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About the HRL Team

Home Living Housing HRL Team

Our Team Members

Housing and Residence Life (HRL) manages all aspects of the university’s three-year undergraduate residency requirement. Residential programs are designed to build positive communities that value learning, create new opportunities for faculty engagement, and generate positive social connections. HRL, student residents, and others in the Duke community develop and maintain environments that support classroom learning and stir students to seek learning opportunities in the world around them. We promote opportunities for students to connect with others and develop a strong and enduring sense of belonging; and intentionally provide opportunities for students to grow and develop, especially as they wrestle with issues of identity, autonomy and responsibility. HRL programs are rooted in the concepts of mutual respect and civility, and recognize and celebrate the dignity and self-worth of all members.

HRL also manages the facilities operations of all university student residences, which comprise approximately 25 percent of all university space. These responsibilities include all long-range planning, renovations and major projects, managing housekeeping and maintenance efforts, and ensuring that all residence options are safe, secure, comfortable, and well-maintained.

HRL collaborates with DuWell, CAPS, the Center for Muslim Life, the Neurodiversity Working Group, Duke Chapel, and Religious Life to gather information about the prayer, meditation, wellness, and sensory spaces on campus. You can view the interactive map here.

Dean Deb oversees Housing and Residence Life, including both professional and student residential staff, Housing Assignments, our first-year and upperclass campus offices, as well as our connections to many residentially based academic programs. She has a B.A. in Health Education from Montclair State University and an M.Ed. in Higher Education with an emphasis in Counseling from the University of Georgia. Deb has a passion for equity and inclusion work and most recently was part of two research efforts; "The Duke Social Relationships Project" (DSRP) and the "You @ Duke" Resilience study. She helped create the residentially based Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) at Duke as a result of the data derived from the DSRP.

Deb is proud to be a first-generation college student, born to an immigrant who arrived to the US from Sicily in 1948. She enjoys being with family, gardening, woodworking, jewelry making, watching movies, traveling, and just relaxing with good friends and a bottle of wine.

East Campus - First-Year

Residence Life - East Campus Housing Office
108/109 HRL Office Southgate
1400 West Main Street
Box 90776
Phone: 919-684-5320
eastcampushrl@duke.edu

Jill Solomon, Associate Dean for Residence Life, East Campus
Phone: 919-684-5320
jillian.solomon@duke.edu

DeAngelo Hopkins, Staff Assistant
Phone: 919-684-5320
deangelo.hopkins@duke.edu

Sherina Dunn, Staff Assistant
Phone: 919-684-5320
sherina.dunn@duke.edu

Jill Solomon is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and received her undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Delaware, primarily focusing on adolescent youth identity development. Jill spent her first few professional years at Tulane University and joined the Duke team in August of 2022 as an RC for Keohane and Wannamaker Quads. Currently, she serves as the Associate Dean of Residence Education on East Campus, overseeing the first-year residential experience. Jill works to promote inclusive and educational living spaces on campus and hopes to increase student’s sense of belonging at Duke.

Residence Coordinator: Brian Fox (he/him)
Phone: 919-684-5320
brian.fox@duke.edu

Brian (He/Him) is a Residence Coordinator overseeing Bassett, Brown, Pegram, and Alspaugh. Brian was born and raised in Lenoir, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He has an undergraduate degree in English Education from NC State University, and an M. Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs from Western Carolina University. Outside of work, he enjoys horror movies/literature, writing music, and powerlifting.

Assistant Residence Coordinator, Bassett and Pegram: Zac Contreras
zac.contreras@duke.edu.

Residence Coordinator: Leah Benn Miller
Phone: 919-668-1096
leah.benn.miller@duke.edu

Leah Benn Miller (she/her/hers) serves as the Residence Coordinator for the Blackwell and Randolph communities. She has a B.A. from Southern Nazarene University and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. Leah has called many places home, including Oklahoma City, OK; Kennewick, WA; Little Rock, AR; and Arlington, TX, but has especially come to love North Carolina. During her time as a graduate student, Leah worked in Housing & Residence Life in a variety of graduate roles in communities across East and West Campus. Leah is passionate about making students feel valued and creating communities where all can belong. In her free time, you can find Leah exploring North Carolina, playing piano, or spending time with friends and family.

Residence Coordinator: Thea Scott (she/her)
thea.scott@duke.edu

Thea Scott  (She/Her/Hers) serves as the new Residence Coordinator for Bell Tower & Trinity. Holding a Master's in Education from the University of West Florida, Thea is embarking on a new adventure actively seeking fresh opportunities for personal and professional growth. Firm in her belief that Duke University is the optimal setting to lead and guide her towards achieving her career objectives, Thea is enthusiastic about her role in Housing and Residence Life. Thea derives immense satisfaction from working with students, finding joy in assisting them as they uncover their needs and unleashing their potential in a holistic manner. With a passion for education and a commitment to fostering student success, she is eager to contribute her expertise and make a meaningful impact in the dynamic realm of Housing and Residence Life at Duke.

Residence Coordinator: Dane Wagner (he/him)
Phone: 919-613-1529
dane.wagner@duke.edu

Dane Wagner (He/Him) is Residence Coordinator overseeing the Gilbert-Addoms and Southgate communities. He spent most of his life in North Carolina and earned a BS in Health Communication and a BA in Spanish from Western Carolina University, as well as a MA in Spanish from NC State University. A project that he is particularly proud of is his research that he conducted surrounding inclusive language in Spanish for his graduate studies. Dane loves video games, particularly Nintendo games, enjoys Marvel content, and is a big fan of martial arts.

Assistant Residence Coordinator, East House & Epworth: Elly Veloria
elly.veloria@duke.edu

Residence Coordinator: Adam Coshal (they/them) (he/him)
Phone: 919-684-5320
adam.coshal@duke.edu

Born and raised in the northeast, Adam Coshal (pronouns: They / them & He / him) serves as the Residence Coordinator for First-Year Programming. They supervise three residence halls (Giles, Wilson, and West House), the late-night weekend programming series Devils After Dark, and co-advise the East Campus Council with Associate Dean Brandin Howard. Adam earned their B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and they earned their M.S. from Syracuse University in Higher Postsecondary Education with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Intercollegiate Athletics Advising and Support. In their spare time, Adam loves their house plants, papercrafts, a good coffee shop, thrifting, and/or a cute book.

Assistant Residence Coordinator, Giles and Wilson: Naomi Francois
Phone: 919-668-1083
naomi.francois@duke.edu

Residence Coordinator: Dane Wagner (he/him)
Phone: 919-613-1529
dane.wagner@duke.edu

Dane Wagner (He/Him) is Residence Coordinator overseeing the Gilbert-Addoms and Southgate communities. He spent most of his life in North Carolina and earned a BS in Health Communication and a BA in Spanish from Western Carolina University, as well as a MA in Spanish from NC State University. A project that he is particularly proud of is his research that he conducted surrounding inclusive language in Spanish for his graduate studies. Dane loves video games, particularly Nintendo games, enjoys Marvel content, and is a big fan of martial arts.

Swift & West Campuses - Upperclass

D110, House D, Craven Quad Archway
440 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: 919-684-5486
upperclasscampus@duke.edu

Swift Housing Office
300 Swift Ave
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-684-5908
upperclasscampus@duke.edu

Dani Harmston, Associate Dean for Residence Life, West Campus
Phone: 919-684-5486
dani.harmston@duke.edu

Mark Benzick, Staff Assistant
Phone: 919-613-3787
upperclasscampus@duke.edu

Judy Rigsbee, Staff Assistant
919-684-5486
upperclasscampus@duke.edu

Stacey Cotham, Staff Assistant
919-684-5486
upperclasscampus@duke.edu

Meghan Flynn, Administrative Assistant for Deb LoBiondo and Ali Harrison
Phone: 919-684 1792
meghan.flynn@duke.edu

Dani (she/her/hers) manages the overall operation of West Campus including supervision of the residential staff, planning and facilitation of the Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) program, collaboration with our Academic Guides program, and management of facilities and budgets. She has a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. Originally from Austin, TX, Dani has now happily made her home in North Carolina with her partner and family and is still on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. 

Residence Coordinator: Paige Pennebaker
paige.pennebaker@duke.edu

 

Paige was raised in Eden, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature where the RA role led Paige to fall in love with Student Affairs. With an M.A. in Student Affairs Administration, Paige approaches student affairs and higher education with a passionate blend of advocacy, identity development, and community formation through a folkloric lens. In Paige's free time, you'll often find that crafting, reading, or exploring the surrounding area.

Residence Coordinator: Kayla Wood
kayla.wood@duke.edu

Kayla Wood (she/her) is the Residence Coordinator over Kilgo and Crowell Quads directly managing Kilgo and supporting the grad supervising staff over Crowell. Kayla graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Political Science and Public Policy. While at FSU, Kayla was involved in state and local government work, the FSU Wesley Foundation, and Intercollegiate Forensics. After graduating, she moved to Durham to complete her Master of Divinity here at Duke University where she also working in the Housing and Residence Life department as a graduate resident and ARC. In her spare time, Kayla is an avid sports fan and can be caught most Saturdays and Sundays watching college and professional football.

Assistant Residence Coordinator, Crowell Quad (G,BB,CC): Grace Sleyko
gcs37@duke.edu

Assistant Residence Coordinator, Crowell Quad (H,DD, EE): Ruki PV
sp602@duke.edu

Residence Coordinator: Jordan Buie
jordan.buie@duke.edu

Jordan Buie (she/her/hers) is the Residence Coordinator for Edens Quad. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland she has a B.A in Communication from the University of Maryland: College Park and an M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Miami University. Jordan loves going for morning walks, working out, traveling to visit family, and reading classic romantic comedy books.

Residence Coordinator: Zari Wilson 
zari.wilson@duke.edu

*Sophomore Class Council Advisor*

Zari Wilson (she/her/her) serves as the Residence Coordinator of Few Quad and the advisor to the Sophomore Class Council. She was raised in Duluth, GA and graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Mass Media Arts. Zari has a passion for empowering the next generation and advocating for racial reconciliation. Her experiences include planning award-winning social justice events and women's conferences. She has an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and served as a Graduate Resident for Edens Quad from 2019-2021. In her free time, Zari enjoys pouring into her faith community, going on occasional hikes, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Residence Coordinator: Brianna Small (she/her)
brianna.e.small@duke.edu

Brianna "Bri" Small (she/her/hers) serves as the Residence Coordinator for the Hollows. Originally from Maryland but having grown up in North Carolina, Brianna attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her undergraduate degree where she pursued a B.A. in Dramatic Arts and Environmental Studies (Sustainability Track) with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Upon graduation, Brianna worked for two years at Hillside High School as a College Advisor through the Carolina College Advising Corps (CCAC). After her Americorps service term as an advisor, she traveled to Colorado to attend Colorado State University in order to pursue her Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Impact of the Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, Profit) and a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship. Outside of work, Brianna enjoys most true (or fictional) crime shows, dancing, laughing with friends, or being near water.

Residence Coordinator: TBD

 

Assistant Residence Coordinator, Wannamaker Quad: Heresa Laforce
hl531@duke.edu

Residence Coordinator: Thomas Studnicky (he/him)
Fax: 919-682-8453
thomas.studnicky@duke.edu

Thomas Studnicky (he/him/his) is so excited to have this opportunity to serve and get to know students at Duke as a Residence Coordinator. A proud first-generation college graduate, Thomas earned his Masters in Business Administration and Masters of Public Administration from Appalachian State University and a B.S. in Political Science also from Appalachian State. While born in New Jersey, Thomas has lived in the Raleigh/Durham area for most of his life and loves North Carolina. Outside of work, Thomas enjoys sitting at coffeeshops, reading a good book, and spending time with his family.

Housing Assignments

300 Swift Ave
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-684-4304
housing@duke.edu

MJ Williams, Director
Phone: 919-684-4304
mj.williams@duke.edu

Krista Jones, Associate Director
Phone: 919-684-4304
krista.jones@duke.edu

Emily Thomas, Business Systems Analyst
Phone: 919-684-4304
s.emily.thomas@duke.edu

Nicole R. Mitchell, Program Coordinator
Phone: 919-684-4304
nicole.r.mitchell@duke.edu

TBD, Staff Specialist
Phone: 919-684-4304

MJ (she/her/hers) provides leadership, management, and direction for Housing Assignments and the planning function of Housing and Residence Life (HRL).  MJ has a BA in sociology and a BS in psychology for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a M.Ed. in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina, and a MBA from Averett University. Originally from rural Pennsylvania, MJ and her partner, Brian, who also works at Duke, have called Durham home for 15+ years. Surrounded by two beagles and two cats, MJ enjoys reading, gardening, fishing, and outdoor activities.

Krista (she/her/hers) oversees the Housing Assignments front line communications and manages the larger assignment processes including first year assignments and the upperclass application and room selection processes. Krista received a BS in Psychology from Western Illinois University and a MBA from Southern Oregon University. Krista enjoys hiking, gardening, camping and cooking with her daughter.

Nicole (she/her/hers) develops the written and digital Housing Assignments communications and assists with smaller assignment processes including summer housing and early arrival assignments. Nicole received a BA in Communication Studies from UNC Charlotte and came to Duke from being an elementary school teacher. Nicole enjoys reading, food adventures, and all things Disney!