Engagement director retires after 34 years


Photo by Raquel Hamner

Student Engagement Director Chris Storck says she plans to travel after her June 30 retirement.

Alexandra Radovic, Associate Editor

AACC’s director of student engagement is retiring after 34 years in the position.

Chris Storck will retire on June 30 to “move on to the next chapter” of her life, she said.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Storck said. “I want to retire when I can enjoy it.”

Many students know Storck from her work with student clubs to coordinate activities on campus.

“She really connects to the students and takes time to get to know them,” said Cynthia Murphy, the president of the Campus Activities Board, a student club that organizes events around campus.

Storck said she has enjoyed making connections with students, and the variety that comes from working at a college.

“Every year there is a different group of students that create a different culture and vibe, so every year is like starting over again,” Storck explained.

“People have sometimes asked me through the years why I didn’t move up to a dean or vice president position. I never aspired to do that, because when you get up further you miss that day-to-day interaction with students.”

According to Storck, working in student engagement is about giving students an opportunity to grow, develop and engage outside of the classroom.

“When I first joined SGA as an officer, I was constantly in the Student Engagement Office asking questions,” Johnathan O’Dea, Student Government Association president, said. “[Storck] knows the lay of the land of AACC and it’s been really good to have that resource. … She is a really good friend as well, and not only a co-worker.”

Storck added that the skills students develop when they are involved in student organizations—such as working with a budget, working as a team, managing conflict and learning time management—are all things employers look for.

Still, working as director of student engagement at AACC has its own set of challenges, Storck noted.

“The students are so diverse that sometimes it’s hard to find out what students want,” she said. “All of our students are very busy and they have lots of commitments outside of college; sometimes it’s frustrating trying to get people to come out to events and get involved.”

Dr. Tiffany Boykin, AACC’s dean of student services, will conduct a nationwide search for the college’s new director of student engagement.

Storck said she hopes the new director isn’t afraid to make some changes.

“I hope [the next director] is able to come in and make [the position] their own,” Storck said. “I will be just a phone call away to support them if they have questions, which I’m sure they will.”

Storck has worked as the director of student engagement for all 34 years she has been here. She also did similar work in student activities at Villanova University for four years before joining the Riverhawk team.

“I was so excited, because I found something I was good at and really enjoyed, and I was lucky enough to make a career out of it,” Storck said.

Storck said she and her husband “want to travel” once she retires, and plan to move to Charleston, South Carolina.