Brian Goffney (’99) lived in Moody Towers at the University of Houston when he was a student in the late 1990s. Never did he imagine he’d be move back into the North Tower more than a decade later, but that’s exactly what happened a few years after his wife, Imani Goffney, took a position as an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the UH College of Education. The Goffneys moved into an apartment in the North Tower as part of UH’s Faculty-in-Residence program.
“For me, I came for a job and what I have gotten from the students is an experience,” said Imani Goffney. “We live here with our two daughters and with the students throughout the academic year. It’s been a pretty amazing experience so far. We have really enjoyed it.”
The Goffneys interact with the students of Moody Towers each day— they eat in the dining hall, play cards and games in the common areas, host sports-watching parties and, most importantly, serve as a resource for students.
“My interpretation of our goal is to be a resource in this overall plan of increasing student success. We play a part of that by connecting the academic life with their social life,” said Professor Goffney.
Brian Goffney, a social worker for a Houston school district, lived in the North Tower from 1994 to 1999 and says the experience of being back in the residence hall feels like an extension of his professional work.
“It’s been a very rewarding experience so far. They ask questions about everything— sports, family, grad school— all these different aspects of life as an adult. I get to answer those questions in a way that is not putting any pressure on them to do any one thing, but gives them some perspective about what life can be,” he said.
The Goffneys say that while college is about getting an education, it’s not just about academic learning.
“It’s about life— how to balance work and life, how to be social, how to network— all of these things that will influence them beyond college life.” said Brian.
Imani Goffney says she hopes the students have taken as much from the experience as she and her family have.
“For our daughters, it’s amazing for them to see what college life is like and to interact with the residents who are incredibly kind and generous to them.”
The Faculty-in-Residence program began in 2010 and is not unique to Moody Towers. Faculty also reside alongside students at Cougar Village, the Quadrangle and Calhoun Lofts.