SPU staff members of the month are nominated by their peers and selected by Staff Council. If you would like to nominate a person for this recognition, proceed to the nomination page.
Meet the SPU Staff Member of the Month for November 2013
Assistant Director, Residence Life
In the span of one day, Assistant Director of Residence Life Lynnea Common might answer an urgent phone call from a current parent, create a support plan for a student in crisis, help peer advisors integrate educational content in residence hall programming, and then cheer at a Falcon game after dinner with her family.
For nearly 10 years, Lynnea has lived and worked on college campuses, relishing her work as an educator in our community. She took a two-year detour to Pepperdine, but most of that campus living has been right here on Queen Anne hill. Lynnea loves Seattle Pacific, and you can’t argue: She has the best commute in town.
How did you end up working in such a unique role on campus? What do you like about it? During grad school here at SPU, I studied sports and exercise leadership, and somewhere along the way, I fell in love with residence life. I love the activity side, and I love the educational side. When my phone rings in the middle of the night, it’s usually a crisis moment for a student. It’s my job to provide consultation and support, but I also recognize that this is a sacred space, a place of deep need. I like being able to help meet that deep need.
What’s it like to live on campus? I love it! It’s been a decade now, and I still feel like this work in residence life is part of my calling. When people ask if my entire family lives in a dorm room (insider tip: we don’t call them dorm rooms, they are residence halls), I have to laugh. Of course we don’t! We have a house on campus where I live with my husband and three kids, who are five, three, and almost one. My husband Daniel — whom I met on ski trip with student life staff including HR’s own Carrie McCrimmon — loves it here, too. We go to sporting events, lectures, theatre productions, and our kids are growing up with an amazing village around us. It’s a unique place to raise a family, but we are modeling normal life for them as much as possible.
Any residence life adventures you’d like to share with us? When we lived in Emerson, fire drills were always an interesting experience. As a residence life coordinator, I was also a building emergency coordinator. It was my job to help evacuate the building, count students, and get everything organized. Each time the alarm went off, I would call my babysitter (a current student), shuttle my kids to the car, pull from the garage into the parking lot where they sat with the heat blasting until it was all over. They started to look forward to it! Fire drills in the middle of the night—that’s the sort of thing my kids think is completely normal.
What do you think about when you imagine the next 10 years for Residence Life at SPU? We have a new dean of community life, a new director, and there’s a lot of vision casting going on right now. I always enjoy developing the learning objectives for our work, and it feels like a truly collaborative process. We have a lot on the horizon, and I am excited to see where we are headed.
Please join Staff Council in congratulating Lynnea Common as Staff of the Month!