Newman University has named Turner Middendorf interim residence life director for the 2020-21 academic year.
Previously the residence life graduate assistant, Middendorf officially began his new role May 13 when previous director Scott Mudloff changed roles at the university.
Middendorf holds a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Central Methodist University, located in Fayette, Missouri. He also attended Pratt Community College where he earned his associate’s degree. He is currently in his second year of the leadership MBA program at Newman.
He said he learned a lot from Mudloff and looks forward to continuing the open communication students have come to know and rely on from their residence life director.
“Scott had a great relationship with the residents, I’d like to be able to carry that on. I want them to feel they can come into the office and talk about anything, be it good news or bad. I want to continue building relationships with the residents and the resident assistants.”
Middendorf said moving into the director role after being the graduate assistant for a year has its advantages, such as already knowing and having worked with the students. And knowing the routine and how the office works will only help as he moves into a unique academic year.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, things will look a little different for the residence halls — and Middendorf said he’s up to the challenge.
“A couple of weeks ago, we found out the administration wanted to go to single-room occupancy,” he explained. “The first result of that decision was to reopen Merlini Hall, which has been closed for the last 2 years.”
Middendorf said he is impressed with how maintenance and housekeeping have worked tirelessly to prepare Merlini Hall for the fall. Rooms are being cleaned thoroughly, as are all of the residence halls. But since Merlini Hall had not been used recently, the crew had to prepare the rooms once again with beds, mattresses and other furniture.
He added that he is already fielding calls from concerned parents, reassuring them there will be room for their student in the residence halls.
The overall goal is to have one student per bathroom. Some exceptions are being made for athletes who are on the same team or students who have given permission to share a bathroom, but in all cases, there will be no roommates.
Middendorf has moved into the residence hall office located at 3220 W. McCormick. He will live there with his two Australian shepherd dogs, Poncho and Pepper, and is excited to be able to bring them to campus and introduce them to the students.