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Level Playing Field Institute Residential Director (Northeastern) in Boston, Massachusetts

About Us and Our Philosophy:

Founded in 2001, SMASH ( is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates SMASH Academy, a year-round STEM-focused program that serves underrepresented high school students. In tandem, SMASH conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields.

SMASH Academy is a three-year STEM residential academic acceleration program for motivated, high school students from underrepresented populations (African-American, Latinx/Hispanic, Southeast Asian and/or Pacific Islander, and Native American), who have demonstrated an aptitude for science and math. During the summer component, SMASH provides accelerated classes rooted in solving real-world problems and exposure to STEM fields; the academic rigor is alloyed with a strong community experience in residential dorms to introduce our scholars to a university environment. During the academic year, SMASH provides computer science courses, scholarship workshops, college counseling, community events and further exposure to STEM opportunities.

SMASH will be operating a 3-week Hybrid Academy model for Summer 2022 with the first 2 weeks in person and the last week being virtual.

All scholars and staff will be required to comply with the SMASH vaccine mandate for SMASH Academy in-person programming. However, vaccine exemptions will be considered based on medical exemptions, disability accommodation, or religious objection on a case by case basis. If a quarantine mandate is enforced by local government, university, or SMASH, all SMASH Academy programming will be held virtually.

SMASH will follow all guidelines and requirements set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) ( as well as local, state, and county guidelines which may include but not limited to:

  • Mask requirements

  • Regular COVID testing at the site

  • Physical distancing requirements

As we look forward to finally being able to bring the magic of the SMASH experience to students and alumni in-person this summer, we also remain focused on ensuring the health and safety of all program participants - both in light of the current pandemic and beyond. Our leadership is finalizing plans for the summer program working closely with internal task forces and outside medical experts. We are committed to ensuring that our students are able to fully participate in SMASH programming - and the connections, interactions, and experiences that come with it - within a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to reducing exposure and protecting the health of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. We are currently finalizing our policy in accordance with applicable public health guidelines regarding COVID-19. We expect to offer further clarity in early 2022.

This is not for the faint of heart. But if you think you have what it takes to dare to change the face of STEM, join us.

The Opportunity:

Working at SMASH Academy is about personal growth, commitment, and the tenacity to challenge the pedagogical status quo. SMASH Academy offers a unique environment for scholars and staff alike to focus on their interests in STEM education and explore cutting-edge practices. SMASH is seeking to hire individuals who will contribute to our larger aim of developing our scholars to be STEM practitioners who are civically aware and social justice oriented, equipped to employ their STEM knowledge and skills for the betterment of their local, national, and global communities.

Although the majority of the position will function as described below, some aspects are subject to change due to evolving program needs.

About the Role:

The SMASH Residential Team is comprised of the Residential Director, Head Residential Advisors (HRAs), and Residential Advisors (RAs). The HRAs, with the direction of the RD, manage the RAs.

The Residential Director (RD) requires a part time commitment prior to SMASH Academy and full time commitment during the summer program. Prior to SMASH Academy launching, in collaboration with the Site Director (SD), the RD is responsible for pre-launch essential duties including: recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a residential team, planning residential team training, attending weekly meetings and supporting their respective Site Management Team (SMT).

Upon launch of SMASH Academy, this position becomes a full time position with the RD being the primary director and supervisor of the Residential Team and Program.

The RD is responsible for a) the schedule, planning, and delivery of SMASH residential programming and curriculum and b) the wellness and youth development of 35-105 high school students living on campus. The RD fosters a clean, safe, positive, and inclusive environment that encourages SMASH scholars to develop their full potential. The RD also acts as a leader and role model for both scholars and staff -- defining culture, norms, activities and interactions that assure an enriching and socially just experience conducive to scholar success in STEM. In summary, the individual will plan for and oversee all residential and youth development components of SMASH Academy.

This assignment is approximately 4 months and is a part time position starting in April 2022, then moving to a full time engagement for approximately 3 weeks. The position requires living on campus full time with evening and weekend work requirements. While there are communication protocols and supports in place, the RD is the daily 24-hour fallback on-call for the duration of SMASH Academy.

As this role has a virtual component, we expect staff to provide the following -- their own personal computer (desktop or laptop) that has a working webcam, speaker and microphone for video conferencing capabilities (i.e. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex); reliable Internet connection (at least 25 Mbps download speed); and quiet work space for virtual programming. If you cannot provide your own equipment, please speak with your Site Director.

You must be available for all training and program dates.

Onboarding: 3.26.2022 (National, Virtual)

RD Training: 4.2 - 4.3.2022 (National, Virtual)

Staff Training: 7.5.2022 (National, Virtual) 7.6 - 7.8.2022 (Site-specific, In-Person)

SMASH Academy: 7.9 - 7.23.2022 (Site-specific, In-Person)

Virtual Close Out: Week of 7.25.2022

Note: If you are interested in facilitating more than one workshop, please see other job opportunities at

Key responsibilities include but are not limited to those listed below.


Essential Duties (pre-SMASH Academy):

  • Attend RD Training

  • Recruit, interview, hire, and onboard HRAs and RAs

  • Engage with university conference services, dining services, maintenance staff (per the guidance of the SD)

  • Plan site-specific RA retreat and training

  • Attend recurring RD workspace and site management team meetings

  • Plan and support (in collaboration with the Site Management Team):

  • Residential Team schedule

  • Weekend schedule and activities

  • RA activities

  • Workshop preparation

  • Move-in and move-out

  • Plan and support scholar orientation

Essential Job Duties (during/post-SMASH Academy):

Residential Team Management

  • Lead the Residential Team of HRAs and RAs

  • The HRAs and RA team is responsible for the supervision of 35-105 high school students (minors) in residence at all times (number is site dependent)

  • Serve as a role model for responsible behavior and personal integrity

  • Head the SMASH residential program, including directing and scheduling the work of 5-16 HRAs and RAs

  • Manage the performance of 5-16 HRAs and RAs (number is site dependent), including coaching and performance evaluation

  • Lead the team on the organization, planning, and delivery of programming and workshops

  • Oversee the Residential team shift schedule and requests for time off or shift swaps

  • Coordinate and ensure completion of team deliverables

  • Conduct workshop observations

  • Complete HRA and RA performance evaluations during the last week of SMASH Academy program

  • Develop a strong sense of community and teamwork amongst the residential team to ensure strong scholar support

  • Continuously develop personal leadership and teamwork skills to ensure the whole team functions at a high-performing level

  • Adhere to COVID-19 safety precaution protocols put in place

Residential Programming + Facilitation

  • Deliver site-specific RA Training in collaboration with SMASH Curriculum and Training team

  • Guide the residential team in preparing and decorating the dorms before scholar move-in

  • Prepare and facilitate SMASH Residential Team Meetings

  • Plan (in coordination with SMT) residential programming and signature events, including but not limited to:

  • Town Hall Meeting

  • Community Meetings

  • Recognition and Exhibition Event

  • Talent Show

  • Family Event

*All programming will depend on COVID-19 safety protocols

  • Ensure the residential team thoroughly organizes and/or supports recurring events including but not limited to:

  • Fun Friday activities

  • Weekend field trips

  • Speaker series

  • Networking nights

  • Programming/activities during unscheduled windows

SMASH Site Leadership

  • Enforce SMASH policies and procedures and ensure all staff are aligned on expectations

  • Build community with and amongst scholars and staff

  • Facilitate a communication between the residential and academic components of SMASH

  • Communicate and meet with families as needed with guidance from the SD

  • Attend Site Management Team Meetings, SMASH Community Meetings, SMASH Residential Director Workspace Meetings

  • Facilitate check-ins with HRAs, RAs, and the entire residential team

  • Communicate and uphold norms and program rules of conduct to ensure student safety, open and honest communication, and responsible student behavior

  • Build and maintain positive relationships with all SMASH and university personnel; positively represent the SMASH organization and program

  • Act as an academic and leadership role model, while maintaining physical and social boundaries with scholars (applies to social media)

Scholar Support + Safety

  • Serve as a mandated reporter and additionally as point person for any residential incident reporting

  • Coordinate and maintain logistical aspects of dorm life including maintaining relationships with university staff

  • Implement SMASH Scholar support practices and adapt with SD based on site specific needs

  • Uphold SMASH policies and core values while using restorative practice to hold scholars accountable whenever applicable

  • Identify scholars who need additional support and lead the residential team in developing and delivering support plans (per the direction of the Site Director)

  • Reside in residence halls among scholars; Sleep on site for a minimum of 6 nights per week, and co-lead on-call staff in emergencies

  • Address scholar issues through a Restorative Practices approach

Debrief & Wrap Up

  • Attend Staff Closeout

  • Attend site management Staff Closeout

  • Complete and submit HRA and RA performance evaluations

  • Ensure completion of RD deliverables (e.g. final survey, share HRA and RA evaluations with SMASH, etc.)

Position requires walking, sitting, and standing day to day. Climbing stairs, running, and participation may be required during community activities. Lifting and carrying up to 20 lbs of supplies may be required

The attributes you possess:

  • Collaboration: Exceptional communication skills; professionalism; excellent time management and organizational skills; timeliness and dependability; ability to have difficult conversations

  • Relationship Building: Respect for individual differences of everyone in the room; humility; patience when addressing situations; ability to listen to multiple perspectives

  • Problem Solving: Remain curious, innovate, iterate, and quickly pivot as needed; keep activities on task and think creatively in the face of unexpected events; consider multiple perspectives in all situations

  • Resilience: Approach situations with a growth mindset, adapt, and reflect to ensure desired outcome(s) are met; sense of urgency

  • Life-long Learner: Willingness to model learning and figure out content alongside scholars; open to feedback; learning from what scholars have to offer

What you bring:

  • Bachelor's degree in Education, Psychology, Social Work, or a related field

  • 1-3 years supervisory experience of a 5+ person team (residential settings preferred)

  • 1-3 years professional experience in youth academic programs

  • Direct experience working with students of color and/or low-income youth

  • Excellent written, verbal, and organizational skills are required

  • Strong attention to detail, prompt responsiveness to communications and delivery of deliverables

  • Understanding and sensitivity to the barriers that students of color face with accessing higher education

  • Ability to work efficiently both independently and collaboratively and be able to give and receive feedback

  • Self-starter with a solution-focused approach to challenges

  • Ability to work some nights and weekends before SMASH Academy begins, as required for some program events

  • Access to a vehicle during SMASH Academy preferred

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google products

  • Spanish fluency prefered (not required)

  • CPR/First Aid certification preferred

  • Position requires lifting up to 15 pounds

  • Pass criminal background check

Application Information:

Apply for this position below and ensure you can make the training and program dates (see table in above section of Job Description). If applying to multiple sites, please rank your site preference in the application.

The application includes a place to upload your resume and cover letter and to provide written responses to specific prompts. This position will close when filled.

If you have been selected for this position by your Site Director, no application is required. Simply submit the recommitment form provided by your Site Director, and SMASH will send you your



This is a non-exempt position. The total compensation for this position is estimated to be $8,122 - $9,694. Should the employee miss any hours or days of work, the daily and therefore total compensation will be adjusted accordingly. If your assignment ends earlier than we anticipate for any reason, your compensation may also be reduced accordingly. Please note, pay will be variable per pay period based on part-time and full-time phases of the program. These policies are subject to variation based on specific circumstances.

Statement of Non-Discrimination:

In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination/harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Above and beyond discrimination/harassment based on “protected categories,” SMASH also strives to prevent other subtler forms of inappropriate behavior (i.e., stereotyping) from ever gaining a foothold in our office. Whether blatant or hidden, barriers to success have no place at SMASH.

We value a diverse workforce: people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.