NKU’s newest dorm Northern Terrace provided additional housing for residents and a new friendly face will be there to welcome all the new residents.
The newest member of the University Housing staff, Lauren Mountain, will be serving as the hall director of Northern Terrace.
The Boston native earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Salem State University in Salem, Mass., and a graduate degree in college student personnel administration from Marquette University in Milwaukee. This is her first full-time housing director position.
We sat down with Mountain to learn more about her life and what brought her to NKU. Check out the Q&A below to find out what the Northerner learned about NKU’s new hall director.
Q: How did your summer of RA training and preparing the new residence hall go?
A: “It’s definitely been hectic. For me I think it was moving to a new place, getting acclimated seeing what was around. I think my favorite part of RA training is that you’re not with the RAs that you see all year; it’s all of the RAs that I might not see for a while.”
Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?
A: “I think I am most looking forward to seeing what a new building on this side of campus brings. I think that having one building over here maybe had some students feeling a little separated from campus so I think that adding another building and more students will give more of a community feel, especially with this outside space in the middle of the two buildings. I’m excited to see what we can do with the two buildings together.” Q: Do you have any specific goals or things you want to see happen this year?
A: “I want to see the RAs in this building really be creative in the way that they build communities, so figuring out what the best way is for their floor, whether that’s planning monthly floor programs for all of them to get together or meeting individually with their residents every so often. I really want them to do a good job of knowing their students and kind of figuring out exactly what is best for them.”
Q: What is your favorite part of working with college students?
A: “I think my favorite part of working with college students is helping them discover their potential that they might not necessarily see. When I was in college it took my RA and my supervisors when I became an RA to kind of show me that I could do more and that I was capable of more and so just being able to have someone in your corner and give you that push when you need it, that was really influential in my life and I don’t think I would have necessarily succeeded as much as I did in college if I didn’t have that. So I kind of see working with college students as a way of paying it forward to the people who helped me during my time.”
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “I’m obsessed with the TV show Scandal, so basically anything Scandal I’m a fan of. I also really like to cook. Every time I go to the store I buy a new cookbook and then like it sits on the shelf for a very, very long time before I use it, but I always have to buy one. I e njoy kind of just going through my cupboards and my pantry and seeing what I have and what I can I make from that and just trying new things like that. I also like to scrapbook. I don’t do it as often as I would like but I have like a huge Tupperware container of all the things I’ve bought to scrapbook.”
Q: Favorite food?
A: “I would have to say my grandmother’s spaghetti and meatballs. She won’t tell me exactly how she makes it, so I’ve been trying to get there, but we’re not there yet!”
Q: Favorite place to travel?
A: “Right before I went to college I went to New Mexico and I went for like a service trip, but I fell in love with the atmosphere, the weather, the people. So I think that’s my favorite place I’ve gone to so far. One of the things we actually got to do while I was there was build an actual tepee with one of the Native Americans there and kind of go through the whole ritual of blessing it so that was really exciting to see how they did it. I’ve never been out of the country. The place I would most like to visit is Ireland, that’s where my family is from originally so I would like to go visit there.”
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add or something else you’re excited for this semester?
A: “I think one thing I’m excited about is to get involved in the NKU community outside of housing. My grad assistantship when I worked in Marquette was with campus activities and organizations so I’m looking forward to kind of getting involved and seeing how every aspect of campus works with like Activities Programming Board, different events that are happening and student orgs, so I’m excited to kind of meet students who aren’t really in my building but in other buildings and involved all across campus.”