• Ciarra Ratliff

Q&A with Graduate Hall Director Patty Allen

Updated: Feb 23

by Ciarra Ratliff

Creative Assistant


Patty Allen joined Rochester University in fall 2019. She serves as graduate hall director and student life assistant. She is responsible for fostering a sense of community as well as keeping the Ferndale Hoggatt Residence Hall updated and maintained. She also oversees the programming boar

d and supports those students when they plan programs for the community.


What brought you to RU and why do you choose to work here?

“The job was really interesting to me. I thought it was unique and that the population here was unique. It was the type of student that I haven’t worked with before. I was really interested in getting involved with a Christian university. I really loved how close-knit the community was. I think that compared to other schools RU really cares about their students and faculty in such a deep level, and I think it is awesome that they encourage deep meaningful connections with their community.”


What’s the easiest and hardest part of your job? Why? (Is your job more difficult or easier at certain parts of the year?)

“Working with student leaders. They are a fun bunch, and it is awesome to work with leaders who are passionate about Rochester and their students.”

Most difficult would be “having to wake up at 2 a.m. when I am on call sometimes.”


What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

“Seeing the student leaders plan events from start to finish and seeing them make connections with residents and students. It is super rewarding when they set their minds to something and they are passionate about it and then it is a success.”


What do you do outside of your job to stay sane, relieve stress, etc.? or What are your hobbies?

“I am a big coffee addict. I really like to go to different coffee shops around Rochester and Oakland County. Bean and Leaf in downtown Rochester is my favorite one. I really like to read, I am a big Netflix junky, and I listen to true crime podcasts.”


Where did you grow up? Describe.

“Grosse Pointe, a small town outside of Detroit.”


What is your favorite thing to do in the Rochester area? Or in Michigan?

“Our trails I like to take walks. I think Clinton River Trail is really pretty. We have some really nice state parks, and my coffee shops 100 percent.”


What is your most prized possession?

“I have a ring my great grandfather made in the war. It is made out of a French coin. My dad gave it to me for my 16th birthday.”


What is your most embarrassing moment?

“When I was graduating, they called my name ‘Patrick’ instead of ‘Patricia.’”


What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

“Making the decision to transfer schools was really tough for me. At 18, I didn’t know what I really wanted. To leave my friends and start all over again was definitely challenging.”


Who was your biggest influence?

“Probably my cousin, Dawn, who works in higher education. She has been a really big inspiration and helps me with figuring out my path and working with student leaders and college students. I think her career is really fascinating and she is really independent.”


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