Faculty in Residence

Student and faculty interaction outside of the formal classroom setting is considered and essential characteristic of a vibrant intellectual community

The Faculty in Residence program at St. John’s University provides faculty members and their families with the unique opportunity to live in a residential community with students.

Faculty in Residence integrates learning inside and outside of the classroom by providing a role model and teacher who strengthens the academic, intellectual, and social culture of our residential community.


Faculty in Residence helps foster an academic environment by planning two events per semester for residential students in each assigned hall. These events are intellectual, creative, and social learning opportunities and include but are not limited to:

  • Inviting students and another faculty member for dinner
  • Showing a movie or film series in hall
  • Attending a movie followed by an intellectual discussion and analysis
  • Organizing a group of students to attend a cultural event or lecture (on or off campus)
  • Inviting faculty to the residence hall for a lecture or discussion with students
  • Inviting speakers lecturing on campus to the residence hall for an informal follow-up discussion
  • Interact formally and informally with resident students
  • Act as a liaison between faculty members and resident students in order to establish greater faculty-student interaction
  • Attend an initial planning meeting and subsequent meetings with the building Resident Director and other Faculty in Residence to establish a coordinated community effort
  • Participate in move-in weekend activities
  • Participate in RA staff meetings once a month
  • Attend or participate in established Residence Life Programming
  • Plan one academic program in the Residential Success Center each semester (i.e. study session, academic success workshop, lecture)

Current Faculty in Residence

Joseph M. Serafin

Hollis Hall

Degrees and Past Institutions: Gannon University (BS), Columbia University (MS, MA, Ph. D.), University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (Post doctoral fellow)

Specialty Area(s): Physical Chemistry, surface science, biophysical chemistry

Areas of Personal Interest: Exploring NYC, educational research, science fiction

Years as a Faculty in Residence: Five

What motivated you to work with students in this capacity? I wanted to get the know the students outside of my formal academic role

Awards and Distinctions: “Outstanding Recognition Award” at the 17th Annual Division of Student Affairs award dinner.  The award “Recognizes an administrator, faculty or staff member for their distinguished contribution to the students of St. John’s University.”   [May 1, 2014]

Shari A. Lee

Henley Complex

Degrees: PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009 MLS, St. John’s University, 2004 BS, CUNY, Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, 2002

Courses Taught: Introduction to Library and InformationIntroduction to Information Sources and Services, Information Sources and Services for Children and Young Adults, Literature and Related Resources for Children, Library Materials and Services for Young Children, Literature and Related Resources for Young Adults, Popular Culture and Young Adults, Planning and Delivering Information, Literacy Instruction, School Library Media Internship

Courses Designed: Teen Spaces: Creating Authentic Public Library Spaces Cultural Immersion Program: Jamaica

Areas of Personal Interest: My research considers the changing notions and physical structures of the public library as place and space. I am primarily concerned with how architecture and design elements affect human behavior and how this applies to the public library setting – specifically to teen spaces.

Years as a Faculty in Residence: Three

What motivated you to work with students in this capacity? I believe that in order to grow as a teacher, I must be open to the new: ideas, technologies, and ways of doing things. I saw the Faculty in Residence Program in this light – as a new opportunity to extend how I engage with students.

Awards and Distinctions: ALISE Eugene Garfield Dissertation Award from (2011), ALISE Norman Horrocks Leadership Award (2014).

Kathleen Marks

Henley Complex

Degrees and Past Institutions:  Ph.D. from the University of Dallas

Specialty Area(s): Literature

Areas of Personal Interest:  My dissertation was on the works of Toni Morrison, and I continue to write about classical themes in her novels.

Years as a Faculty in Residence:  Eight

What motivated you to work with students in this capacity? I was drawn to the idea in part because I knew it would be a good experience for my young daughter. But, mostly, because of my past work history, which included being an Assistant Director of Student Life at my alma mater, I knew, also, how beneficial it was to see my professors beyond the classroom. Over the years I have seen many of my students in the Residence Hall and have had many students who I have met here go on to take a class with me. I look forward to another rewarding year!