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Head of Activities

Job Description:

The Head of Activities serves as activity leader and event planner for the Vanderbilt Summer Academy, a residential program on Vanderbilt University’s campus that provides accelerated courses for academically advanced and gifted middle and high school students. The HOA is responsible for designing and overseeing developmentally appropriate and engaging student activities and ensuring the efficient implementation of all student events and activities throughout the summer. This live-in position requires extensive night and weekend responsibilities. Supervising a team of Residential Assistants and reporting to the VSA Director, the HOA resides in the residential hall with VSA students and staff.


Your summer includes:

  • Making a difference through investing in the lives of gifted young scholars.
  • Working at one of the most prestigious universities in the nation.
  • Loving what you do while building your resume with leadership experience.
  • Joining a team of dedicated staff who are passionate about developing talent in gifted students.
  • Competitive compensation with meals and private room in residence hall included.


Within their wide array of duties and responsibilities, the VSA Head of Activities is expected to:

  • Ensure the quality, effectiveness and mission alignment of all activities and events including off-campus excursions.
  • Enthusiastically lead a team of Residential Assistants in efficiently preparing for and supporting all activities and contributing to a positive team atmosphere.
  • Effectively create and implement internal communication systems and strategies to build awareness and excitement for all activities.     
  • Design efficient systems for student selection of activities.
  • Oversee, with administrative support, the supervision of all activities following stated guidelines, safety procedures, and protection of minors policies.
  • Possess strong organizational and communication skills along with proven problem-solving abilities.
  • Handle unexpected student issues, including but not limited to:  student illness, violations of stated community code of conduct, student support and encouragement, and the like.
  • Establish a strong rapport with Residential Proctors and Area Coordinators while working with them in brainstorming and co-developing a variety of diverse, safe, and developmentally appropriate activities.
  • Meet regularly with the leadership team and provide information and ideas for improving activities, transportation and logistics of all events.
  • Engage willingly as a team player with humor, enthusiasm and a compassionate understanding of middle and high school academically advanced students as well as the proctors and other staff members who support them.
  • Adapt and pivot as needed to ensure optimal, engaging, and safe student experiences.
  • Assume other program related responsibilities as assigned by administrative staff.


The ideal candidate will:

  • Have extensive residential life and/or summer program experience at the secondary school or college level.
  • Have leadership, recreation and/or team building experience.
  • Be able to live in the summer residence hall with VSA students and proctor staff.
  • Be present and available throughout VSA. (Academic classes, part-time jobs, and scheduled recreational commitments are strongly discouraged during employment.)
  • Work closely with other team members to accomplish program goals and address problems in a timely and effective manner.
  • Exemplify VSA’s purpose, identify and communicate the cornerstones of a respectful residential and academic community and serve as a role model for all staff and students.
  • Uphold and enforce all federal, state, University, and program policies as outlined in staff and student handbooks and other referenced materials.
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, demanding work environment that requires continuing flexibility, a positive and caring attitude, and collaboration.


Program Dates and Times*:

  • Online Training
  • Onsite Training:  May 29- June 7
  • 3 Sessions operating June-July
    • Session I: June 9-14
    • Session II: June 16-28
    • Session III: July 7-26
  • Break Week: July 1-5

*Dates subject to change.


How to Apply:

Send resume/CV to


More Information: Vanderbilt Summer Academy
Questions: Mark Shivers,