News Archive

"A classroom full of beds" is how Vicky Gebel approaches Residential Life

Published August 05, 2020

Vicky Gebel, Nazareth's new director of residence life and community standards, is in her 13th year working in collegiate residential life — plus a year as resident assistant herself. She originally studied to be a teacher. "I still consider myself an educator," she says. "My classroom is just full of beds now instead of desks!"

She provides leadership and direction for the residence life program which includes strategic development, management, and evaluation of our housing program for about 1,350 on-campus students. This position leads residential education and community development, student conduct, housing and operations, emergency protocol and response. Working collaboratively, Vicky will support efforts with departmental assessment and learning outcomes, policy and protocol revision and development, risk management, and student success goals.

It has already been a month since you joined the Nazareth community, how has the transition been going?

As a Rochester native, coming to Nazareth feels like coming home. It has been great, although it has been really strange to "meet" so many people over Zoom! Everyone that I have worked with so far has really gone out of their way to be helpful and make me feel welcomed and a part of the Nazareth Community! We are getting ready to welcome our students home, so the planning has kept me busy!

What energizes you at work?

I love collaborating with others on a project or puzzling through a problem to find a solution.

What led you to a career in Residence Life?

Honestly, I fell into it as a grad student. I was in a master's program for literacy and I thought I wanted to be a teacher. The summer I started my graduate work I was hired to be a graduate hall director with the Office of Residence Life and it was there I discovered my passion for working with college students. I loved the work I was doing with my residents more than my practical experiences in my program. I was able to see that a residence hall and the residential experience as a whole provided students with transformational experiences that were just as important as the lessons they were learning in the classroom.

What are you most excited about as the semester begins?

I can't wait to meet our students! They are the reason for our work and I love the energy they bring to campus with their return. I am really looking forward to hearing their perspectives about the residential experience and working with them to continue to enhance what we offer.

If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

This is a great question! I love spending time with my family and traveling so I think it would be spent going on lots of adventures with my daughters and husband.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to an 18-year old self?

I think I would tell myself to make the most of the experience while it is happening. I was always looking forward to the next "thing" and I don't think I truly appreciated how special the time was until I graduated. There will be very few other times in life where you will get to live with some of your best friends just down the hall or across the quad and to take advantage of all Nazareth has to offer, you never know where it will lead!

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Julie Long | Chief PR Officer | 585-389-2456 or

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.