Dr. Eleanor Finger
Director of Housing and Residence Life
Eleanor serves as the Director of Housing and Residence Life at Virginia Tech. She moved to Blacksburg from Pullman, Washington, in 2011 with her wife and two children. Eleanor was drawn to her position for all the ways the residential experience transforms student learning, character development, engaging difference, thinking critically while growing into conscientious citizens. Creating interpersonally and inter-culturally safe, engaging and brave spaces is a passion for her. The influence of physical spaces and the sense of welcome they offer can make all of the difference when students, faculty and staff come together in community. Eleanor leads a talented team committed to excellence as they provide fun, dynamic ways for students to get involved and offer support toward student success.
Dr. Finger received a B.A. in Elementary Education from Elon College in Elon, North Carolina (now recognized as Elon University), followed by an M.Ed in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in College Student Personnel at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She then pursued a second master's degree in Counseling and Human Services from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, and received a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Cultural Studies, from Washington State University in Pullman. Research topics and interest areas include women in higher education; mentoring; creating brave space culture; character development; diversity and social justice; student/faculty engagement; living-learning communities; managing change; collaboration across the HIED landscape; institutional politics and contemplative practices.
Eleanor’s favorite aspiration is courageous leadership because you need to be brave to befriend and work with others who are different from yourself seeking to understand their perspective and lived experience as a way to expand ideas, solve problems, compromise and broaden your world view. You get to stretch in your own humility, lift others up and identify remarkable solutions through collaboration.
Personal interests include traveling, the outdoors, movies, contemplative practices, the arts, and time with family and friends.
Connectedness – Arranger – Positivity – Strategic – Developer