By Grace Hatton, Editor-in-Chief
Sunderland and Vining make up the first-year area, an area which recently lost its Area Coordinator, Crystal Ebert. In an e-mail sent out to Resident Life staff on January 23rd, Ebert announced that she would be resigning from her position at Warren Wilson to take a job offer at InsideOut Body Therapies in Durham, NC, where she can finish her Pilate’s teacher certification training while working.
Ebert began working as an Area Coordinator at Wilson back in July 2012. Before Wilson, Ebert worked at St. Johns College in Annapolis, MD in various roles in the Outdoor Programs, Student Activities and Service Learning departments. During her time at St.Johns, Ebert earned her Masters in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and completed the Masters in Liberal Arts at St. John’s.
Ebert immediately saw the difference between Wilson students and St. Johns students upon her arrival on Wilson campus. “At St. John’s, everyone participated in a common curriculum, which added a lot to the intellectual climate,” says Ebert, “but the all-required work and service programs at Wilson attracts some really weird, incredible people. This is the sixth institution to which I’ve been connected, and Wilson students are by far my favorite.”
Ebert’s did not take her decision to leave Wilson lightly, and for the large part it had to do with goals she had set for herself in regards to her future with Pilates. “As some folks in the community know, I’ve been a Pilates teacher for a few years now, and I started the process of getting “fully” certified back in January of 2013 with the goal of finishing by my 30th birthday in July 2014,” says Ebert. “Last month, I got recruited to work with a studio in Durham that has a phenomenal Pilates and Pilates-based physical therapy program. I will be finishing my training there and assessing my options after that. I’d love to return to higher-ed. and work in student wellness, or maybe even open a studio in a college or university setting.”
Since Ebert’s decision to leave came during the semester, the Residence Life staff have taken on the responsibilities of her role. Leigh Manuel will be supervising the RA/RD staff in the first-year area; Josh Jacobs will be the primary contact for the conduct cases involving first-year students; Joyce Milling will be the primary contact for room changes in the first-year area; Megan Letchworth will be taking over the training committee and oversight of themed suites. The remaining Area Coordinators and Joyce Milling have each taken one of Ebert’s four remaining on-call weeks.Eberts crew, First Year Programs, however, was cut, and her two part-time crew members were assigned hours on other crews.
Ebert made a huge impact on the Residence Life Staff and will be missed for many reasons, including her connection with students. “Whenever asked about a first-year student, Crystal usually had a full picture of that student, from interests to degree being sought to work crew,” says Director of Residence Life and Housing Joyce Milling. “It was great to know that she was really connected to her residents and had a good pulse on the community.”
Residence Life will be rehiring for Ebert’s position ASAP. Leigh Manuel will be the search committee chair and has already contacted faculty, staff, and students to be on the committee. The hope is to have a replacement hired by July 1st. In the meantime, the Residence Life staff is looking to hire a temporary Interim Assistant Area Coordinator to help with the transition and is open to suggestions; if anyone knows a good candidate, feel free to e-mail Joyce Milling at email@example.com .
Ebert left campus for Durham on February 6th to pursue her new dream, but before her departure she shared some parting thoughts for the Wilson community: “Don’t be afraid to seek out more information if something about your experience or some policy doesn’t make sense to you,” said Ebert. “Shameless plug for the fabulous RA and RD staff: they’re excellent at understanding how the college operates and articulating why we have some of the policies that we do. ‘The Administration’ is actually made up of people who are really thrilled that you’re here, want you to succeed, and will strive to be fair with you (while also holding you accountable). If you feel as if you’re being treated unfairly, tell someone so that miscommunication can be cleared up or the situation can be remedied. I promise that there is really no such thing as double secret probation.”