Queens College has, and likely always will be, a commuter school. However, for the 500 residents that live in the campus’ dormitories, The Summit, Queens College is more than that. For Timothy Chin, The Summit’s new Director of Housing & Residence Life, that’s exactly his vision. “My vision for the Summit is for students to make the Summit their ‘Home Away From Home,’” Tim said.
The Summit was constructed in 2009 and serves as a home for many students who come from out-of-state and internationally. The Summit is also popular with athletes, as it allows them to remain close to coaches and practice facilities at all times. While The Summit offers many amenities, it is perhaps the community events that draw the most attention; the most recent two being a roommate trivia and a festive gingerbread house contest.
In fact, Tim actually lives in The Summit with his residents. His favorite part about that? “Being able to be a part of the community. I credit the residents for keeping me young as I learn more about the different trends on social media,” he said. “…it is those one-on-one conversations that I have with my students that keep me energized. I enjoy listening to my students and being a sounding board for them as I help them achieve their goals.”
Tim’s passion for Student Affairs stems from when he was a Resident Assistant his senior year at Florida International University.
“During my senior year, I was hired to be an RA for a first-year residence hall. Before being hired as an RA, I was a commuter student,” he said. “But it wasn’t until I started working in the role that I got to see the critical role an RA plays in a resident life, and it was during one of my 1:1s with my supervisor at the time told me that I could do the RA job full time as a career.”
Since then, it’s been a full blown 13-year marriage for Tim and the Student Affairs industry. He’s bounced around all over the country following this passion, with familiar places such as Stony Brook, and not-so-familar places such as Baltimore, Maryland and Miami, Florida. However, it’s his ties to Queens that ultimately led Tim to come back to New York.
“New York has always been my second home because my maternal grandparents live in Queens, and a fun fact, it wasn’t until after I got hired for the position that I found out about my family connection to Queens College. I have had quite a few members of my extended family who attended Queens College in the past,” Tim said.
When Tim isn’t in his office coordinating paperwork and the multiple RA’s hired by The Summit, you can find him wandering the campus playing Pokémon Go — especially because there’s a gym nearby. He also enjoys traveling, and will do so when given the chance.
When asked if he had one message for every resident in the building, he had a concise answer, “It would be to get involved on campus. Studies have shown that the more involved students are on campus, the more they are connected to the institution and the more successful they are in college,” he said.
However, perhaps most important to Tim, he said, “If there’s anything I can do to assist students, don’t hesitate to ask me, and I’ll try my best to help.”