by Morgan Steele (msteele@wwc) and Micah Wilkins (mwilkins@wwc)
Margot Jebb, Sage Circle
Margot Jebb loves working with college-age individuals, getting to know them on a personal level, and being a role model.
Jebb landed the perfect job for her passions: Warren Wilson’s Sage Circle Area Coordinator. The new position was created to keep the various areas of campus in order. Her job is to supervise the Residence Directors of Stephenson, Sage, Shepard, Schafer and Dorland, and manage Sage Café.
Jebb is no stranger to residence life. Ever since her first Resident Assistant position in her sophomore year of college, she has maintained her role as a leader.
“I’m really into being an advocate and being a good role model [for the students],” Jebb said.
To Jebb, being an advocate for the students means listening to and communicating with them in an attempt to get their needs and wants met.
“My biggest thing is just to see what the RAs and the RDs want to do and what the students want to do,” she said. “So I like being an advocate for the students… I’m really in to being an advocate and being a good role model [for the students]. I love the individual.”
Jebb took the position at Warren Wilson because of the school’s atmosphere. She saw her own appreciation for the individual mirrored in the College’s attitude and mission.
“I was in the South for grad school, and I was looking for a more progressive school environment,” Jebb said. “I love getting to know people on a personal level, and I saw that the individual was really appreciated at this school.”
Katie Buehner, Sunderland and Vining
Katie Buehner found her passion in college, and has never left that environment.
“When I was a first year student I had an RA who was not very attentive and I was like ‘I can do better than that,’” Buehner said.
Upgrading from an RA to an RD, and now to an AC, Buehner’s current responsibilities include supervising the 6 RAs in Sunderland, the RD in Vining, and putting in work orders for Sunderland, as the building manager.
Thanks to her background in student affairs in higher education, Buehner’s job is also to help out student workers in her area.
“[ACs] provide more support for the students and our student workers,” Buehner said. “We are here to support [student RAs and RDs] when they’re enforcing policy, so that they know they have immediate backup.”
As the AC of a dorm made up entirely of first year students, as well as their RAs, Buehner’s passion is for providing support to individuals adjusting to college life.
“I really loved all the work in the first year building, helping out freshmen to see the big picture of college, and trying to get them to see why they’re here,” Buehner said.
Buehner also coordinates First Year Programs, which are events like movie nights and study nights, organized for the purpose of helping first years transition into college life.
“When the description of this position came available, I was like I would love to do this, because Residence life is so encompassing of the whole student.”
Joyce Milling, The Village
In her early college days at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, Joyce Milling, the new Village Area Coordinator, fell in love with working with college students.
“I was originally going to major in Forensic Science,” said Milling, “but I got really involved in student life and had more fun with jobs involving other people. Jobs in Forensic Science were kind of isolated. It was fun to be closer to students and mentor them, even as a student.”
Milling left Christopher Newport University with a degree in Biology but soon attended the College of William and Mary for graduate school, earning a degree in Higher Education Administration. She then worked as an Area Coordinator at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. for three years. Those three years were all it took to have Milling itching for a change of scenery.
“I wanted to work with a different student body and get out of the city,” said Milling. “The city wore down a little on myself and my husband.”
Milling and her husband searched for a college that might be able to provide a new job in a new setting with new faces. While Googling for options, they found Warren Wilson College among a list of schools recommended by Sierra Magazine.
“An article came up on the ten coolest schools as far as global warming and addressing that issue was concerned,” said Milling. “That’s something that I definitely have a lot of passion for.”
After more in-depth research, Milling came to truly appreciate the core concepts behind life at Warren Wilson, mainly the Triad and the school’s commitment to both service and the environment.
“When you look at Warren Wilson,” said Milling, “you can’t help but be impressed and want to be a part of that.”
Along with her new job as Area Coordinator of the Village, Milling received a collateral position as Housing Coordinator.
“As Housing Coordinator, I assign all the incoming students to their houses over the summer and deal with housing selection for returning students as well,” said Milling. “During the school year, I deal with housing changes, I maintain a lot of housing paperwork and I do a lot with dorm fines and billing.”
Milling now lives in Village B with her husband and her dog, Riley. Her office is located on the upper floor of Dodge House. When she’s not sorting through paperwork or talking to students, you’ll likely find her enjoying the outdoors, crocheting or going to see live music.
Phil Wiltizus, The Ballfields
It was a series of less than satisfactory experiences at big state universities and a passion for health and wellness that drew Phil Wiltizus, the new Ballfield Area Coordinator, to Warren Wilson College.
“I was looking for a smaller private experience because I’d been at three state universities,” said Wiltizus, who attended college at Washington State University and went to grad school at North Carolina State and Minnesota University. “I liked the culture here. Everybody comes here with a purpose to do something postive and change the world. I was really impressed. You can just be yourself here and be okay.”
At Minnesota University, Wiltizus wrote his senior thesis on college women and drinking. He also worked with residential life offices — something he’s been doing for about 7 years now.
“I was in charge of 300 to 600 student buildings,” said Wiltizus.
He found the Area Coordinator opportunity at Warren Wilson on a website called higheredjobs.com. The job also came with a collateral position involving health education. He now acts as the Area Coordinator of the Ballfields, but is also heading the new health/wellness and substance abuse prevention crew.
“When they made the position [Area Coordinator, Collateral Positions], this one was designated as health education,” said Wiltizus. “Part of the strategic plan was to ensure student safety and help with substance use and abuse.”
Part of Wiltizus’ role as a health educator is to facilitate for students the process of overcoming substance abuse.
“Obviously we’re just getting started,” said Wiltizus, “and there’s many things we have planned. I’m hoping to provide rides for people in Alcoholics Anonymous. We are also a resource if people want to quit smoking. We’re not here to pressure people to quit, but if they ever need help we’re here. We’re very positive and proactive.”
He is also working to help students throw safe parties through reexamining the Event Contract policy here on campus.
“Students are allowed to have parties with alcohol, but they have to sign an Event Contract,” said Wiltizus. “Part of my job is to make that easier and more educational. Last year, it was a big hassle. Students had to get a bunch of signatures and there wasn’t any education involved. Now, they only have to get me to sign the contract and we try to educate them on safety.”