Faculty in Residence

At St. John's University, student and faculty interaction outside of the formal classroom setting is an 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)

Learn More About Our Faculty In Residence

Dr. Joseph Serafin

Dr. Joseph M. Serafin (He/Him/His)
Chairperson of the Department of Chemistry
Director of Biochemistry
Associate Professor of Chemistry

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: Nine

What motivated you to work with students in this capacity? Being a Faculty In Residence has been a fantastic opportunity for me to get to know my students as individuals outside of the classroom and for them to get to know me. It has been tremendously impactful on my understanding on how to best serve our students.

Awards and Distinctions: 
New York Section of the American Chemical Society 2021 Outreach Volunteer Award
Chair of the New York Local Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) (2018, elected)
Outstanding Faculty Achievement Medal, (May 2018)
“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)

Lequez Spearman

Dr. Lequez Spearman (He/Him/His)
Assistant Professor
Department of Sports Management

Degrees and Past Institutions: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (B.A.), University of Iowa (M.A.), University of Tennessee (PhD)
Visiting Professor at Gordon College (2013-2015)
Assistant Professor at Midwestern State University (2015-2017)

Specialty Area(s): Sport Management and the Sociology of Sport

Areas of Personal Interest: I enjoy record collecting, working out and jazz photography 

Years as a Faculty in Residence: Five

What motivated you to work with students in this capacity? I had always wanted to better engage with a diverse student body, so being that St. John's University is one of the most diverse campuses in America, it became a natural fit. The Faculty In Residence program has introduced me to Queens, which has become my favorite borough 

Awards and Distinctions: 
Two time Member of the Month For The New York Urban League Young Professionals.