Two RAs, Morgan Richie and Rachel Rees say farewell to Katie by blowing glitter. The gathering for Katie Wieliczkiewicz, interim Assistant Director/Coordinator of Res Life, was held in Somers Main Lounge on Wednesday, April 6. Photo credit to Maggie Grob

Farewell Held for Katie Wieliczkiewicz

Madison Reynolds

If you’ve lived in Somers Hall within the past few years, then chances are you know who Katie Wieliczkiewicz is. Since October 2012, she has worked as the Assistant Director/Coordinator of Residential Life, and she has also been the head coach of the CSS Men’s Rugby Football Club.

Wieliczkiewicz is originally from Alaska, but moved to CSS from Seattle, where she went to school. She came to CSS for many reasons, and Megan Perry-Spears, dean of students, was a big influence on her while making her decision.

“A large part of it was I remember interviewing and having Megan Perry-Spears … just the stuff she said, who she was, and her commitment to me as an individual was a really big part of me coming here,” said Wieliczkiewicz. “Also, I just graduated college, and I thought ‘why not?’ It’s an adventure. I didn’t know anyone in Duluth Minnesota when I moved out here so it was really scary at first, but I thought if I’m ever going to have an adventure and find out who I am this is a good way to do it”.

One thing about Wieliczkiewicz is she really loves working with students, it is one of the best parts of her job. Community is also a big factor for her, and she loves the feeling of community at CSS.

“The best thing about my job? I think it’s definitely the students. I love living on campus for that reason, to be with students throughout all of it and to (hear) their silly conversations at night in the lounges, and to see them grow and have that relationship,” said Wieliczkiewicz. “To be a part of that community I think is by far the most memorable part of the ‘day job’”.

With her being the CSS Men’s Rugby Football Club Head Coach, some of her best memories during her time here were during her time as a coach.

“My first day, they invited me out just to see if I was interested, and just if I wanted to help out … it was right after work so I showed up wearing some flats and a skirt. I was looking around and I couldn’t see a coach, and they came over and they all gathered around me and one of the players introduced me as their coach … and then they all looked at me like ‘what’re we going to do next?’ And I was panicking as well. I’ll never forget, I kicked the ball, it went exactly where it was supposed to go, and just thinking … I can never kick in front of them again cause they’ll find out that I can’t actually kick,” said Wieliczkiewicz.

She’s worked with many people during her time at CSS that will all be missed. She said that especially since she moved to Duluth not knowing anyone, the rugby community and the Residential Life community have really become family.

“We talk a lot about how no one goes in alone, and I think that they live that out … it’s nice to live where you work because you see people everyday and you get to go through those experiences. When I’m out with Layla, my dog, in the morning and they all say ‘hi’ that’s really awesome. That’s going to be hard to leave,” said Wieliczkiewicz.

Wieliczkiewicz leaves an impact on those she sees and works with everyday. She impacts their lives in so many ways, and her presence will definitely be missed.

RA Emily Peck says that she’s going to miss everything about Wieliczkiewicz, including her dog Layla.

“She has been such an influential part of my time here at CSS and in my life in general. She always has witty comments ready and can quote “New Girl” like no tomorrow. I will miss the support and care she has given me whether that be in work, school or personal life. She shows such compassion for all the students new and old, and treats all with respect and dignity,” said Peck.

Wieliczkiewicz is going to be moving to St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington and will be their Director of Campus life. She will work with student activities, student government, new student orientation, and all things dealing with campus community.

She also says that Residential Life is in the midst of the hiring process for the new Assistant Director/Coordinator of Residential Life. She also offered some advice for the person that will be taking her place.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously, and always listen to and advocate for the students … The entire role of my job here is for the students, it is not for me … You need to know the students and you need to spend time with (them),” said Wieliczkiewicz.

Peck also had some advice for Wieliczkiewicz as she moves to Washington.

“Chase those windmills, Cura personalis, Power-fetal, Travel to San Francisco, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Although you will be missed here, you will do wonders at St. Martin’s University and they are very lucky to have you,” said Peck.

Wieliczkiewicz was celebrated at a farewell party on April 6, 2016. Her last day on campus is April 8, 2016.

“It’s been a blast, it’s going to be hard to leave. I hope to stay in touch with a lot of people. Everyone should go out and support rugby, obviously. And welcome to the new person coming in,” said Wieliczkiewicz.