As interim director, Gurka is responsible for working with the staff within the center to implement the mission of the office: to connect students through student organizations, campus-wide programming, Greek life and leadership development, he said.
Some programs that Gurka will oversee include Welcome to Our Web -- UR's welcome week programming -- and Greek life, he said.
Gurka stepped into his new role as interim director with "a ton of positivity and support for our team", Tripp said.
Since Gurka has been a member of the UR community for a long time, he is familiar with the office and its values, making him a good fit for the interim position, she added.
“He's really helping us, kind of, revamp some of our current systems to be more efficient and consistent for our students and for our partners across campus,” Tripp said.
Gurka has been assisting CSI with streamlining the student-employee program and management within the Tyler Haynes Commons, such as tabling and room rentals, Tripp said.
Gurka, thus far, has been able to balance his responsibilities to both CSI and the Living-Learning Programs, he said. The staff within the offices have been a great help with managing his obligations, he said.
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As the new student and transition director, he oversees the Sophomore Scholars in Residence, the Richmond Endeavor, New Spider Orientation and Roadmap to Success programs, he said. Additionally, Gurka co-leads the new WELL 100 program for first-year and transfer students with the Health Promotion staff in the Health & Well-Being Center.
During his time as interim director, Gurka hopes to continue to fulfill the mission of CSI and help students connect through organizations that are meaningful experiences to them, he said.
In recognizing his role over the years at UR has been to create connections with students, Gurka finds the interim position at CSI interlocked with previous work he has done for the Living-Learning programs, he said.
"I'm excited at this opportunity and have been really grateful to work with the great staff that works here," Gurka said.
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