Get to know the new RDs
Sydnie Nelson and Renee Shaeffer take on new interim roles in Stewart and Blackstone. | Photo Illustration by Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES
This spring semester two resident directors have stepped down, leaving Residence Life with some gaps. With spots to fill, Sydnie Nelson and Renee Shaeffer have stepped in as interim director.
Sydnie Nelson: Stewart Hall
Nelson, interim resident director for Stewart Hall, grew up in Arkansas and went to college in Oklahoma. Before she stepped into the position, she worked as a resident coordinator for the past year and a half in the La Mirada apartments. Nelson’s supervisor informed her of the new resident director role, and soon after, Residence Life offered her the job of interim resident director.
While in the role, Nelson will graduate with her master's degree in intercultural studies. Nelson hopes to work in Student Development and higher education long-term.
“I’m really enjoying the role of interim resident director at Stewart and really love working with students,” Nelson said. “Being in this role has continually affirmed my love for the work and for the students.”
Nelson is married to her husband, Andrew, who will graduate with his master’s in biblical languages and linguistics in May. Nelson also works as a birth doula on the side.
Renee Shaeffer: Blackstone Hall
Shaeffer, interim resident director of Blackstone, was born and raised in Santa Ana. Shaeffer went to Biola for her undergraduate degree and graduated in 2003. Before Shaeffer stepped into the new role, she was in Northeast England for three and a half years with her family. Her husband pursued a doctorate in theology there, and the family got back to the United States approximately six weeks ago.
Prior to England, Shaeffer worked as a resident coordinator for four years as well as other jobs in Residence Life. In anticipation of her return, Shaeffer emailed Residence Life asking if they needed any help because she knew a resident director left. With the experience she already had, she heard a response about two weeks after her email was sent. Next thing, Shaeffer was hired.
“I had already done this type of interim work where I’m filling in for someone else,” Shaeffer said. “I’ve done a couple of different roles, and I know Res Life.”
It is unlikely Shaeffer will pursue the role of resident director long term. The job fits perfectly for her family right now, but the future remains uncertain.
Along with being married, Shaeffer has two sons. While in England, she developed a travel bug and adventured to places like Barcelona, Brussels and Prague. Shaeffer believes in holistic healthy living and loves hip-hop, Motown and soul music.