David Chickering (pictured above with his daughter) is the Housefellow for Mudge House, a large first-year residence hall (and mansion) in the Morewood corridor of Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. In addition to his role as Housefellow, David is the assistant director of Student Life, the Student Affairs college liaison to the Schools of Art and Music, an instructor for the environmental course called Privilege, Responsibility, and Community, and the liaison to the university’s neighbors on Beeler Street.
David earned his undergraduate degree in theatre and English and his master’s in higher education, both from the The University of Iowa.
A member of the Carnegie Mellon community for 10 years, David has lots of great stuff to share!
How did you come to join CMU?
I was looking for a selective school with creative students. I was also looking for a city with a National League baseball team, green spaces, good coffee, and character. I did not know much about Carnegie Mellon or Pittsburgh before I was asked to apply. I have fallen in love with both.
What makes the Mudge House community awesome?
Mudge always has the most amazing residents. Mudgies do great things at CMU and after they graduate. Just ask me. On a more tangible note, Mudge is a mansion with a beautiful courtyard and a koi pond.
What kinds of special first-year programs take place in Mudge?
Mudge hosts a Dinner with the Deans and Faculty event every spring. More than 30 faculty and staff come to Mudge for a celebratory dinner with over 100 Mudge residents. Faculty get to know students better and students get to see their faculty in a different light. We also drink tea and do classy, reflective things.
What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?
I learned from a student and his friends to wear two different styles of socks every day. There are so many reasons to do so. I highly recommend it.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?
I am pretty sure that I love my family. So, I do lots of family stuff – hiking, camping, biking, coaching kids sports, and carrying stuff. I like to eat and cook good vegetarian food. I am pretty proud of my Indian cooking skills. I collect and ride vintage scooters. I garden and drink copious amounts of good coffee.
What’s your all-time favorite book?
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Tell us at least one thing that’s on your bucket list.
Buckets. You can’t have a bucket list without buckets.
If you could give first-year students one single piece of advice as they start their journey here at Carnegie Mellon, what would it be?
Empathy is important. People are complex. Get to know people. You will learn a lot and things will make more sense, or less sense. Either way, you will be better for it.