Meet the staff: Julie Haurykiewicz Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning

Magdalena Waz

Julie Haurykiewicz spends much of the time in her days on the first floor of Briggs Hall, where she works primarily as the director of our Center for Teaching and Learning, more commonly known as the CTL.

As the director of the CTL since 2006, Haurykiewicz meets and interacts with a wide range of students, which is a perk she cited as one of the best things about her job, noting she sees “so many different segments of the student population” who are making their way down to the CTL for tutoring, advising or just a quick chat.

Looking at her other roles on campus — Freshman Studies, public speaking and community read instructor; one of the coordinators of Lawrence’s Lifeline grant for suicide prevention; academic skills adviser — it’s difficult to imagine how Haurykiewicz would have time or energy to do anything else, but she finds time to knit beautiful shawls and take care of a new puppy named Murphy.

Haurykiewicz described Murphy as her “furry child.” Adopted as a sickly baby puppy, Murphy weighed almost nothing, and patches of his fur had fallen out. Since then, he has grown into a 30-pound dog who is about to start his Canine Good Citizenship training, a course designed to teach dogs commands like “sit politely for petting.”

As a result of the course, visitors to the CTL will probably no longer get jumped on and a little bruised by an over-excited puppy with floppy ears and alert, blue eyes. He’s already learned how to sit and lie down, but getting him to roll over doesn’t work consistently.

While Murphy does take up a good chunk of Haurykiewicz’s evenings, she remains a fixture at events and meetings all around campus. She said that her “job allows [her] to do so many different things … like getting to work with colleagues from the counseling center and international student services.”

And her smiling presence at events like last weekend’s Cabaret is an active reminder that Haurykiewicz takes her job as a member of the Lawrence community very seriously.

When asked about some of her favorite things about Lawrence, Haurykiewicz did not hesitate before saying, “I love teaching Freshman Studies. I’m a big believer in the program overall. But I hate grading papers.”

That’s not surprising information, given Haurykiewicz’s proclivity for interacting with so many different people on campus. The Freshman Studies program, too, hopes to foster a sense of community among freshmen and among the faculty members teaching the course.

Haurykiewicz said that “part of the ethos of it is modeling what it’s like to engage with a work that’s outside of your department.” This is what Haurykiewicz does on a smaller scale daily by meeting with students, faculty and staff members from all over campus, gaining new perspectives and forging friendships.

The next time you’re down in the CTL, stop by Julie’s office. Her door is almost always open, and in there, you’ll find a collection of sock monkeys, photos, books and souvenirs sure to brighten up your day.