Credentials Display

Lisa M. Hibl, PhD, is the Interim Director of the Russell Scholars Program, a living-learning community at the University of Southern Maine.


Interim Director, Living Learning Community, Russell Scholars Program


Leading a long-established LLC as an Interim Director poses particular challenges and rewards. Uncertainties abound for the program and for the individual. Professionally speaking, taking on the hybrid role of faculty/administrator can be both difficult and exciting. Ultimately, the solutions are in the details. Listening carefully to students, understanding institutional history, and looking toward the demands of the future can help an Interim Director care-take the program. In this reflection on my experience with the Russell Scholars Program at the University of Southern Maine, I seek to show how a commitment to student engagement is the bedrock for a successful interim period. From holding to stewarding to shaping, an Interim Director can support and buoy an established program. From a background in literature and creative writing, I discovered the poetry of work in the complexity of this new role. Rather than threaten to destabilize a settled environment, an interim period can provide a necessary pause for reflection and appreciation. As with other interstices, the period between permanent directorships can be rich with new energy, new ways of seeing, and new appreciation for the philosophical undergirding of the original LLC.