JJ Brown named Director of Student Development

Laura Bulman

Tom Mogan, Director of Student Development, will step down from his position at the end of this semester. He will begin as the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Boston College in January.

The Office of Student Development oversees student groups as varied as Campus Activities Team, Fraternity and Sorority Life, VTV and Special Olympics. As director, Mogan supervises and offers support for each of the teams that make up the Office of Student Development.

 During his 17 year tenure as Director of Student Development, Mogan has also served as an advisor to Student Government Association, The Villanovan and the Gay-Straight Coalition, as well as a co-coordinator of the One Book Villanova series and professor in the history department. 

His new role at Boston College will consist of many of the same duties, with Mogan in charge of student conduct, student activity programing and outreach for students with disabilities.

Mogan says that his departure is bittersweet. While he looks forward to the professional opportunity this move offers, he will miss the University community and all of the students and staff members that he works with on a daily basis.

“I will miss the emphasis on the Augustinian community,” Mogan said. “It’s something that we throw around a lot, but I really think that we live up to those ideals. I think that there is a strong sense of community among the students on campus.”

Mogan’s various roles at Villanova have offered him a chance to get to know students well.

 Helping student groups bring their ideas to fruition is not only incredibly rewarding for Mogan, but has also allowed him to develop relationships with many students as they transition from freshmen to seniors.

“The most rewarding part about my job is working with the students and seeing them grow and develop and gain new skills and confidence,” Mogan says.

Jeffrey “JJ” Brown is one of the students who worked closely with Mogan during his time as an undergraduate at the University. 

Now an Assistant Director in the Office of Student Development, Brown will assume the role of Director of Student Development upon Mogan’s departure at the end of this semester. 

Their relationship exemplifies the type of connections that the Office of Student Development makes with students.

When Brown was a student at the University, his involvement in many different campus groups meant frequently meeting with Mogan. Brown and Mogan both remember a conversation that they had during Brown’s senior year at the University while discussing Brown’s post-graduation plans. Mogan remembers Brown telling him: “I’d love a job like yours one day, Tom.”

After graduating from the University, Brown worked for a few years at a public accounting firm. When he realized that he wanted a change, Brown consulted Mogan on what steps to take to gain a position in student development.

 Soon after, Brown attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning a master’s degree in higher education administration. 

He then returned to Villanova as Assistant Director of Student Development for Media Programs, a position he holds until the end of this semester.

“I really enjoy working with the students,” Brown said. “It’s really interesting because you see students closely when they come in freshmen year and then you see where they’re going senior year. You get to see them develop and grow, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.”

Just like Mogan, Brown has his own stories of students whose progress he has seen firsthand. Through his position as the Assistant Director of Student Development for Media Programs, Brown has helped students pursue their passion for media through groups such as WXVU, VTV, Tech Crew, Belle Air and the Villanova Times.

“There was one student who wanted to be a news reporter from day one,” Brown said. “Now she’s working in the field. Seeing that is great. In the Office of Student Development, we get to see what students are passionate about and give them an opportunity to create their own niche. It’s a really unique position to be in.”

As a campus that prides itself on its sense of community, both Mogan and Brown note the gratification that comes from helping students find ways to get involved. 

As he prepares to fill his mentor’s shoes, Brown feels confident that he has learned how to handle the ups and downs of the job.

Brown says he is looking forward to continuing the work that Mogan has done and to building more great connections with students while helping them pursue their interests. 

Beginning in January, his office will be 217 Dougherty Hall, and he encourages students to stop in and introduce themselves.