Two of Northwestern’s resident directors will be moving onto new roles next year.
Celeste Ryan has served as the resident director of Stegenga Hall for three years and has loved being immersed in the community of the dorm and the entire campus.
Tyler Zeutenhorst, whose name has been lovingly shortened to “Zeuty” by his residents, is finishing up his fourth year as resident director of North Suites.
They are both hoping to be intentional with the time they have left and to hold on to the memories they have from NW. Zeutenhorst compared the feeling of leaving to when a senior is nearing graduation.
“I want to treat the next few months as normal, love where I’m at and take it all in,” he said.
Students all across campus are blessed by time spent with and learning from their RDs. Sam Callahan, a senior in North Suites, has learned to be “outgoing and welcoming to students.” RDs often serve as mentors for students, but both Ryan and Zeutenhorst expressed that they have actually learned from their students.
Ryan was able to learn the value of hospitality and missional living from her students.
“I’ve been blessed to see so many students who live their lives intentionally to be an outpouring of Christ’s love,” she said.
While interacting with his students, Zeutenhorst identified a special kind of selflessness and was able to gather what it truly looks like to put God first.
Both RDs had a tough time narrowing down countless memories to pick a favorite, but Ryan identified the Nything Goes panel as a pivotal part of her time at NW – where she felt blessed to be a part of the NW community and felt that her voice was valued.
Zeutenhorst will always remember Monday night doughnut runs with the men of North Suites as well as group sporting events.
“It was funny to see guys cheer for a team they know nothing about. All of a sudden, everyone is going nuts for the [Sioux City] Musketeers,” he said.
Ryan felt that the most rewarding part of her job was building relationships with students and seeing them grow. She found joy in helping students, especially her RAs, learn about themselves.
Zeutenhorst also enjoyed the relational aspect of his job and found it rewarding to “see what students become after experiencing joys and trials.” He will miss the variety of conversations, whether serious or lighthearted, with people on campus. His conversations looked different every day, as he interacted with freshmen nervous about their first college finals or seniors preparing for graduation.
“It’s challenging to join in with a student during a tough time and try to understand things from their perspective,” Zeutenhorst said.
Though the role of a RD comes with many joys, it comes with its challenges. Ryan, who has two daughters, has learned to balance having kids while working in the same place as she lives. “I applaud anyone who does this job with children,” she said.
Ryan and Zeutenhorst served in different dorms and had entirely different experiences, but they both grew to call this campus home.
“Here, I have grown in my ability to laugh at myself,” Zeutenhorst said.
Ryan came to the realization that people are so much greater when in community.
As for next year, Zeutenhorst has accepted a position on the logistics team at RC Family Farms, a company local to Orange City.
“We will really miss the caf, [because] now we will have to cook much more,” Zeutenhorst said on behalf of his family.
Ryan will likely be leaving Orange City to pursue other jobs related to higher education and residence life. Her husband, Nathaniel, is planning on going to seminary.