A new RD took over the position at HU’s Livingston Hall. After a year in China, Paige Winans came back to replace the previous RD who had been there for seven years.
By Juliana Bitters, Contributor
“Watching Chinese teachers bob for apples was pretty funny because they didn’t know what they were supposed to be doing,” says RD of Livingston Hall, Paige Winans.
Right after graduating from Huntington University in 2018 with a middle school language arts major, Winans taught English in China.
“Getting to introduce the teachers to a part of our culture was really fun.”
Following her return to the states, she began teaching at an elementary school in Fort Wayne, Indiana for a year.
It wasn’t until she heard that there was an open position at her alma mater that she decided to apply.
“I was an RA once, and I always thought that being an RD would be a really fulfilling job,” she says.
She first applied at Indiana University to be an RD but didn’t get the job. Winans said she was very pleased to get a job at the school that she graduated from.
At Huntington University, Livingston Hall is the newest of all dorms. Although the last RD, Jessica Hatcher, wasn’t on the staff before Livingston was built, she came after and stayed on as the RD for many years.
Hatcher, who is now a full-time LMHC doing therapy in Huntington, stuck around in town even after she left HU. She seems to have no doubts about Winans taking over her previous job.
“I felt so great passing the torch to Paige,” says Hatcher. “It’s nice to be able to place such an important and personal job into the hands of someone you know and trust.”
Winans was a student there at the time, working as an RA under Hatcher. But the time had come for Livingston to switch things up a bit.
“It’s definitely different,” says sophomore Lauren Slottke, RA of Livingston second. “I really loved Jhatch, but she was an RD for a really long time, so it was time for her to move on.”
Slottke expresses the learning experience that she has had so far being one of Winans RA’s.
“I know it’s only been a few months, but I have already learned the importance of getting to know your community,” she says.
Slottke explained how much she likes being an RA under Winans, and she says she enjoys the level of communication that they have with each other.
Sophomore RA of Livingston first, Sarah Disbro, seems to have a similar opinion on how Winans runs things.
“Paige is really involved with us,” Disbro says. “She is always on top of everything and making sure that everyone is doing okay.”
According to Disbro, Winans seems like a really good fit for Livingston. Building a community seems to be what she is all about, and Slottke and Disbro both seem to have a liking for that.
RAs build a strong connection with their RD because they work together a lot. According to Slottke, she meets individually with Winans every Thursday, and they have team meetings every Wednesday.
“Being an RD is all about building relationships,” Winans says.
Disbro also enjoys how Winans continued some of Livingston’s traditions after Hatcher left.
“I love how she continued flapjack Friday.”
Flapjack Friday has been a long-standing tradition for Livingston Hall ever since Hatcher became the RD years ago. It is a time for the community to come together, socialize, and eat pancakes. For unknown reasons, they have continued calling it Flapjack Friday even though it is always on a Thursday.
As this is Winans first year being an RD, she is still learning, just like her first year RAs. There is one main takeaway that she took from being a previous RA under Hatcher.
“My experience as an RA under JHatch taught me about the importance of relationship-building, and it taught me about the value of residence life.”
It seems to be working out very well for Winans so far this year, and both RAs speak highly of her.
Disbro says: “Having a new RD brings a new energy to the building, and I like it a lot.”
Paige Winans fact box
|City and state she grew up in||Angola, Indiana|
|Degree||Achieved Masters of Education in TESOL in 2020|
|Pets||Two cats named Cat and Bat|
|Favorite country||China, Hong Kong|
|Favorite grade to teach||College-age|
|Favorite Bible verse||Hebrews 11:1|
|Favorite genre of music||Musical soundtracks|
|Favorite movie||Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Marvel movies|
|Favorite restaurant||Banh Mi Barista in Fort Wayne|
|Favorite animal||Cats or dinosaurs|
|Favorite building on campus||Livingston|