Get to know 2019-20 Staff Member of the Year, Lori Etheridge

Describe your responsibilities?
I oversee the Residential Life and Housing Programs. I also serve as the direct contact for our Campus Security partners, organize and coordinate residential meal plans and residential card access. In Student Life, we do a little bit of everything!

Additionally, I have enjoyed teaching KW101 and serving as an academic advisor to my assigned first year students.

What Wesleyan means to you?
To me, Wesleyan means that everyone is welcome and has a place. That isn’t to say we cannot continue to grow and do better. But, our community is special. We provide a space where folks can learn and grow in many different ways. 

What you find most rewarding about your job?
The students. We are in unique positions to watch our students transform. The journey each one embarks on is unique to them. 

Any reflections on your experiences in dealing with COVID-19?
Do not underestimate the power of community. Our campus has had to make some hard decisions with information that we have had. Overall, we have come together to support one another. Our campus has fared well thus far. In part, I think that is due to our community.

How you practice The Wesleyan Way – and/or how do you see it lived out here on campus?
The Wesleyan Way is something I think our campus has grown into, and continues to grow into. We encourage our community to find ways to positively impact the world around them. Our campus provides several opportunities for students, faculty and staff to participate in this through leadership positions, internships, Bonner Leaders, athletics, community service and research. We have students who work in the Owensboro community. For me, The Wesleyan Way is a guide in how our community members engage themselves. 

Residentially, our students are learning to live with others who are different than themselves. They are having to problem solve in ways that they may not have had to before. We have the opportunity to challenge them to approach situations with kindness and explore how their actions directly impact others in a unique way.

You were recognized as the 2019-20 Staff Member of the Year. Congratulations! What does it mean to you to receive this recognition?
We rarely do things alone. There is not “I” in team. I have a wonderful group of colleagues that I have the privilege of working with across campus. Additionally, I have a residential staff that I am so proud of. We have to roll with the dice when things come up. No one succeeds alone, and I have a number of encouraging people to be grateful for.

Anything about your family, personal life, hobbies and interests you would like to share?
Our family is made up of my husband, two daughters, two beagles, and myself.  We do not live close to family and are fairly close-knit ourselves.  My daughters are 10 and 5.  Such fun ages.  Whether it is a family movie/game night, going on a family walk, or making something fun in the kitchen, we enjoy spending time together and seeking out adventure.