Higher Education & Student Affairs

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The Call to Wisdom

There are few moments in my life that I remember with distinct detail. We all have these moments, these photo images etched in our minds, that transport us to key points in our past. Although some are certainly random, I believe God’s hand was in the preservation of one memory in particular: the moment I was called to student life.

This call was not exactly the echo of heavenly voices. Rather, this call took the form of my colorful, hurried hall director. Running down the block in front of me, she turned over her shoulder and said “Erin, you should apply to be an RA!” From this moment, my passion for serving others within our small, Christian college began to form and take shape.

The following years were a whirlwind of student leader activities, meaningful conversations, and my own personal transformation. After graduation, I moved into social work while maintaining my connection to student life through my husband’s position as a Resident Hall Director. It did not take long to realize how much I longed to once again be in the midst of students’ lives.

In 2009 my husband and I decided to join the Baylor community. Since we are originally from the Northeast, we are often asked what has brought us to Texas. When asked, we usually look at one another, smile, and say “Baylor!” Our work at Baylor began immediately that year, and we couldn’t wait to start in one of Baylor’s many graduate programs.

Admittedly, I began the HESA program with somewhat of an undergraduate student perspective. I focused on doing just what I had to do to complete assignments and prepare for class. As I entered into community with HESA faculty and students, however, I was overtaken with a new passion to learn. I brought this knowledge of the classroom into my apprenticeship, and saw the direct application of literature in the field.

As with many things in life, I did not fully realize the impact of the HESA program until it had ended. I was thrilled to begin once again as a full-time staff member at Baylor after graduating in May. I now carry my passion for student life into the academic realm as the Program Coordinator for Prehealth Studies. After my experiences in the HESA program, I am amazed at the difference in my approach as a professional in higher education. I am able to enter each scenario and student interaction with a greater level of knowledge and understanding.

Although the HESA program was instrumental in imparting knowledge of the field and professionalism in my work, ultimately wisdom, which is priceless, was inculcated through my experiences. This wisdom, formed through the intentional dialogue within my cohort and apprenticeship, continues to fuel my ability to make decisions and encourages me to continue to pursue knowledge. As I will never forget the call I received into higher education, I will always cherish the formation that took place within the HESA program at Baylor.

Erin Stamile, HESA Class of 2012

scottshepherd • October 8, 2012

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