Professor-in-residence role: a perfect fit

October 10, 2014 11:00 AM

Ryan Rivet

For most people, the daily routine consists of going to work and then heading home once the work day is over. But what if those two worlds were one and the same? 

Lisa Molix

Lisa Molix, associate professor of psychology, is the first professor-in-residence at the newly constructed Barbara Greenbaum House at Newcomb Lawn. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

That’s what Lisa Molix, an associate professor of psychology, signed up for when she accepted a two-year contract to be the first professor-in-residence at the Barbara Greenbaum House at Newcomb Lawn that opened on the Tulane University uptown campus this fall semester. 

While Molix admits the thought of moving into a residence hall with a family may not appeal to everyone, it’s been a good fit for her, her husband and their 15-month-old daughter. And it’s a move that felt familiar. 

“I actually came from residence life,” Molix said. “I worked as a RA when I was an undergrad, I was a grad hall coordinator when I was in graduate school, I met my husband in the residence halls when we were in undergrad, so it’s normal for us.” 

There are obvious benefits to living on campus. Molix and her husband, who is on faculty at Loyola University, have slashed their commute to almost nothing. More importantly, Molix said she believes the real upside to being the professor-in-residence comes from the interaction she has with students on a daily basis. 

“My job is to literally hang out with the students and talk to them about what they’re interested in,” Molix said. “Talking to people about what they want to do with their lives, what gives them meaning, what gives them purpose — questions that we’re interested in anyway as positive social psychologists — made this an easy move.”

Her advice to other faculty members interested in following in her footsteps? Molix didn’t hesitate. 

“Do it,” she said. “I know there may be some inconveniences because people own houses, and the parking can be somewhat of an issue, but it’s more than worth it. It’s worth it to put your stuff in storage and take the leap.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu