Saint Mary’s welcomes alumna as Regina Hall director
Jordan Cockrum | Friday, August 25, 2017
When Emerald Blankenship graduated from Saint Mary’s in May, she did not anticipate moving back to Saint Mary’s the following fall. Blankenship returned to campus last month, however, as the new Regina Hall director.
“All summer, I went and did sales, and it just didn’t feel right,” Blankenship said. “Then, I got their call to ask me if I could consider applying for the hall director position, and it just kind of felt like I wasn’t done with Saint Mary’s yet.”
Blankenship said this felt like the perfect opportunity to expand her skill set at a community in which she is comfortable.
“I came and I interviewed, and everything just kind of felt right,” she said. “It was the kind of work environment I was looking for and a safe space to grow more professionally.”
During her time at Saint Mary’s, Blankenship spent two years as a Resident Assistant (RA) in Le Mans Hall.
“My residence life background has prepared me a lot because I am kind of familiar with the processes that Saint Mary’s specifically has,” she said.
In addition to working in residence life before, Blankenship’s time at Saint Mary’s also instilled confidence and values in her that aid her in leading Regina Hall, she said.
“I think it would’ve been harder to have this role if I hadn’t been at Saint Mary’s first,” Blankenship said. “Knowing everything that the College stands for and having those values in me really helps me uphold them within the hall.”
Blankenship looks forward to instilling these values into her new residents this academic year, she said.
“We have a great group of girls here,” Blankenship said. “They were all super respectful, super chill and they’re just excited to be here.”
She said she is impressed with her staff so far, as they are already proposing many ideas for programs for the first-year students.
“I’m really excited about my staff,” Blankenship said. “My staff is just incredible so far. They’ve been really connecting with each other and with their residents.”
Blankenship said that she hopes to help her staff develop as leaders as well.
“We’re trying to change the way that RAs look at their job and try to look at it more as a leadership responsibility rather than just a resume builder,” she said. “And they’re all taking it on really well.”
Another aspect of her job that she enjoys, Blankenship said, is getting to know the residents and their parents as they move in.
“I was really into when parents were stressed about things that weren’t going how they planned or scared about leaving their daughters and stuff,” she said. “I got to really get to know the parents a little bit more and help reassure them that this is a really great place to leave their daughters and they’re in safe hands.”
Blankenship is enjoying adjusting to the new experience of living in Regina Hall as her residents did, she said.
“I think that it was good for my first year to be in a first-year residence hall, because I already know how it’s done in Le Mans and how it’s done in Holy Cross, but I’ve never done it here [in Regina],” she said. “It was good to see that for the first time while they were also seeing that for the first time. We got to kind of work through it together.”