Koval Encourages Meaningful Connections
By Kelly Saavedra
As assistant director of residential education at Carnegie Mellon University, Koval leads the process of recruiting and selecting Community Advisors and oversees social media strategy and education for the department. He also is a Student Affairs liaison to the College of Engineering and a housefellow for Morewood Gardens, CMU's largest residential community.
“I am always working,” Koval said. “We are always on call for our students. Any time day or night I could get a call for a student who needs me, and it’s my job to respond.”
Koval says the best part of his job is getting to be one of the people who helps shepherd students through their college years.
“Carnegie Mellon students, in particular, are so incredibly talented and passionate about whatever it is they’re excited about. It’s really inspiring to come to work every day and learn something new, or get a new perspective through a conversation I have with them,” Koval said.
And he is not just a go-to guy for students. As vice chair of Staff Council, staff can talk with him as well, if they are having issues or want some advice.
“I’ve met many great colleagues from different parts of the university through Staff Council whom I would not necessarily have met simply because our work doesn’t overlap in ways that would allow us to spend much time together. That’s been really fulfilling,” he said.
Koval encourages staff to get engaged with the campus community through whatever avenues interest them, as it can enrich their lives in unexpected ways.
“One of my favorite things about working on a college campus is getting to go to interesting lectures and great shows and participate in many other activities that go on here. And by doing that, I also feel like I am saying thank you to the university, in a way, for giving me all of these great opportunities,” he said.
Koval completed his undergraduate studies and his master’s degree in higher education at Penn State University, and his doctorate in higher education administration at George Washington University.
Outside the office, he is likely to be training for a half-marathon, listening to a podcast or walking his dog with his wife, Laura.