New rectors take charge at seven halls
Lucas Masin-Moyer | Friday, August 19, 2016
The new academic year brings with it many changes in dorm life. In addition to the opening of Dunne and Flaherty Halls, seven residence halls are welcoming new rectors this year.
The seven new rectors, who will oversee and guide residential life, are Allyse Gruslin of Ryan Hall, Fr. Matthew Hovde of Zahm House, Zachary Imfeld of Morrissey Manor, Justin McDevitt of Stanford Hall, Fr. Christopher Rehagen of of O’Neill Hall, Rachelle Simon of Lewis Hall and Eric Styles of Carroll Hall.
Gruslin, a native of Rhode Island and the recipient of a Master of Divinity from Notre Dame, said her desire to become a rector came from her experiences as an assistant rector (AR) in Lyons Hall last year.
“I moved in Lyons, and I realized it was a wonderful experience, spending time with the women, getting to know them, just hanging out with them,” Gruslin said. “I knew there was something special about this ministry.”
This desire to serve as a rector grew throughout Gruslin’s time at Lyons, she said.
“It became this thing I felt like I had to try,” Gruslin said. “I knew this was something God was calling me to do.”
Hovde, a Holy Cross priest who holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Notre Dame, has previously served as an AR for Sorin College and has worked in Campus Ministry and at the Center for Social Concerns (CSC). He was recently ordained a Holy Cross priest in April.
Imfeld said becoming a rector was a long-term goal.
“Being a rector has been a dream of mine since I was a freshman [at the University of Portland],” Imfeld said. “I just saw what the rector position was and thought it’d be a really cool opportunity for me to serve a great place like Notre Dame.”
Imfeld said he hopes to help foster personal growth among the residents of Morrissey Hall.
“I think [being a rector] is about getting to know the guys and spend time with them and help them to grow into the men that God is calling them to be,” Imfeld said.
McDevitt, who recently graduated with a master’s degree in political science from Notre Dame, worked in places from Mexico, where he served on mission trips, to Iraq, where he served as a government contractor. In his time studying at Notre Dame, McDevitt was involved heavily with chorale. In an email, he said he felt a calling to be a rector after teaching political science at the University and wants to help Stanford Hall men become role models for living a good life.
“Working with the incredible students here changed my life and made me understand that my calling is to serve and love and live for students,” he said. “I think a lot of other people knew I was meant to be a rector before I did because I had such a heart for teaching, but instead of politics I’ll just be teaching life. I constantly refer to being a rector as ‘my new life’ because that’s exactly what it is for me.”
Rehagen, a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame and a Holy Cross priest, most recently served as a deacon and parochial vicar at Christ the King parish in South Bend. He said his own experience in Alumni Hall made him want to “pay it forward”, and that he looked forward to working with the men of O’Neill Hall.
“I know the guys are full of good ideas and hopefully we’ll put some of those in practice,” he said.
Styles has a background in both church service and the arts, graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He has served as the parish liturgy coordinator at Saint Benedict the African East Catholic Church in Chicago. He said he was excited to be part of Carroll Hall’s tight-knit community; when he arrived over the summer, he fielded a steady stream of hall residents and alumni visiting to welcome him.
“I was greeted by a student from Carroll the first day I got here,” he said. “The rumor mill worked, they found out I was working on campus, and a current student came by looking for me. They continued to come by over the first two weeks and just continued to show up.”
Simon spent many years serving in a variety of organizations, including the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Campus Ministry at Boston College and the St. Louis Arc, which helps those with developmental disabilities. Simon did not attend Notre Dame, and said being a newcomer provides unique new challenges.
“I think for me, because I’m new to all things Notre Dame, my biggest challenges will be learning at rapid speed, the culture of Notre Dame,” Simon said. “So everything from the phrases, and the way the people know the campus really well.”
Simon said she is excited to become a part of the Notre Dame community.
“It just seemed like a great fit,” she said. “I prayed about it a lot, and what it means, in terms of building Christian community, and get[ting] to be a pastoral presence, I’m really excited about it. I think it’s just a really important time in people’s lives, in students lives, it’s a great time to be figuring out who you are and who God is, and about the world and what you’re going to do to contribute.”
Associate news editor Emily McConville contributed to this report.