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Large group of students celebrating graduation, Winter 2018

Stephanie Rewitzer

Stephanie Rewitzer smiling in front of greenery
Associate Director for Academic Initiatives and Staff Training Programs

Housing and Residence Life

Rewitzer Builds Community, Career Path at Charlotte

By Wyatt Crosher, Assistant Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Growing up, Stephanie Rewitzer thought she knew exactly what career she was going to pursue.

“I was confident that I was going to go be a marine mammal trainer,” she said. “Probably with Shamu.” 

That path remained when she went to the Florida Institute of Technology as an undergrad. But things changed, and Rewitzer found a new endeavor that would ultimately lead her to becoming associate director in UNC Charlotte’s Housing and Residence Life (HRL) years later.

“In my time at Florida Tech, I really got into housing, became an RA and ultimately became an undergraduate hall director,” Rewitzer said. “I found a passion for working in the halls and specifically being able to supervise students and eventually professionals in that area. That really launched me into a new trajectory.”

Rewitzer applied to graduate school at Florida State to study higher education administration. That led to her first professional role at Georgia Southern. She started as a resident director before transitioning to an assistant director position. 

When it came time to move closer to family in North Carolina, Rewitzer said Charlotte stood out.

“I just really enjoyed the culture and the people,” she said. “The focus on students, particularly with emphasis on acknowledging the different populations we have within our students, was really exciting to me. I also appreciated having some of the resources of a larger institution, but at a University that still felt small enough to make connections.”

Rewitzer has been at Charlotte since June 2019. She arrived on campus as assistant director and now is the associate director for academic initiatives and staff training programs within HRL.

While Rewitzer said the day-to-day of her position is constantly shifting, the standout moments are when she gets to work with students and her peers in a way that brings them all together.

“Some of the favorite things I get to do at Charlotte connect me back to what brought me in, which is that sense of community,” Rewitzer said. “I really enjoy the opportunities to go join a field day that's happening out in the quad or a student-staff appreciation event. I get excited to get out there and engage in that way.”

One of Rewitzer’s responsibilities in HRL has involved working on the back end of Niner Chats, a once-per-semester check-in that allows residents an opportunity to talk with resident advisors (RAs) about whatever is on their minds.

Her work within Niner Chats, and assessment work for HRL overall, earned Rewitzer the Assessment Champion honor at last year’s Student Affairs End-of-Year Awards. It was an award Rewitzer was excited about, both for being noticed on more behind-the-scenes efforts, but also because the award represented a larger successful partnership between HRL and the Student Affairs Research and Assessment (SARA) team.

“It was really rewarding to see that it made an impact and that others recognized that effort,” Rewitzer said. “SARA really supports us every time we have questions. The award coming from partners and people that I get to consistently work with and see them do really wonderful work just made it all the more special.”

While it’s not the career path she planned her whole life, Rewitzer has found a path that works for her over nearly five years at Charlotte. Her advice to anyone facing a similar crossroads is to maintain an open mind and be open to change as it comes.

“I think looking around and finding what you're passionate about and being willing to pursue that while also thinking about the logistics of that,” she said. “I didn't know this was a career path until I was a senior, so be comfortable to chart your course and do what you need to do to align with what you ultimately want.”