Sarah Stephens

Sarah Stephens
Hall Director

Undergraduate Degree:

Bachelor of Arts in Art History & Bachelor of Fine Arts in Pottery 
Colorado State University [CSU] (Fort Collins, CO)

Graduate Degree:

Masters of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education [CSU]

Why did you become a Hall Director?

I owe much of my understanding and celebration of residential life to my 5 ½ years living and learning within, and then later teaching for a service-based residential community at my alma mater [CSU].  For life after grad school, I longed for a job blending my values of leadership, service, diversity, community, adventure, and education – being a hall director at UNH easily met this criteria.  It offers an array of opportunities including the ability to integrate my love for student development, mentoring, and experiential learning into McLaughlin Hall.  As a hall director, I strive to enable, support, and challenge students to laugh with new friends, respect strangers, discover new passions, create great memories, celebrate differences, cultivate strengths, act with integrity, gain direction, reflect on growth, and find joy throughout the process.

Why did you choose UNH?

Where I choose to live impacts what I can do; hence I sought jobs at universities with a fun outdoor spirit and a wholesome community feel, and colleagues who were encouraging, challenging, inclusive, and fun.  Considering how I remained at CSU for many years, I knew change was on the horizon, but familiarity was desired.  Surprisingly, I found this combination located more than 2,100 miles from home in Colorado.  The welcoming atmosphere and truly awesome people I met at UNH caught my attention.  Its Res Life department and staff were unlike anything I knew, and thus I wanted to join this great bunch of people who shared similar passions for working with students, experiencing difference, and enjoying life, which most certainly is reflected in the synergy of our student-centered work.  It also helps to have colleagues and friends around here who love engaging in the great outdoors from the seacoast to the mountains!! I have already enjoyed some great experiences at UNH and look forward to the many adventures ahead!!

Advice for first-year students...

“THE JOY IS THE JOURNEY.” [Me] – Give yourself the permission to explore, stretch, and venture into the unknown by (1) integrating yourself in the UNH, Durham, and Seacoast communities through (healthy) social, academic, and service opportunities, (2) hanging out with someone entirely different-looking/-minded than you – there is a great diversity of people at UNH and in Durham worth befriending, AND (3) pursuing developmental leadership positions and (4) varying your studies to discover new and exciting career choices beyond what you considered in high school.  I assure you – by doing so, your college years will be filled with joy, and even when hard lessons arise, treating this chapter of your life’s journey with care, optimism, and integrity will bring positive outcomes!!

“KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, AND YOUR HEART STRONG.” [Ben Howard] – If your course load grows stressful, you’re feeling homesick, or something truly unfortunate happens to you – do not be afraid to seek out a mentor or two [beyond friends and family] to help you through hard times.  Hall Directors, RAs, professors, and other UNH staff members are all great resources to connect with when you could use some newfound hope, direction, and encouragement.  We are here for you, want the best for you, and a ready whenever you are to chat. J