Shannon Loewen: Equipping Students for Life
Meet Shannon Loewen, Residence Director at Tyndale University College & Seminary since September 2012.
The Residence Director’s major role is to equip and mentor Residence Advisors (RAs), who play an important part in the lives of students – especially new students – living in residence. RAs are student leaders who help develop the community by getting to know their fellow students, encouraging them to build relationships with their peers, and helping them succeed academically.
“What you model in leadership is more powerful than what you speak of leadership,” states Shannon. As she mentors the RAs, she hopes that her relationship with them will have a multiplying effect in how they mentor students. She states, “My hope is that the relationships I have with RAs will be encouraging, challenging, and empowering so they will have the courage and confidence to be the same in their relationships with students.”
Shannon has been impressed with residence life at Tyndale since she began her position. Students return each year because of the positive experiences they have while living in residence. “It’s all about community and the friendships students make,” says Shannon. “The life here is a positive environment that encourages our students to do better.”
Her goal in the first year as Residence Director was “to understand the culture and really get absorbed into the Tyndale community.” She cited Tyndale’s famous floor hockey matches as one of the particular events that gave her insight into the “lively” atmosphere of student life at Tyndale.
There are many examples of community building in residence. Shannon sees RAs supporting students by “talking with them late into the night or enjoying a movie together,” and just being available for students is one of the most valuable ways RAs help build community at Tyndale.
Shannon holds a Master’s degree in Educational Studies focusing on Student Development. She is passionate about working in the Christian university environment, believing God has called her to help equip students “to move forward in a positive way.”
Her vision for students is to “help them develop a holistic lifestyle” from the perspective of the Christian faith. She wants students to leave university having learned healthy living habits and developed a passion for God that will stay with them in whatever career they pursue after Tyndale.
Shannon is excited about the future Tyndale Residence as the dorms move to the new Bayview Campus in the future. “It excites me because it presents something new that we can add to what we’ve already grown here at Ballyconnor,” says Shannon. “My goal is to keep the values that are intrinsic to Tyndale Residence and to carry them out at Bayview. It just may look a little different than before, but I hope people will see the values that we hold true to as we become comfortable in our future location.”