Meet the Staff
Ursula Herz, Director of Residential Life, Associate Dean of Students
Office: Student Affairs, Casey Academic Building
Working in Residential Life for over 20 years, everyday brings new challenges, new ideas, new ways to improve access, equity and inclusion for all students. I was a first generation college student and helping other first gens navigate the complexities of college remains a passion of mine. Seeing students succeed against the odds, walking across the graduation stage, is one of the greatest joys of this work. My MA in HIstory is put to work every day, gathering data, figuring out why people are doing what they do, and understanding both the personal and the big picture. But its not all work- play is important! Outside of work, I have lots of hobbies and I volunteer at Mt. Harmon, where you will find me cooking at the open hearth or spinning and sewing the 18th c clothes I wear for events there and other historical events. In the fall, you can often find me at a renaissance faire because I love live folk music, street theatre, and the colorful pageantry of it all.
Amy Sine, Associate Director of Residential Life
Office: Chester Hall
Nakia Johnson, Area Coordinator
Office: Sassafras Hall 118
Oversees: Western Shore, Harford, Quad, Cullen, Sassafras, Chester, Corsica
Nakia Johnson is passionate about creating environments for students where they feel safe, accepted, and engaged. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD her journey in higher education began at Hollins University where she earned her Bachelor’s in English with a focus in creative writing. During those four years, she worked as a Resident Assistant sparking a deep appreciation and passion for the field. She then went on to earn her MED in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University in 2015. Over the past five years she has worked in the residence halls of the University of Arkansas, Tennessee Tech University, and joined the Washington College community in 2018. Students are the focus of her career and the aspect she enjoys the most in her work. When she is not hard at work she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Kailey Feuerstein, Area Coordinator
Office: Caroline Hall
Oversees: Minta Martin, Reid, Caroline, Queen Anne, the Hills, Kent
Student Affairs as a Career
Maybe you are working on a different career in grad school but have RA experience. Did you know you can use that RA experience to possibly get a grad school job? If you are a RA, it’s something worth checking out!
Many medium to large universities have part time positions for graduate students in residential life. (There are other grad positions in Student Affairs too but with different compensation.) You don’t necessarily need to be pursuing a graduate degree in Higher Education- many hire a variety of degree seekers. Grad position compensation in Residential Life typically includes an on campus apartment, meal plan, and stipend.
Duties can vary according the specific position but the majority tend to be assistant hall directors and assist full time hall staff with programming, RA supervision, assignments, work orders, duty, etc. Student Affairs grad staff tend to be more connected to university resources, are “in the know,” and have a varied, strong social community (from both classes and fellow grad co-workers). They also have access to leadership and other skills development opportunities not typically offered or available in academic graduate programs. They certainly have opportunities to put any leadership skills learned to the test in their job!
Yes! Residential Life focuses on the many aspects of running the residence halls so it’s not just programming, advising, counseling, supervision and development of student and professional staff, being a club advisor, teaching outside the classroom, emergency response! It’s facilities and occupancy management, strategic planning, student development theories in action, advocacy, finance, construction and renovation projects, and more. Everything it takes to run a small town? That’s Residential Life!
Residential Life is typically under the Student Affairs umbrella. What else falls under Student Affairs? Student Engagement (often called Student Activities), Career centers, Multicultural centers, ministry centers, health and counseling offices, judicial offices that handle student conduct. Depending on the size of the institution, sometimes they run dining services, have their own facilities staff, or include Financial Aid, bookstore, mailroom.
Not necessarily! Although most entry level professional positions require a master’s degree, if you have experience as a student staff member, either a graduate RA or hall director, RA, student mentor, or other Student Affairs position, you can still apply for entry level professional positions. Indeed, having a degree outside of higher education can be an advantage since it helps you connect with and advise those students. The essential part is a desire to help students succeed- even if it means holding them accountable!
YES!!! If a Student Affairs professional can’t solve something themselves, they advocate
for the students, they get them connected to someone who can. They make sure that
students who are struggling know they aren’t alone and what can be done to help them.
They learn how to navigate bureaucracy to effect change, collaborating, building support
from allies, securing funding, and more critical skills that are behind any successful
Student Affairs professionals take students feedback on what works and what isn’t working for them, and advocate for change. They do research on current trends, propose changes, get students involved in the change making process. Some professionals have particular areas of interest, like focusing on first generation students or the Latinx collegiate experience, but that doesn’t mean they don’t help everyone else! Since it’s the goal of Student Affairs to help students succeed, in college and beyond, social advocacy is at the core of everything we do.