Joelle was a resident of Loretto hall before becoming a Resident Assistant. In helping students navigate their first year of college, Joelle gained an understanding of and appreciation for the friendship, mentorship, leadership and professional opportunities that come with living on campus.
In Joelle's years at Emmanuel College, her residence life experience extended far beyond the four walls of her home away from home. She called the personal and professional opportunities she had outside of the classroom "a second education," and she looked forward to taking these valuable skills with her after graduation.
As a resident of Loretto Hall in her first year, Joelle formed bonds with her classmates and her Resident Assistant (RA), which served as a catalyst for her wanting to pay it forward as a friend and mentor in a leadership role. As an RA in Loretto, Joelle served as a resource for new students navigating the transition to college - including feelings of homesickness, the newness of a college academic workload and the multitude of ways to get engaged with and involved in their new community.
"Living on a campus is a really crucial part of the college experience," Joelle said. "You'll never have this opportunity again, to have this kind of camaraderie, to make these unexpected friendships. It's invaluable - you can't put a price tag on it."
Along with the convenience of being so close to class, the dining hall and the library, the opportunities to get involved in clubs, organizations and activities are a big piece of the campus puzzle, Joelle said.
"Emmanuel isn't a suitcase school, there is always something going on. Living on campus and having access to all of that is essential to seeing the big college picture."
A native of Brooklyn, Connecticut - a town she says is "all trees and cows" - Joelle also loved having the City of Boston right outside campus gates. Before moving to Boston, Joelle, a lover of movies, used to have to travel across state lines to Millbury, Mass. just to see a film. But at Emmanuel, there was a theater right down the street.
In addition to her role as an RA, Joelle worked part-time during the academic year at the Information Technology Department's Helpdesk. Though she said she didn't know anything about technology when she started, she received a crash course in both technology and customer service, getting to know faculty, staff and students from all across campus.
Joelle said that this opportunity taught her much about time management and event planning. She liked that it was hands-on, and that she was able to work with people from other majors and other offices.
Joelle also called Emmanuel and Boston home during the summer months. She was able to stay in the city and on campus with a full-time job at the IT Helpdesk, and she fully uses the opportunity, supplementing the work with summer classes. With the summer credits and a heavy course load during the traditional semesters, Joelle was eligible graduate in three years.
The psychology major also completed a yearlong internship with the Boston Church of Christ, a discernment program that gave her the tools to potentially pursue ministry as a career. She was able to use what she learned in her counseling and health courses in her work leading a group of college-aged girls.
Joelle said that Emmanuel gave her many opportunities--through her psychology classes, her work in residence life, IT and customer service and her campus ministry internship, all of her networks were in Boston. She said she was excited for the opportunities still to come.
Her advice to first-year students?
"Come to college with an open attitude and an open mind," she said. "Everyone has expectations of college, of certain situations or the people they will meet. If it's not what you expected, you can't keep that from derailing you. Just enjoy what comes your way."
Interested in Psychology?
Psychology is a rich and varied discipline dedicated to the scientific study of the complexity and diversity of the mind and behavior, including cognition, personality, memory, emotion, interpersonal relationships, psychological disturbance and psychotherapy. Psychology majors at Emmanuel receive a broad liberal arts education as well as training in the specialized knowledge and skills of psychology with concentrations in developmental psychology, neuroscience and counseling & health. Beyond the classroom, students are able to take advantage of the various research and internship opportunities in Boston, from world-class medical centers to nonprofit and human services organizations.