10 Things to Know About Arianna Gulbis
The Director of Residence Life talks about establishing a comfortable living environment for students and coaching the cheer team.
Decorating her dorm room was one of Director of Residence Life Arianna Gulbis’s favorite things to do each year when she was a student at Suffolk University.
“It was really important to me that the walls were filled with color,” she said. “Whether it was through photos or artwork, I always wanted to make sure my room felt like home.”
As Gulbis prepares to help incoming students from the Class of 2027 feel at home at Stonehill, here are 10 things to know about her.
1. She has worn many hats on the Hill. Gulbis has been in her current role since 2021. She previously served as assistant director of her department. Prior to that, she was the residence director of Pilgrim Heights. “Over the years, my work here has afforded me the opportunity to interact with so many different people,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from my colleagues and have been able to apply those lessons to enhance opportunities for student growth.”
2. She believes in belonging. Gulbis is responsible for helping her staff create living and learning environments on campus that not only encourage individual student development, but also foster a culture of compassion and inclusivity. “Each student deserves to feel a sense of belonging,” she said.
3. She is a resident wizard. In addition to overseeing the directors of each residence hall, Gulbis also likes to take an active role in managing the College’s resident assistants. “I always think of The Wizard of Oz,” she said. “I never want to be the person behind the curtain. I want to be involved and immersed in the student community.”
4. She is fired up about helping others. Gulbis’s experiences working in residence life began when she served as an RA at Suffolk. She remembers an instance in which she helped a student there with a personal matter. Later, the person gave her a gift and a hand-written note expressing gratitude for her help. “Something like that lights a fire inside of me,” she said.
5. She is serious about service. Volunteering is near and dear to Gulbis’s heart. She has tried to add service components to RA trainings to get students involved in the local community. Resident assistants have previously volunteered for My Brother’s Keeper and The Farm at Stonehill.
6. She is a cheery person. In addition to her work in Student Affairs, Gulbis has also served as head coach of Stonehill’s cheerleading team since 2018. She has been cheering since she was a child. The sport has helped her grow in many ways. “I feel like it helped me find my voice,” she said.
7. She unlocks the magic within leaders. Since 2018, Gulbis has overseen Stonehill’s Disney Leadership Experience with Director of Student Engagement Steve Pagios. Each year, they host eight on-campus workshops focused on leadership before traveling with students to Florida, where they attend more training with professionals at Disney World. “It is great to see how the students grow throughout the program and how they become more confident by the end,” she said.
8. She is a Disney diehard. Given her involvement with the Disney Leadership Experience and the fairy tale décor in her office, it is no surprise that Gulbis is a huge fan of the House of Mouse. She visits the parks at least once a year. “I love going because it makes me feel like a kid again,” she said.
9. She once had the coolest summer ever. A few years ago, Gulbis and her sister went on vacation with two friends to the Magic Kingdom during Disney World’s “Coolest Summer Ever” event. As part of the festivities, the park remains open for 24 hours straight. Gulbis managed to stay there the entire time. “Our friends didn’t make it, but my sister and I were able to stick it out,” she said.
10. She believes in happily ever after. Cinderella is one of Gulbis’s favorite Disney movies. She enjoys it because of its happy ending. “I have always believed in happily ever after, and I strive to bring that sense of wonder here. I want to do all that I can to create a happily ever after for students by fostering an environment that enables them to reach their goals, both on campus and beyond.”