August 17, 2018

Hunter Rauscher: Move-In On Up

About the time UMW President Troy Paino came to campus, so did Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing Hunter Rauscher, ready to take his career to new heights.

Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing Hunter Rauscher

Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing Hunter Rauscher. Photo by Matt + Michelle Photography, LLC

Next week’s Move-In Day will mark his second at Mary Washington, but with more than two decades in higher education housing and residence life, he’s no newbie. As throngs of undergrads pour onto campus, he’ll be right there, helping them haul in their comforters and hang up their whiteboards.

But Rauscher, who’s formed a support group for UMW students facing addiction, will do more than that. He’s tapping into his own experience – his struggles and victories – to help them live better lives.

Q: You monitor the daily lives of thousands of college students. What’s most rewarding?
A: In part, I think the answer is in the question itself. All our staff – RAs, ACs, ADs, support, business, marketing – work well with students. That’s very satisfying. I like helping students solve problems. When they’re happy, I’m happy.

Q: Move-In Day is quite an experience on campus. How does your office prepare?
A: We make sure our halls are ready and that we have everything in place to help students and parents move in. Our Area Coordinators and their RA staff walk each building and each room to make sure everything is ready to go. We have a fantastic move-in committee that works with student volunteers to assist with the actual move-in. They also work closely with campus partners like UMW police and facilities.

Q: What’s your busiest time of year?
A: Summer! We spend all summer preparing for staff training, move in, assignments and facilities. Other busy times are RA recruitment and selection time, housing sign-up time, and the end of the semester and year.

Q: What three words best describe the spirit of Move-In Day?
A: “Get It Done.”  I’m kidding. I’d say, “excitement,” “commitment,” “Eagles!”

Q: What’s the most memorable item you’ve ever seen a student bring to campus?
A: Hands down – a full-size stand-up arcade game. Missile Command.

Q: You started an Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous group on campus. Why?​
A: Younger and younger students are entering recovery programs for problems with alcohol and opiates. On my own personal road to recovery, I encountered a lot of college students who didn’t have the support I had. I work with VCU’s Rams in Recovery, a great group that provides amazing support for students, and I wanted to bring that kind of support to UMW. Recovery efforts are battling the stigma that comes with addiction and are finally being seen as the treatment to the disease. My goal is to do what I can to make sure our students, staff and faculty have a place on campus to get the support they want or need.

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Margaret Mock: Buy the Book

Margaret Mock knew she wanted to end up at the University of Mary Washington when she arrived in Fredericksburg 50 years ago this month. She was a young mother, living in Marye’s Heights and pushing a baby stroller around the nearby campus.

“One day,” she told her friend, “I’m going to work here.”

She did – the first time from 1976 to 1979 as a part-time administrative assistant and coordinator of guides at Gari Melchers Home and Studio. In the fall of 1987, she landed a full-time role in what was then UMW’s two-person public information office with Ron Singleton, now emeritus vice president for University Relations.

Margaret Mock has held many roles at UMW since 1976, including director of news and media relations. Today, she works part-time in the bookstore.

Margaret Mock has held many roles at UMW since 1976, including director of news and media relations. Today, she’s the trade book specialist at the bookstore.

Mock worked her way to director of news and media relations. When she retired in 2006, she never really left. For the next several years, she worked on the university’s centennial celebration part-time.

Today, you can find her at least three mornings a week in the university bookstore, where she works as the trade book specialist. Mock also runs a book club on campus, so if you want in, be sure to stop by and ask her about it.

Q: What drew you to the field of education?
A: When I was a little girl, I played school all the time. I loved school. One of my teachers caught me after school in fourth grade writing on the blackboard.

Q: Did you ever make it to be a teacher?
A: I taught history for seven years at Stafford High School.

Q: Of your roles at UMW, what’s been your favorite?
A: I liked all of them. Even though it was very hectic in news and information, it was enjoyable. I learned a lot. One of the advantages of working for a college or university is the educational opportunities. My favorite thing, in all the world, is taking classes. I took several at UMW to help me acquire the skills that could help me in my job.

Q: What do you like best about your job in the bookstore?
A: I like going to events. I like book signings and meeting authors. The trade book section is a small but important part of the bookstore’s overall operation. We are the community outreach, coordinating events when departments bring in authors.

Q: How do you think the bookstore contributes overall to the university?
A: Obviously, people can order books online. But there can be problems with that. It doesn’t come, or it doesn’t come in time. We will stock the books the professors tell us they’re going to be using. They will be here. It’s also a social hub. Students love to come in and get their Mary Washington gear. I can’t imagine a campus without a bookstore.

Mock also runs a campus book club, which meets four times a year.

Mock also runs a campus book club, which meets four times a year.

Q: What’s the title of the best book you’ve ever read?
A: That’s tough. There are so many good ones. We’ve read lots and lots of good books in our book club. Jefferson’s Daughters. Before We Were Yours. Hidden Figures. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at UMW?
A: I spend a lot of time with my three grandsons, ages 16, 10 and 9. I co-chair the heritage committee at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church. Right now, I’m really involved in the archives there.

Q: Do you have a mantra you live by?
A: I’ve always been an early riser. I do obviously like to work. My mantra is, “Get up and get out.” As long as I’m healthy, as long as I have the energy, I just don’t see any reason not to.

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Brian Ogle: ‘Banner Guy’

If you look up Brian Ogle in Banner, you’ll see that he came to Mary Washington from Williamsburg and graduated in 2008. But Ogle is usually the one who’s knee-deep in Banner.

Associate Registrar for Student Systems Brian Ogle

UMW Associate Registrar for Student Systems Brian Ogle

As associate registrar for student systems (he also answers to “Banner Guy”), he maintains the data, records the grades and documents the achievements of UMW students.

His duties were much different on his first job at Mary Washington. As an undergrad on the student paint crew, he made sure his brush touched each nook and cranny.

He’s still focused on detail, but these days his work happens on a computer. And no time’s more hectic than Commencement, with last-minute grade changes, student petitions, final audits, graduate lists and more.

“Needless to say, I’m glad that only happens once a year,” he said.

Summer provides a bit of a breather, but with today’s final exams will come grades and, with them, a tedious, hours-long process to close out the semester.

“Ideally,” he said, “it all occurs without Banner giving a fatal error!”

Q: What’s a typical day at work like for you?

A: It’s very much dependent on the academic season. In the summer, with fewer students and faculty on campus, we’re able to dig into projects we weren’t able to tackle during the fall and spring. In the fall, we’re in “senior check sheet mode,” focused on helping seniors finish their degree requirements and graduate. Spring is all about the final audit and all that leads up to clearing students for graduation. Along the way I’m working to keep Banner going, from endless updates to testing new functionality to troubleshooting software systems that utilize student data (for this I work closely with the Enterprise Applications Support team and am thankful for their expertise!).

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: Every day as I walk to my office I recall my time here as a student. I’m surrounded by colleagues engaging in quality discussions, all revolving around the central mission to empower our students to become the next generation of change agents … what’s not to like?

Q: What do you like least?

A: The endless stream of Banner updates! Each update must be tested and loaded, just in time for the next round.

Q: What’s the most challenging?

A: Occasionally we have students who fall just short of completing their degree requirements and we have to inform them they cannot graduate. That’s tough to deliver, but we take the time to offer the best advice for them to finish in a timely manner, and in most cases they are ultimately successful.

Q: Do you have any mantras that you live by?

A: We are all in this together.