First as a resident in Loretto Hall and now a Resident Assistant for students navigating their first year of college, Joelle has gained an understanding of and appreciation for the friendship, mentorship, leadership and professional opportunities that come with living on campus.
In Joelle’s three years at Emmanuel College, her residence life experience has extended far beyond the four walls of her home away from home. She calls the personal and professional opportunities she’s had outside of the classroom “a second education,” and she looks forward to taking these valuable skills with her when she graduates in the spring of 2016.
As a resident of Loretto Hall in her first year, Joelle formed bonds with her classmates and her Resident Assistant (RA), which soon served as a catalyst for her wanting to pay it forward as a friend and mentor in a leadership role. Currently an RA in Loretto for a second year, Joelle serves as a resource for new students who are 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 loves having the city of Boston right outside campus gates.
“I love movies, and I used to have to go all the way to Millbury, Massachusetts, to see one,” she said. “Now, there’s one right down the street.”
In addition to her role as an RA, Joelle has 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.
“I’ve learned so much about managing my time and planning events. It’s very hands-on, and I’ve been able to meet and work with people from other majors and other offices who I never would have otherwise,” she said.
Joelle also calls Emmanuel College and Boston home during the summer months. She has been 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 courseload during the traditional semesters, Joelle will be able to graduate in three years.
The psychology major is also wrapping up a yearlong internship with the Boston Church of Christ, through a discernment program that may lead her to pursue ministry as a career. She is able to use what she learns in her counseling + health courses in her work leading a group of college-aged girls.
“Emmanuel has given me so many opportunities – through my psychology classes, my work in residence life, IT and customer service, and my campus ministry internship,” she said. “All of my networks are right here in Boston, and I am excited for what’s next.”
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.