Blog Overview

 May 4, 2015

It's been almost two years since I have written a "front page" entry on the blog..  Sorry it has been so long.  Enter May 2015.  I have started meeting the next generation of RAs.   I started this practice nine years ago and by the end of this year I will be very close to hitting number 2000!  I have so enjoyed the meetings and also reading the favorite books. We have used a number of them for the RA Book club which was started four years ago, thanks to Justin Silver, an RA in Weinstein.  I have really enjoyed the RAs who have participated in the semester reads.  I am working on gathering next year's two reads, so if you have any ideas, send along. Thanks for stopping by the site and if you aren't reading, you better start.  It's never too late!

Feel free to leave comments and if you disagree with my interpretation, not a worry.  I don't take it personally.
August 6, 2013

It is always gratifying when a colleague likes your idea so much, they replicate it!  I have a number who say they are going to begin doing something like this.  Here is one from a colleague at Mount St. Mary's College in Md.  Dean Michael Taberski and Here's What they Are Listening to -- favorite songs!  Love it.

May 17, 2013

And so it begins…. Another year of meeting newly hired RAs from NYU.  I have always enjoyed the ability to connect with “our future” and hear about their hopes, their dreams, how they have experienced our campus, etc.  In fact, this year – actually next month, colleagues from other institutions will be joining me to share what we learned during our RA interviews.  I asked a few of my esteemed Chief Housing Officer colleagues to also meet with their RAs and together we would present our finding at the annual Association of College and University Housing Officers meeting this upcoming June in Minneapolis.  I will share what I learn from my colleagues on one of these blog posts in the coming month after the conference.  As always, I look forward to sharing the favorite books and also, should you want to learn more about what I learn during those meetings, you can also follow some of my posts on Twitter: @Teellett.  The future is now, or at least I am feeling it with our newly hired RAs.  It is amazing how quickly time flies by ….  Welcome aboard friends and get ready for a whole new generation of RAs and favorite books.


June 23, 2011

One year later!  It has been one year since I started the blog.  Over the year I have read 229 books!  And they said it couldn’t be done.  Well, the blog would not be if not for the great and talented Kyle Stockwell one of our own NYU RA alums, who is a great staff member within the Division of Student Affairs who willingly volunteered to keep the blog going.  His work has been extraordinary!  I have had a wonderful time challenging myself to read the favorites.  People often ask me, how do you do it?  I don’t know, I guess my inquisitive mind and also desire to connect with what motivates, excites and moves people has been an ever important part of my journey.  I thank all of the RAs for the various recommendations for me to read.  Many times in the past year RAs have tried to give me more than 1 favorite book, but heck that would be cheating, so again, it is ONLY one favorite book.  Enjoy the list; it has been a great way for me to add to my perspective of life and the journeys that real people and wonderfully creative imaginary people live on this earth, on other earths/planets.  I am looking forward to meeting the new RAs of 2011-12 to add a group of new books that will make me think differently about life as I live it.  Please feel free to drop me a line, or a recommendation, as I am almost caught up with the book list and may have nothing else to do with my time!


About What They're Reading...

A long time ago when I was much younger and had more hair, I was told by a mentor, if you ever have the chance to meet every person in your organization, you should do so. I took that advice seriously and when I found the chance to do so, I decided to do so. While I work in a rather large organization at NYU, I have decided that doing so, especially with the paraprofessional staff may have an impact – not only on them, but more importantly on me. Starting in Summer 2006 I began my journey to better understand the students of today – the student leaders who will help form our world through politics, business, the arts, medicine/health care, and in so many other ways. By meeting with every RA on staff I have a better understanding as to what we do well at this institution, understand their motivation for the work we do in student affairs (specifically residence halls) and for me personally how to be a better father. The past four years I have met 868 RAs individually for typically 20 – 30 minutes, the longest went 75 minutes!!! My questions to the students vary from student to student trying to understand their dreams, learn about their family background, academic goals, why they wanted to be an RA, and then allow them to ask me questions, share advice, etc. One constant over every interview I have ever held was, “What is your favorite book?” For the past 2 years I have been reading the books on the list. This morning I finished my 192nd book on the list, and have another 181 to go (though the list will be growing based on interviews for the 2010 new RAs starting soon!) I will add the 2010-11 staff favorites at the end of each October when I finish interviewing the new 160 for this year. Note there are a few plays /poems on the list, heck we have a really great Acting Department at NYU …. Tisch, ‘nuff said!

Last evening, June 23, 2010 we had an Alumni event for former staff members in the department. It was great reconnecting. One of the questions asked of me was: Do you still hold the 1-1 meetings? Of course, I still do! Then the next question, are you still reading the RA favorite books? Yes (in fact I had just finished Julie and Julia, which is why I am typing this now I guess….). And then Ena (RA from Weinstein 2008) said, you should blog about it… So, here goes! Today starts my first day of blogging, thanks to Kyle (RA in Third North 2008). On the list page, you will see the RA favorites 373 – obviously having met over 868 RAs I would have more than 373, BUT there are a great deal of duplicates (which I like—feels great hearing a book from an RA and I say to myself, “yes, another one I have read!”) 

So this blog is about the books I have read and will be reading. All are welcome to review the list, add comments and help me by making suggestions from the list of what I should read next! And my favorite book?....... I think I will hold out that answer as the blog goes on! A great idea one alum RA had last night is to have visitor RAs from the past guest for me from time to time. I hope you volunteer. Just drop me a line at

Thanks for reading this, but more importantly, read the favorite books. As my favorite Broadway song goes, “I do believe I have been changed for the better” for having the RA meetings and broadening my perspective of life through the books that were your favorites!