Abrupt departure leaves office without leader

Just five weeks after University officials unveiled a restructured student life office, its head administrator announced he will step down, citing personal reasons.

The Center for Student Engagement, a new entity that will encompass student life and housing in the fall, will search for another leader, following Associate Dean of Students Matt Trainum’s abrupt decision in early June to leave GW.

Trainum will finish out the month at the University, although most of his responsibilities related to Colonial Inauguration were passed on to other administrators.

“For how much I’ve enjoyed my time here, it became apparent that I wanted to spend my time with my family in North Carolina,” Trainum said. “It was a pretty sudden and quick departure. I think it just made more sense to head out.”

Dean of Students Peter Konwerski said a search for a new head administrator is underway, but he did not provide a timeline for filling the position.

“We are in the process of re-posting the position for the associate dean with GW Human Resources and will work quickly to fill that role,” Konwerski said.

Trainum’s departure comes at the heels of his promotion from director of Guide to Personal Success, a freshman mentoring program, to associate dean, a position newly created in a broad effort to streamline administrative departments.

He said the departure is unrelated to the restructuring.

“I think the leadership out of SASS is moving in the right direction,” Trainum said. “And I think the students are going to benefit from the changes sooner rather than later.”

Class of 2010 graduate and staff member Nicholas Sampogna worked with Trainum in the GPS Program last year.

“Matt placed a great deal of value on building and maintaining relationships all across the University community,” Sampogna said. “As a colleague, it is sad to see Matt leave GW, but you can only be happy for him as he moves to another stage in his life.”

Trainum held multiple roles at the University, including director of residential life and employment at GW Housing Programs. In 2006, he was named SASS Employee of the Year.

“It’s been real, it’s been fun,” Trainum said. “You have those election night kind of moments. You guys are very lucky to be here and I hope that everyone realizes how unique GW is.”

This article was updated June 13, 2011 to reflect the following corrections.
The Hatchet incorrectly reported Nicholas Sampogna graduated in 2011.

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