• Residence Life Staff

    Director of Residence Life

    Under the supervision of the Dean of Students, the Director of Residential Life provides overall leadership and administration for the department including strategic planning and goal setting, policies and procedures, staff supervision, budget management, risk management, and the development and assessment of co-curricular initiatives and services designed to advance student success.

    • Jonathan Yorkowitz

      Title: Director of Residence Life
      Years of Professional Residence Life Experience: 10 years
      Started Working @ HSU: 2015
      Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting (Union University), Master of Arts in Human Services (Liberty University), post-graduate work in Intercultural Studies (Biola University)
      Certifications: Conflict Management, Mediation, First Aid and Mental Health First Aid

      Why have you chosen Residence Life as your profession?
      I look at my work in residence life as a lived out calling to invest in the lives of people, helping them to know God and each other better each day. My wife and I have been engaged in this area of Higher Education for more than ten years and consider it an honor to be educators in the co-curricular process.

      What is your favorite part about residence life?
      We have a staff of eight professionals whose primary work assignment is the engagement of students in the living/learning environments on the Hardin-Simmons University campus. They live and work in the same place, living out their faith as an example of the dramatic transformation that comes through redeeming work of Christ each day. I love getting to do life with them and with our students!

      What is your favorite thing about HSU so far?
      Recognizing that there are big, audacious goals that we want to accomplish to make the HSU community better and better, the cooperation of deeply invested and caring people to accomplish those goals is something I appreciate! Also, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a school that has 18-Athletic Teams, a reinvigorated vision for approving campus facilities and student experience, and even a team of horses? Hardin-Simmons University is a great place that’s getting better by the day!

      What is something that “geeks you out?”
      I could talk for days about international travel, outdoor adventuring, and aviation. In fact, let’s get coffee to discuss that soon!

      What do you think of Abilene so far?
      Abilene is a great town that’s full of warm, welcoming people. We have great local restaurants, most of the amenities you’d need, and interesting attractions (zoo, downtown theatre, historical sites, etc.) for a city our size. Lastly, having come from living in much larger cities for the past 10-years, it’s nice to have a slower pace of life!

    Residence Director

    The Residence Director (RD) is a full-time, live-in staff employee of Hardin-Simmons University. These staff members are committed to shaping your experience at HSU through personal development, intellectual engagement and spiritual formation.

    • Timothy R. Schmidt

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: 6 years
      Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Business Administration (2006) and Master of Business Administration (2011)

      What do you love most about Student Life at HSU?
      I have been a part of Student Life at HSU since 2002, when I came here as a Freshman. The University pours so much time, energy, and resources into the lives of the students! I love the commitment to Student Life here at HSU!

      What is your favorite part about your job as an RD?
      As an RD, I am living amongst the students and have an opportunity to be a part of their lives. My RDs spoke so much encouragement and truth into my life here at HSU, I greatly enjoy getting to do the same for our current students.

      How would you describe our unique HSU Student Life experience?
      HSU is a small community and yet there is more than enough room for everyone! There are so many places for students to plug-in and utilize their talents and abilities. If you have a passion for something, we have a place for you to lead and inspire others in that area.

      What is something that “geeks you out!”?
      I am deeply passionate about the study of Leadership, and how leaders are called to impact the lives of people around them. I am easily drawn into conversations about leadership, management, HSU history, and shooting sports.

      What are some things you enjoy about living in Abilene?
      I have lived in Abilene full time since 2005, and have come to love this city. The local culture is so unique and welcoming to college students. While Abilene is a small city, there is still plenty to do when I am with my friends and family.

    • Haley Carlson

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: 1 year
      Degrees Earned:Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Public Relations (University of Mary-Hardin Baylor)

      What do you love most about Student Life at HSU?
      I love that in every way, we are all trying to tie each part of Student Life together. We aren’t separated into different groups like student organizations or Baptist Student Ministry, we’re all one big family who wants students to succeed and have the best college experience possible.

      What is your favorite part about your job as an RD?
      My favorite part about being an RD is that I get to be in constant communication with students. Doing life with students in the best part of this job and there’s no better place to be than in the residence halls with the students.

      How would you describe our unique HSU Student Life experience?
      I think Hardin-Simmons Student Life is different because the RDs fall under Student Life here. I love that I get to be involved with students every day and help connect them to different student organizations or groups here on campus, which isn’t the same at other universities.

      What is something that “geeks you out?!”
      Two of my favorite things in the world are coffee and traveling. I absolutely love coffee. I love drinking a good, sweet cup of coffee and trying all the different types. I also love to travel any chance I get. I love riding in planes or cars. I love meeting new people and being in different environments every once and a while. One of my goals is to go to every continent in my life time.

      What are some things you enjoy about living in Abilene?
      I like that Abilene has a lot to do, but it’s not a big city. I grew up in Arlington and it was always crazy with traffic and people and everything. I like Abilene because you get a little taste of that, which is just the right amount.

    • John McCormick

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: 1 year
      Degrees Earned:Bachelor of Behavioral Science in Psychology (2014)

      What do you love most about Student Life at HSU?
      I love the variety of programs that we offer. Coming in as a non-traditional student could have been difficult, but because of the close knit atmosphere and the assortment of programs available here at HSU, I was able to find my fit and thrive.

      What is your favorite part about your job as an RD?
      I love the freedom we have to connect to students. We are able to build relationships rather than just watching over them.

      How would you describe our unique HSU Student Life experience?
      There are so many things going on here on campus, it is actually difficult not to find something that you can plug into. Chances are if you’re into something, we offer a program for it, and if we don’t offer we are very supportive with student’s efforts to start new programs.

      What is something that “geeks you out!”?
      I love to learn about new things. If you look at my computer at any given moment, chances are there are several tabs opened to random and seemingly unrelated Google searches.

      What are some things you enjoy about living in Abilene?
      I have had the opportunity to live in many places around the world, and I can honestly say that Abilene is one of my favorites. Abilene’s atmosphere is one that allows you to relax and just take in all that it has to offer. We have a small town feel while still possessing the amenities of a much larger city.

    • Austin Lyon

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: New Hire
      Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Anderson University)

      Why have you chosen Residence Life as your profession?
      I've chosen Residence Life as my profession because of the ability I have to truly "do life" with the guys living in the residence hall. It is such an amazing opportunity to get to walk alongside fellow brothers to lift one another up. Also, living in the residence halls is awesome!

      What is your favorite part about living in the residence halls?
      Community, community, community. I love the idea of building community and figuring out what it means to live in authentic community with people. In addition, it is awesome that we get to live with such amazing people!

      What is your favorite thing about HSU so far?
      All of the people that I have met so far have been awesome. I have been welcomed with authenticity, care, and support in my transition to HSU, and it has been a true testament to who HSU is. I can tell that HSU is filled with great people, and I'm excited to get to know more Cowboys/Cowgirls.

      What is something that “geeks you out?”
      I love coffee. Whether it is learning about coffee, sharing a French press, or educating others on coffee, it geeks me out. Chances are if you walk into my apartment you will see 10 different coffee making devices, all of which produce a unique complexity to each cup that is brewed. Also, I love how great conversation and a cup of coffee seem to go hand in hand. Let's get coffee and talk more!

      So what do you think of Abilene so far?
      Well I have found one coffee shop so far that is really awesome, so that's a good sign! It's also hot here. As a Michigander living in the heart of Texas I will be wearing shorts year round since my skin is used to -20 degree weather. On a serious note, Abilene has welcomed me with open arms, and is a town that I look forward to calling home.

    • Jesse Turcott

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: New Hire
      Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Indiana Wesleyan University)

      Why have you chosen Residence Life as your profession?
      I have chosen Residence Life as a profession because I know, from experience, how much development and growth takes place in the residence halls. I love working with students, and I am passionate about coming alongside people and working through what it means to live a Christian life.

      What is your favorite part about living in the residence halls?
      I love the community found in the residence halls. Whether you are looking to hang out, play a pick-up game, have a deep conversation, etc., all you have to do is step outside your room and knock on someone else’s door.

      What is your favorite thing about HSU so far?
      I have been incredibly impressed by the staff at HSU. The people here have been kind and genuine and demonstrated Christ-like compassion. It is also evident that the staff here truly cares about the development and well-being of the students.

      What is something that “geeks you out?”
      Nature definitely geeks me out. I love spending time in the great outdoors hiking or portaging; especially in areas with mountains and dense forest. I also love learning, and occasionally spend hours reading about an interesting topic that I happen to stumble across.

      So what do you think of Abilene so far?
      While by no means a large city, Abilene is massive compared to my hometown of 30,000. I do appreciate that Abilene finds a way to maintain a small-town feel that seems to be permeated with the southern hospitality I have heard so much about. The city has already started to grow on me and I am excited to call it my new home.

    • Kate French

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: New Hire
      Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music Performance & Education (Spring Arbor University)

      Why have you chosen Residence Life as your profession?
      I love God, and I deeply love His people, Residence Life allows me to serve in a holistic context that no other job could quite emulate! I was an RA in college, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to live life alongside 'my girls' so I could truly know and love them well.

      What is your favorite part about living in the residence halls?
      Quiet hour violations, roommate conflicts, and basketballs bouncing on my ceiling! On the surface level I'm totally joking; none of those things are very enjoyable on the front end. But looking at them from the perspective of a mentor and a teacher, those really are a few of my favorite things. Girls being loud at night means they're either having fun or getting passionate about something, a basketball bouncing on my ceiling might mean someone is prepping for an important game, and roommate conflicts can become opportunities for growth and stronger relationships in the end. So overall, my favorite part of living in a Residence Hall is exactly that, living in a residence hall. Growing in relationship with my residents, while empowering them to grow in relationship with one another, and God; through every day experiences.

      What is your favorite thing about HSU so far?
      The warm community! From when I first talked with HSU staff, to my interviews, I felt truly welcomed and 'wanted.' The campus interviews felt more like time with friends who wanted to get to know me better, than a committee of individuals looking for a worker that best met 'said expectations.' It will take some time to transition, but I can definitely tell HSU will quickly become another home; and that's because of the great people here!

      What is something that “geeks you out?”
      Children and puppies, coffee/food/chocolate, music, reading, playing sports, learning new things (insert nerd glasses here,) and just time with people in general. Jesus might be an obvious one, but He's kind of a big deal so I'm going to say him too.

      So what do you think of Abilene so far?
      I like it. Although I'm a Michigander, and moved here from Indiana, 85 degrees is my happy temperature so weather-wise Abilene and I are getting along just fine. I also enjoy the kindness and overall quality interactions throughout Abilene I've experienced thus far. The whole 'frontage road', 75mph speed limits, passing lane only lanes, and unspoken traffic codes, may turn me into an avid bicyclist, but all in all this is a good place to be!

    • Yessenia Juarez

      Title of your position: Residence Director
      Years of service @ HSU: New Hire
      Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies (Baptist University of the Americas)

      Why have you chosen Residence Life as your profession?
      I have chosen Residence Life as my profession because I will get direct access with the students. I believe Residence Life is one of the core departments within Student Life that brings the whole campus together. I will be working to develop the leaders of tomorrow!

      What is your favorite part about living in the residence halls?
      The direct access that I will have with students is one of my favorite parts of living in the residence halls. While in close contact with these students, I will be able to learn about their life experiences, struggles, and dreams. I will be part of their journey in achieving their goals academically, personally and spiritually.

      What is your favorite thing about HSU so far?
      So far, my favorite thing about HSU is the numerous events that Student Life uses to engage students. Through this engagement, students get the opportunity to have fellowship together, get involved in their community, and establish a home away from home.

      What is something that “geeks you out?”
      I love to read, most times you will see me re-reading one of my favorite books “Anna Karenina” written by Leo Tolstoy. If you ever get the chance to see my Macbook keyboard, you will know that I am very interested in superheroes. I love learning about different cultures. In the future I hope to travel to Italy, Spain, and Auschwitz in Oświęcim, Poland.

      So what do you think of Abilene so far?
      I come from San Antonio, Texas, and Abilene so far has been my home away from home. Living in Abilene has allowed me to slow down and embrace life. This small but active city has so much to offer; each month there are numerous activities that anyone can be a part of.

    Resident Assistant

    The Resident Assistant (RA) will assist the Resident Director in maintaining housing policies and procedures. They will be living in your wing and fostering community in the ResHalls. Students just like you, our RA’s are your first line of communication for any questions or concerns that might arise while you are living with us.

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