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Staff members make Miami "warmer and more welcoming"

The impact that staff in housing and dining have on students often goes unnoticed by the rest of the university community, but that doesn’t mean it’s not significant, says Dean of Students Dick Nault.

When Nault was director of Miami’s honors program, his office was in Bishop Hall, providing him with firsthand opportunities to observe the close relationships that students developed with custodians.

One student, Nault recalls, had trouble making connections with others, whether they be students or faculty. But Nault often saw this same student in long conversations with the woman who cleaned the hall as she worked.

"She seemed to touch him in ways none of us could," he says "She made his environment warmer and more welcoming."

The first thing another former student, now a staff member at Harvard, does when he returns to campus is schedule lunch with the women who cleaned his residence hall. "These are the people who touched his life," says Nault. "I’m always second."

Date Published: 11/29/2001
Volume: 21   Number: 17

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