New Director of Community Living, Candace Doane, is not tall. She keeps her dark brown hair cut short, an inch or two below her ears. When I spoke to her a few weeks ago, she looked tired, but satisfied by her day at work.
Over winter break, Ms. Doane was promoted to Director of Community Living, replacing Scott Eckhardt, who resigned in August 2012 and had previously held the analogous position of Assistant Dean of Community Living. According to Deborah Lupton, Vice President for Human Relations, Ms. Doane was chosen for a number of reasons, including support from upper members of the administration, as well as her role of associate director and interim leader of Community Living after Mr. Eckhardt’s resignation.
Ms. Doane began working in the Office of Community Living in July 2007. She first worked as community living coordinator, but was promoted to Assistant Director of Community Living after only a year at Goucher. Before coming to Goucher, Ms. Doane received her undergraduate degree at Florida State University and worked as graduate coordinator of major events and programing at University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a position that, according to Ms. Doane, would be similar to the Office of Student Engagement having “a grad student working for them,” only on the much larger scale of the University of Maryland.
Ms. Doane has a noted presence at Goucher. Many community living campus staff live on campus, and Ms. Doane is no exception. She lives in an on-campus apartment with her wife, Carol, who she met as an undergraduate at Florida State University. The couple is expecting a child in July, and plans to continue residing on-campus after the baby’s birth. Ms. Doane feels that her presence at Goucher gives her a direct view of students’ lives, and that living on campus offers her a “unique perspective” of the college students who come into her office every day. Despite the constant movement of students past her apartment, she describes it as “quiet” and she states that she treats the students living near her as she would “neighbors in an apartment complex.”
Besides simply living on-campus, Ms. Doane seeks to be a part of the Goucher community. She has attended Prism’s Ice Cream Socials with LGBTQ faculty and staff multiple times in the past, and many students refer to her only by her first name. She notes that contact with students is something she especially enjoys. She describes the daily interaction with students who drop by her office as something that “keeps [her] young” and is “a lot of fun, because you can’t help but have fun when you’re with college students.”
Speaking of her interactions with students and her time spent trying to help them appears to interest her greatly; discussing her promotion seems to excite her less. She is more preoccupied with doing her job as best she can, a job she describes as helping “people figure out how to figure things out and advocate for themselves in appropriate ways.” Despite her muted reaction to her title change, Ms. Doane appears excited to have a more direct role in the college’s planning. She is also excited to work with the new dean of students, Bryan Coker, believing that they are “on the same wave length about where…to go with community living.”
As I stood to leave after my interview, Ms. Doane stood as well. I began to leave, gathering my things as she waited. As I walked out, another student stepped inside and the two enthusiastically greeted each other. She was, as usual, the friendly authority figure.