When Associate Director for Residence Education Chuck Crawford met with Ashley Hoffer in a Zoom interview for a community director position, he clearly sensed Hoffer’s passion and excitement.
“I absolutely had a feeling from the beginning—she’s a go-getter,” says Crawford, who chaired the search committee for Hoffer’s position. Crawford’s good feeling proved correct, and it didn’t take long for Hoffer, a New Jersey native with previous residential life experience, to become a key member of PSU’s team.
“During the first few months she was learning and asking questions,” recalls Crawford. “Plymouth State is grounded in theory and practice, and she picked it up very quickly. She knows the pulse of the campus, her students, and her staff, and if Ashley identifies a problem, she comes to the table with solutions.”
Hoffer explains that she has come a long way since her first year at college when she majored in education and dance and envisioned becoming a preschool teacher. “I found who I was in college, and I want to provide the same opportunities for my student leaders and colleagues,” she says. “When I started at Plymouth State, I remembered what I needed more guidance with, and now I am that person giving the guidance and giving my staff the skills to bond with their residents.”
After only a year in her community director position, Hoffer was among those pitching the Plymouth Upper-Level Student Experience (PULSE). The group noted that the University has many resources and classes that successfully acclimate first-year students and proposed an equivalent program for their upper-level peers.
PULSE is now a year-round, campus-wide life skills program led by Hoffer for residence hall students. Themed activities and programs range from building DIY study night kits to programs on equality, inclusion, or diversity. “PULSE is as successful as it is because of Ashley,” says Crawford. “She was a big part of proposing it and bringing it into existence.”
Hoffer was promoted last year to area coordinator, a new position that oversees the community advisors, three graduate assistants, and four community directors. She also serves as a board member of the Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers (NEACUHO), which represents higher education student housing professionals in New England and New York.
Hoffer has broadened her knowledge through association conferences, meetings, and mentorship and brings it back to campus with ideas and initiatives. She was recently named a NEACUHO board member and received their Outstanding Mid-level Professional award.
“I was totally caught off-guard at the conference when they announced my name,” says Hoffer. “I am thankful to my peers, supervisor, and colleagues that they see my drive and passion for my job.”
“I have been very fortunate and thankful to be in a department and at a school that is continually evolving and growing and provides a space to do that,” she continues. “My ideas are heard and that gives me that passion to do more.”