Saint Mary’s names new hall director

first_imgTags: dorm life, McCandless Hall, saint mary’s, Trelstad Alyssa Trelstad became an honorary belle when she joined the Saint Mary’s Residence Life staff as the hall director for McCandless Hall.“I think that all the people that make up Saint Mary’s make it special,” Trelstad said of her new workplace and home. “The students, staff, and faculty create a community unlike any other.”The hall directors live in their dorm buildings and act as a resource for their residents, according to Trelstad. Trelstad said McCandless Hall presents unique challenges to the hall director as it is a first-year only dorm, but for her, this makes the job even more exciting.“I am excited for the opportunity to impact the lives of the first-year students,” Trelstad said. “I would argue that the first year of college brings about a concentrated period of growth and development for students. For most, it is the first time they are living away from home. For many, it is their first experience living with peers. Finding a way to foster growth, allow for mistakes, and advocate for positive decision making will be a challenge.”Prior to coming to Saint Mary’s, Trelstad earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is currently completing a Master’s in School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling at Indiana University South Bend, she said. Trelstad believes her experience as a community advisor at the University of Minnesota prepared her well for her new job as a hall director.“Residence life is a unique opportunity to know students beyond the classroom,” she said. “The residential life piece of a college experience teaches students life skills like responsibility, independence, organization and empathy. Being able to watch residents flourish, especially first-year residents, is a privilege.”Trelstad found out about the hall director position from a current student while working together.“This summer I worked at Starbucks with a Saint Mary’s student,” Trelstad said. “She told me about it and I applied that night.”Trelstad’s other job experiences also include living in residential settings. She interned and worked in the science faculty at boarding schools, she said. Most recently, Trelstad worked at La Lumiere in La Porte, where she taught Anatomy and Physiology, coached rowing and worked in the dorm, Trelstad said.As hall director, Trelstad works with the resident advisors, ministry assistant and “Belles Connect” assistants to foster a community within the dorm, she said. She said she is excited to work and grow close with her staff, and believes they will make the first-years’ experience an excellent one.“The mission of Saint Mary’s College describes a residential community where women are prepared to make a difference,” Trelstad said. “To engage these young women with one another, provide a life-long support system and engage each belle to be her very best for herself. I am excited to see the creativity and dedication that the McCandless staff has already demonstrated blossom to make this the best year yet.”last_img read more

Mountain Mama on Cultivating Stillness

first_imgI’m tucking into a dark cave for the next week to birth my book. Five years after writing the first sentence, I’m finally ready to finish editing. My four-year-old son is at his dad’s house, the stack of bills paid, and my accelerated life put on hold. There’s nothing but my computer, lots of frozen pizza, chocolate, and a box of red wine.Part of me is tempted to use this unencumbered, child-free time to rush off on another adventure, to cram in as many experiences in as possible.  Another impulse, a quieter one, beckons. I crave stillness.I’ve come to the realization that sometimes doing more creates so much noise in my head that I have a difficult time discerning the meaning buried underneath all my experiences.  Piling activity upon activity numbs me to the very thing I seek – a bold life.One of my favorite author’s, Cheryl Strayed, nailed it when she wrote about negative space. “One of the basic principals of every single art form has to do not with what’s there – the music, the words, the movement, the dialogue, the paint – but with what isn’t.” She explains how the blank space, the pauses, and the stillness give meaning to art by adding impact to what is there.I spent most of my twenties and early thirties chasing the next outdoor high. From helicopter kayaking in New Zealand to a month of sea kayaking in Baja, I prioritized experiences with as few pauses as possible. That period in my life culminated with a cross-country road trip that eventually ended with me settling in Western North Carolina and solo-parenting my son. Until then, it escaped me that for my life to reach its highest potential, I must also cultivate stillness.  I’ve spent the past five years sifting through those times, sometimes resonating on a single day for months. The time I’ve spent writing about my life has added an intimacy and depth that I would have never known otherwise. Reflecting and writing has given me a certain sense of clarity about the person I was and the distance I still must travel to become the woman I want to be. Going inward has empowered me to rewrite my story, creating something I’ll be proud for my son to one day read.Sometimes sitting still can be excruciating. I’m plagued by the constant sense of missing out on something fun. I feel guilty for not using free time to be with my son or nurture friendships. By denying the on-demand access so expected in our society, I’ll be able to return in a week with a lot more to offer others. Instead of showing up tired, distracted, and exhausted, I’ll come back invigorated and fully present.That’s the true gift of going nowhere.[divider]More from Mountain Mama[/divider]last_img read more