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Coughlin assumes new role

Anna Boarini | Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brian Coughlin, former assistant vice president for student activities, assumed the position of associate vice president for student development on Jan. 1.

The promotion is part of a reorganization of the University’s Division of Student Affairs. Coughlin, a 1995 Notre Dame graduate, has been a senior staff member in the division since 2007.

Coughlin said he most looks forward to working with different students and staff in his new role at the University.

“The thing that excites me most as I take on this new opportunity is the chance to assist and walk with students who may be in the most need of assistance, an entirely different group than I worked with previously,” Coughlin said. “I am also looking forward to the opportunity to being a part of the senior team that will work with [Vice President for Student Affairs] Fr. Tom Doyle to bring alive his vision for student life at Notre Dame in the years ahead.”

After graduating from Notre Dame in 1995, Coughlin worked at Bethany College and Boston College. But he said, “there is no place else like Notre Dame.”

“The talent and passion of the student body, the commitment of the faculty and staff and the foundational mission provided by the Congregation of Holy Cross make this a place like no other,” Coughlin said. “It truly allows and encourages us to think of student life in a developmental way.”

While working as the assistant vice president for student activities, Coughlin oversaw the renovation of LaFortune Student Center and Legends of Notre Dame. But he said watching students take on more leadership positions was the most valuable aspect of his job.

“One thing that really stood out for me from my time working exclusively with student activities was the shift in philosophy from staff-run programming to student-run, staff supported programming,” Coughlin said. “We were able to see a significant increase in student leadership opportunities and the quality of programs produced on campus.”

While Coughlin said he is excited to fill his new position, he is aware of the challenges he faces. He said the administrative tasks may take some time to figure out, but he is positive about continuing the core mission of working with students while they grow and develop.

Coughlin believes that all of his previous experiences at Notre Dame will help contribute to his new position.

“It is my hope that every experience I have had along my Notre Dame journey will all provide me valuable insight and preparation as I undertake this new endeavor,” Coughlin said.  “No place is like Notre Dame and I have had the fortunate opportunity to see this place from so many different angles.”