As another fall semester begins, the Education LLC at South Russell Hall welcomes new Residence Hall Director Emily First. First graduated from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and she is a School of Education graduate student pursuing a master’s in educational psychology.
- This is not your first position as a live-in staff member at a residential hall. What other positions have you held at Baylor?
I started out working as the Assistant Hall Director in Collins Hall and served in that role for two years. In Collins, I worked with all freshman females, which was so fun. I then transitioned over to the Assistant Hall Director position at University Parks, where I was able to work with freshman athletes, transfer students, international students and upperclassman in an apartment-style community.
- What does your job at the Education Living-Learning Center involve?
I serve as the Campus Living & Learning live-in staff member, which means that I live and work in the Residence Hall. My apartment is on the first floor. I live with my husband, Cameron, and my daughter, Clara. My office is located right off the main lobby.
I directly supervise the nine Community Leaders who live and work on each of the floors, and I also collaborate with the Resident Chaplain, Laura Robertson; the Faculty-In-Residence, Dr. Mona Choucair; and the LLC Program Director, Erin Stamile.
Other aspects of my job include addressing behavioral issues, mediating roommate conflict, and educating residents about Baylor’s housing policies — all in order to maintain a safe environment for the students to live.
I make sure our students are provided information they need to find campus resources. I help students engage in opportunities that will allow them to become better self-advocates. I also manage the facilities and housekeeping staff, oversee our students who work at the front desk, and help with programming events for the Hall.
- What is your favorite thing about working in a Residential Hall?
I enjoy working and living alongside college students. College students are at such a formative time in their life, and I love being a part of that. My job is unique in that I get to not only train and equip great student leaders, but I also get to simply enjoy being their neighbor. I am able to invite students into my family’s life. I find I am continually learning and growing on my own because of the lessons students teach me on a daily basis.
- What are you most excited about for this upcoming school year?
As we head into the school year, I am so excited to welcome our new freshmen and make them feel at home here at Baylor.
- What do you enjoying doing in your free time?
I love hiking, exploring new places, kickboxing (for exercise) and enjoying the company of family and friends.
- Is there anything about you, or the Education LLC, incoming residents should know?
I am here to serve the students of this community. While at times I may have to enforce policy or meet with students about poor behavior, that does not mean I don’t care about the students themselves. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you ever have questions or concerns and don’t hesitate to stop by my office or greet my family when you see us around the hall. I am excited to get to know you all and truly want you to have a great Baylor experience.
— Interview by Molly Meeker
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