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Get to Know Your Residence Life Staff

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Welcome to your new dorm! As you start to unpack your things and move in, you’ll meet many new faces. Two very important faces, however, are your Resident Life Director and Assistant Resident Life Director. This dynamic team is a vital part of your first year at Grace. 

So, what does a resident director do? Your RD is in charge of all things dorm-related. They manage dorm events, resolve safety and maintenance issues, and help find solutions to any conflicts that may come up in your hall or room. And perhaps most of all, they are there to ensure that you have the support you need in this new living and learning environment.

We reached out to the residence directors and assistant residence directors at Grace and asked them a few questions so that you can start getting to know these extraordinary people

Maia Bowen

Resident Director of Westy, Kauffman, Commuters


Do you have any unique hobbies?

I love crocheting! I’ve made many of my own scarves and hats. 


If you could give your freshman self any advice, what would it be?

I would tell freshman year Maia that it’s okay to be different and not to hide her culture or dim her personality. Everyone isn’t going to understand your personality, and that’s okay. 


What’s a favorite college memory?

One time my friends demanded a ransom for my pillow pet named Sir Pepe. The ransom was 26 blue M&Ms. And yes I still have the pillow pet. 


What are you looking forward to most this year?

I am really looking forward to meeting new residents! It’s my favorite part of my job. I’m also excited to continue the traditions of Westy and Kauffman as well as create new ones. 

Elijah Kearns

Assistant Resident Director Of Westy and Commuters


Do you have any unique interests?

I do voice overs for audio books. It’s made me read books that I might not have ever picked up otherwise! However, some of the books are really strange. 


What’s your go-to movie?

Definitely “Princess Bride” because it’s the most perfect, charming movie. You can watch it in any emotion and leave feeling better.


Why did you choose to be an ARD?

Grace College changed my life as a student! To be able to be part of that process for others is so important to me. As commuter liaison I feel it’s my job to include everyone as part of the community.


Why do you like working at a Christian school?

Faith was an important factor in deciding where to go to school, and now to work here is an honor because I love the freedom to share and acknowledge my faith. I know I have others I can rely on and open up to here.

Gershom Tadesse

Gershom Tadesse Resident Director for Beta Hall and Indiana Hall

Resident Director of Beta Hall and Indiana Hall

Do you have any funny childhood stories?

I lived really close to the school, and one time as a little kid I went to the bathroom and peed my pants. So to hide it I went to the cafeteria and dumped milk all over myself so that they would have to send me home to change. Looking back, it was a pretty brilliant plan!


If you had to eat one meal the rest of your life, what would it be?

I’d pick a Chipotle burrito! It’s Heaven in a bite.


What’s an embarrassing college moment?

I had a reputation in college for falling asleep in the middle of the day in random places. To the point where a decent amount of friends and fellow students have pictures of me asleep in their car, in a lobby, or even in class. One time, I was awoken in class, only to find it was the professor who had tapped me on the shoulder.

Chloe Peyton

Assistant Resident Director of Beta Hall and Indiana Hall


What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m excited about the fun and chaos that comes with working on a college campus! I can’t wait to get to know people in the dorms and participate in life with them. I’m excited to cheer them on in their games, hang out at events, and just do life together!


What was your unrealistic dream job?

I wanted to be an author, which sounds realistic, but for me, it definitely isn’t because there is no way I could sit still and write that long. I’d rather just talk about it than write it down. I also wanted to be a nurse and realized that the sight of blood makes me nauseous. 


What is something you learned in undergrad?

Everyone has their own struggles, and is growing and learning. I also learned not to be so hard on myself — to just go out and try new things! It’s comforting to know that God is going to equip you, and even in your mistakes, He is glorified.


What is one unhinged thing you did as a child?

One time I took a can of paint that was on the counter, dumped it all over the floor in the kitchen and swam in it. I’d still do that now, honestly.

Bailey Gagnon

Resident Director of Alpha Hall


What is one thing you wish you knew in college?

I grew up in Arizona, so when I came to Grace as a student I was a long way from home. I think I felt like I had to be strong, so I never mentioned how much I missed home! Really, it’s ok to tell others that you miss home. Odds are, they feel the same way!


Do you have any weird childhood stories?

One year at Thanksgiving I went off by myself to the backyard and ate some grass, just because little me really wanted to know what it tasted like. Then it sort of became a tradition and every year for about five years, I would sneak out at Thanksgiving to eat some grass.


What motivates you in this position?

I want to give students the best I can give! In the words of Leslie Knope, “Work hard at work worth doing!”


You have the evening at home, what do you pick to do?

This is random, but I love picking up cheap paintings from goodwill and painting my own additions in the background.

Claire Hershberger

Assistant Resident Director of Alpha Hall


What are you looking forward to about this role?

I lived in Alpha all three years at Grace, and it was such a huge part of my growth as a woman and in my spiritual walk. I am really excited to see this group of women experience growth, fun, and good memories. 


What is one random fact about you? 

I think I deserve a little treat every day. For example, I think I’ve bought coffee every day this week.


What was your unrealistic dream job as a kid?

I wanted to be a ballerina. Did I ever take a dance class? No. Have I ever since? No. But I saw The Nutcracker once and was convinced that was the dream.


What is one thing that you learned as a college student?

With so many things to get involved in, it can be easy to lose sight of your needs and boundaries. I learned that it’s okay to take some time to myself, to say no to things sometimes, and to have moments of quiet. 

Daniel Marquez

Daniel Marquez Resident Director for The Lodge and Omega Hall

Resident Director of Omega and The Lodge


What was the biggest adjustment coming from Florida?

My undergrad experience was at Cedarville, and the biggest adjustment was the weather. There was one time I missed almost a whole week of classes because I assumed they’d be canceled for the snow!


Do you have any nicknames?

I had a friend in college who I went to everything with. We became known as Big Papi and Little Papi. So some of my friends still call me little Papi, which has become Papito or Paps.  


Have you ever been pranked?

In college, someone swapped out my underwear with my roommate’s underwear. I noticed the following morning when I opened my top drawer and did not recognize the tighty whities. 


What’s a piece of advice for a new student?

Failure is a part of life. It’s what you do with the failure that matters.


How can students learn more about residence life?

I actually have an Instagram page called “Lodge/Omega” where we post information about events and share fun stories. Look us up and give us a follow.

Rachel Stiles

Assistant Resident Director of Lodge and Omega


What advice would you give to a first-year student?

You don’t have to figure out everything right away. Changing your major is okay, and asking lots of questions is okay too! That’s what college is about.


Do you have a funny memory with one of your siblings?

Once I got my 18-year-old brother pulled over by a cop while he was driving a golf cart.


What’s one thing not everyone knows about you?

I’m actually a high ropes instructor. I worked at a camp for a long time where I got certified to run the high ropes course. 


What’s an embarrassing Grace College moment?

As a student, my room was a tour room. One time, I was having a mental breakdown in my bathroom and walked out still crying to a full tour taking place in my room. Through my tears, I said, “Welcome to Grace!” I hope I didn’t ruin their tour!


Hannah Navarro

Hannah Navarro Resident Director of Alpha Hall

Resident Director of Apartments 


Have you ever pulled any pranks?

There’s an event called Hall T-Shirt chapel where each dorm competes for the coveted stuffed fish. Beta won, so as a prank, I took the fish and sewed our T-shirt to it. Don’t worry. I gave it back eventually.


What is one thing you wish you knew as a college student?

People assume everyone has their spiritual life together, but really, they are all still figuring it out.  You don’t have to have it all together to be at a Christian college. 


What song are you breaking out at a Karaoke night?

“What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff/Lizzie McGuire, obviously!


What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love to be with students and hear their stories. It’s an honor to walk with them through difficult seasons of their life.

Your resident directors are excited to welcome you to campus and get to know you better. You can reach out to them by emailing them, talking to them on campus, or reaching out via their dorm social media pages. They would love to hear from you! 


Get to know more about residence life at Grace.


Tagged With: Campus Life, Connected Community