Meeting the New Staff Team at the North Campus

By Xinlan ‘Annie’ Chen, Dorm Division Head. 

In addition to new rules and administrations, LCA North Campus also welcomed a brand new team. The new staff team currently consists of 6 members: Mrs. Torjesen, Dr. Winsor, Mrs. Martin, Ms. DeSouza, Ms. Binversie, and Mr. Au.

Mrs. Torjesen – Director of Residential Life

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.18.19 AM.png

This year, in addition to international student admission, Mrs. Torjesen is also working as the Director of Residential Life. Having had similar experience working in both positions at Stony Brook School, Mrs. Torjesen admitted it is going to be very busy, but she also says that “it’s been a very exciting year so far!”

Mrs. Torjesen specifically talked about building a community at the dorm to help students to develop a sense of belonging through processes including sit-down dinners, birthday celebrations, holiday celebrations, etc. Her long-term goal is to build a boarding program that is sustainable throughout the years.

*in the picture with Mrs. Torjesen is her daughter, Alyssa, LCA Class of 2006.

“I love the fact that I know all these students because they all came through the application process, but now I really get to know who they are.”

“I love leaving my office, going home to the dorm in the evening, and then, having 50 students there with me as this big family. I find my work very busy but enjoyable.”

—— Mrs. Torjesen

 

Dr. Winsor – Director of Academics

Dr. Winsor is currently working as the Director of Academics in the North Campus in addition to her work in administration at the main campus. She believes that there are two parts to her role: one is to help think about what makes the North Campus a good place for students to live, and the other is to help students think about how to use their study hall time wisely as well as why it is important to get good grades. One of her main goals with Mrs. Torjesen this year is to make the North Campus (also LCA in general) serious academically, but also fun. Going to the North Campus frequently and sleeping over during weekend nights, Dr. Winsor has become an indispensable member of the North Campus community. She loves getting to know the students, what they love, what they are excited about, and hearing about home and comparing cultures. When Dr. Winsor is not at LCA or the North Campus, she enjoys going to the beach, walking in Boston, and going to theater with her 13-year-old granddaughter (who is turning 14 in December!). She also teaches graduate courses at Gordon College for people who want to be teachers (in fact, some teachers at LCA have been in Dr. Winsor’s graduate classes).

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.18.33 AM.png

Fun Fact about Dr. Winsor: She loves speed and height, and ziplining is one of her favorite activities.

“I want this place to be homie, comfortable, happy, and I want it to be a place where it is cool to be smart and do what you are supposed to do and be wise about safety.”

“You thought administrators are boring.” (but this is definitely not true!)

——Dr. Winsor

 

Mrs. Martin – Director of North Campus Operations

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.18.52 AM.png

Mrs. Martin is the new Director of North Campus Operations who came in this past April to familiarize herself with operations of the dorm. Prior to coming to LCA, Mrs. Martin has been working with various summer programs. Having frequently interacted with international students, Mrs. Martin understands students’ needs and problems about being away from home, especially for the middle schoolers, so she kindly defined herself as the “mother figure” who will be helping with problems like English language or even homesickness. She has already taken a few middle school boarding students on cultural trips to help them better adapt to the new environment. When asked about the non-Christian background for most boarding students, Mrs. Martin emphasized the importance of celebrating diversity. The celebration continues at the main campus where she is also putting in an effort to connect the two campuses. A firepit was built during the summer, and faculty and students will be invited up for a campfire as well as dinners and other activities.

*in the picture with Mrs. Martin are her son Hugh and the beloved North Campus Mascot, Scoot!

Fun Fact about Mrs. Martin: She has done professional singing for 37 years; her favorite ice-cream flavor is chocolate (but has to have marshmallow and caramel sauce on top).

“I am loving it [LCA]… I am really enjoying getting to know everybody here at the dorm!”

—— Mrs. Martin

 

Ms. DeSouza – Dorm Parent

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.21.23 AM.png

Just graduated from college, Ms. DeSouza first applied to the Summer Program position at the North Campus. When she learned that the summer position was filled, she was offered an interview for the full-time position during the school year. This was how we came to have the privilege of having Ms. DeSouza in our students’ lives. Ms. DeSouza is passionate about life. She enjoys listening to music as well as spending time with people, no matter if it is with friends or in the new dinner setting with students and other new faces. Ms. DeSouza is also a quiet thinker who loves deep conversations, and she appreciates the diverse culture at LCA, especially at the North Campus where students came from all around the world. One of our senior residential students, Miyu Matsumura, shared her view with our journalist that “Ms.Desouza is friendly to everybody. She always plans the girls night. We watched a movie and used facial masks last week. I really enjoyed the time I spend with them.” Ms. DeSouza has served in residential life in college for 3 years, and she is excited about meeting all the people and building the dorm community!

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.21.56 AM.png

Ms. DeSouza’s decorations at the dorm

“I just love to meet new people and to be part of their job and have them to be part of mine….and I get excited!”  

—— Ms. DeSouza

 

Ms. Binversie – Dorm Parent

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.22.45 AM.png

Wanting a change of scenery, Ms. Binversie moved from Maine to Lexington, and LCA turned out to be her perfect match as a balancing point between her career at Boston Ballet and her life in general. Ms. Binversie grew up in a boarding school and, having had awesome dorm parents, being a dorm parent is her way of giving back. Loved by “her girls”, she has already proved herself to be successful as a dorm parent. Rainnie Liu, a junior at LCA living in the North Campus, commented that “Ms. Binversie is a very nice dorm parent. Though her rules are strict, she is kind to all of us. She is always willing to share her stories as a dancer, and her performances are wonderful.” As one of the girls living in Ms. Binversie’s hall, I couldn’t agree more with Rainnie. It is amazing to realized how connected we have become within only 6 weeks into the school year.

“I feel like I get to connect with my girls. I love my co-workers, too. They are an amazing support! … Go crazy! … But reasonably crazy!”

—— Ms. Binversie

 

Mr. Au – Dorm Parent

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.23.56 AM.png

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Mr. Au is currently in his fourth year at Brandeis University, majoring in both Art History and Economics. Coming from an interdisciplinary academic background, Mr. Au brought his unique insight into the North Campus community. As a Christian himself, LCA attracted Mr. Au because this is a place he knew he would be accepted widely. At the same time, he admits that living at the North Campus is slightly different because students are from a wide range of cultures and traditional beliefs. Mr. Au says that he likes the diverse and well-rounded student body, and meanwhile he believes that it is important to “support whatever they believe in, because they are going to be adults one day very soon, so it’s better to be supportive than to force something on somebody that they don’t want.” Outside of academic settings, Mr. Au is a very creative and active person who loves running (in fact, he finished a marathon without any previous training at the age of 16), watching movies, snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing. He is loved by his students for his creative mind and kindness. Tim Zhou, a senior at LCA, commented that “Mr. Au is awesome! He is very nice and cares about the students. He brought us to DD last Friday afternoon!”

“My goal is to bring everybody together, make people gather instead of paying video games all the time, go outside, hang out, have cool conversations, learn people that they don’t necessarily want to know about.”

“Morning shuttles are fun, I love to see if I can make somebody happier than they usually are in the morning, which is cool.”

—— Mr. Au

 

LCA as a community is privileged to work with these wonderful staff members! It is because of them that all the changes at the North Campus could happen and a more connected community could be built!