Some of Northwestern’s housing units are getting a new look next year. Four of campus’s most well-known figures are leaving NW to embark on new journeys. Resident directors Hannah McBride, Alyssum Anderson, Corey Kundert and Brittany Caffey have decided to relinquish their positions in pursuit of other avenues.
McBride, resident director of Stegenga Hall, is on her third year as an RD. After working as an admissions counselor, McBride decided to apply to be a resident director.
“I was hoping to work in a position where deep, meaningful relationships were the focus, and not just a sideline or secondary piece of the work,” McBride said. “Lucky for me, residence life focuses lots of attention and resources on both the relational and transitional aspects of work I was anticipating.”
As McBride reflects on her time, she has found that the painful conversations are some of her favorites. She enjoys being able to share lives with students, realizing life doesn’t always paint a perfect portrait. This job leaves her with lots she’ll miss.
“I’m going to miss the people, the silliness; I can always find someone to laugh with in this dorm,” McBride said. “I’ll also miss the pranks, like waking up to find my door has been saran-wrapped with a pile of glitter. It’s awesome.”
McBride plans to go on to graduate school to earn her master’s degree in counseling next year, along with other personal goals.
Anderson, resident director of Fern Smith Hall, has been working with the women in the dorm for four years. Anderson chose to be an RD to be part of others’ lives. “I love getting to be part of someone’s life during the best and worst times, and being an RD provides that opportunity,” Anderson said. “Plus, the variety. No two days are the same.”
Anderson enjoys the spontaneity that comes from serving as a dorm’s RD. She enjoys the opportunity to take part in crazy events that occur in the dorms. She also likes being able to provide people spaces to cope.
“Being a space for someone to process through the tensions of life is one of my favorite parts of being a resident director,” Anderson said.
Next year, Anderson is unsure what her plans are, but she hopes to go on to graduate school to earn a master’s degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy.
Kundert, former resident director of West now of Hospers, is in his fourth year as RD. Kundert had no previous affiliation with NW but has mentors who graduated from here. When he visited, he loved the courageous learning aspect of NW’s mission statement.
“NW really dives into discussing those gray areas,” Kundert said. “The discussions and learning we have here are truly genuine.”
Aside from academia, Kundert enjoys the relationships that have been built with the men of Hospers. Where other schools discourage having personal relationships with students, Corey has appreciated the encouragement of investing in the men’s lives.
“One of my favorite traditions last year was having a cup of coffee in the morning, then hearing Phil Hilla singing in the shower,” Kundert said. “It’s the small things like that I will miss next year.”
Kundert is unsure of where he is going next year, but is planning on going back to continue his education at some point.
“If the whole education thing doesn’t work out, I’ll just invest in my rap career,” Kundert said.
Caffey, former RD of Hospers for four years and the apartments for one year, will also be leaving. Caffey chose to become a resident director because of influential people in her life.
“My relationship with my RD and the residence life staff at NW was extremely influential for me as a student, and I wanted to be involved in the lives of students in a similar fashion,” Caffey said. “Also, the concept of hospitality is extremely appealing to me, and being an RD you can practice hospitality in very tangible ways.”
Next year, Caffey is going to miss the work she gets to do with her coworkers, supervisors, and students. She plans to attend massage therapy school at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis.