Staff Spotlight: Mitchell Foster

Describe briefly what you do and how long have you been at Brown.
I am an Area Coordinator for the Office of Residential Life. My role’s functions include overseeing residential halls on-campus and remote residential communities. I supervise RPLs including MPCs and WPCs and support them in their function of cultivating inclusive communities in their respective halls through programming and relationship-building. I also belong to multiple working committees within ResLife to support the department’s administrative functions; and serve in an on-call capacity for the university through the administrator-on-call (AOC) rotation. I have been at Brown for 8 months!

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of belonging and serving in different student affairs/higher education circles in my short time as a student affairs professional. Within the university, I serve as an elected board member for University Rainbow Staff Alliance (URSA) which is an active coalition of LGBTQ+ identifying staff members. Check out our website and ways to get involved here. #ShamelessPlug

Within the larger student affairs field/community, I am an active member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Within ACPA, this year I was elected to serve as the co-chair for the Multiracial Network (MRN) which is an active coalition of student affairs professionals who identify as bi/multiracial, mixed, and/or transracial adoptee. MRN also works to increase multiracial visibility in campuses across the country and invest in the growing field of multiracial/mixed studies and research in higher education.

What work projects excite you?
Student engagement, leadership development, and community building excite me at work. Coming up with programs for my residents while being authentic to myself and my passions make me feel the most fulfilled at my job. This semester, I organized a program called Skin care as Self-care where I did not only get to purchase vegan, cruelty-free skin care products from an Asian-American owned company for my residents, I also got to invite them to a zoom tutorial about how to maximize their skin care routine and learn effective ways of taking care of their skin.

I also enjoy creating leadership workshops for my RPLs and developing structures and mechanisms where they can be more comfortable with each other and me as we hold space every week for staff meeting. I integrate vulnerability and courage in my practice as a tool for community-building and creating a sense of belonging within my team. I also touch on emotional intelligence and the permission to feel as I aim to form strong bonds with my staff as a method of equipping and compelling them to then form bonds with the students they serve.

Name something about you most people don't know.
I am a Broadway/theatre nerd but I have not seen a musical or play on Broadway yet. I have seen touring shows in LA, San Francisco, Sacramento and Fayetteville but not in New York City. One of the biggest selling points of my moving to Brown for my current role is the proximity of Providence to NYC and my increased ability to easily access Broadway premieres in the city and pre-Broadway runs usually held in either Hartford or Boston.