Dan Schwartz, the assistant director of Student Activities, was born in Long Island, N.Y., and as a child, he dreamed of becoming a movie director. He attended Quinnipiac University to study film production. Throughout his college career, he was very involved with campus life, including Greek life and his own film club. With a few small productions under his belt, Schwartz became an intern at Comedy Central. He loved being on set and creating movies.
Later, he began to question if the field of production was for him. He decided to enroll in New York’s Stony Brook University to take courses in higher education, eventually accepting a job at the university as a hall director for three years. During his final year, he began to work at an off-campus facility, Brookhaven Residential Village, where he was in charge of residential life and student activities. Although he enjoyed his job and had good experiences there, Schwartz was looking for a career beyond residence life.
“I recommend anyone studying student affairs to start in residential life,” said Schwartz. He enjoyed the student leadership aspect of higher education, which consists of working with clubs and co-curricular experiential learning opportunities.
Schwartz came to Stevenson University in June 2015 as the assistant director of Student Activities. While he is involved with residential life, he is also connected to the administration of student clubs and the development of events. His responsibilities include managing clubs and organizations, assisting commuter students and developing leadership opportunities.
This year, Schwartz and his colleagues are in the process of creating an engaged leadership curriculum. “We are looking at the processes we have now and making them simpler or easier for the clubs, but not giving our offices more work,” he explained.
Schwartz is also an advocate for the Commuter Student Association (CSA). This year, CSA plans on initiating a peer program to help incoming or struggling commuters.
His main priority is to involve students in campus conversations and decisions, explaining that it’s important to get students engaged as much as possible. Next year, for instance, Leaderstang will become a more traditional leadership conference. There will also be club management sessions, which will develop tools to help students succeed.
In his down time, Schwartz enjoys cooking and brewing beer. He says that his “not-so-secret” dream is to open up a brewery when he comes up with better recipes.