By Raeann Clement
Ms. Waters has been the Director of Student Services at St. John’s since 2006, when she was asked by the current Assistant Dean at the time to apply for the position. Over the last 13 years, she has worked tirelessly to be an important and helpful resource for students and their concerns. She also holds the position as our school’s deputy Title IX Coordinator.
St. John’s has always been home for Ms. Waters, as she completed her masters at the Graduate Institute in 1994. She went on to complete her second undergraduate degree, and was then hired as the assistant manager on the college bookstore. After that, she was hired as a Senior Resident Assistant for 10 years, and she worked as a trauma nurse at Shock Trauma in Baltimore before she assumed her current position in 2015. Even though she did not get to have the undergraduate experience, she is very familiar and as immersed in the program material as us Johnnies are. She truly admires the community and the commitment the students here have for learning and growing as individuals, inside and outside of the classroom. She stated that even she was given that opportunity for personal growth and learning through her own missteps. As the Director of Student Services, she truly tries to serve students by listening to all the good and bad that students say to her and about her, and using it to do her job better and more efficiently.
Her title is officially a part of the Assistant Dean’s office, an office which a lot of students come to for their problems on campus, from not getting along to their roommates, to problems in the classrooms, or to other serious problems or concerns of students. Ms. Waters said she loves sitting and listening to students’ problems or when they’re upset and helping them in providing or looking for a solution. She always urges students to come in whenever they have any dilemma, and talk to her about it. Her other favourite part of this job is the discipline part. And she says it’s because loves to witness when students evolve through disciplinary actions, and when they learn and help other students from committing the same mistakes. She had a lot of hardship in her youth so she understands the suffering students experience when they get caught especially for drugs and alcohol, and that it is not a black and white situation. Another aspect of her job that Ms. Waters’ enjoys is incoming freshman. Being a mother herself, she has maternal instinct in her that wants to see them flourish and grow within the community.
The Assistant Dean’s office is currently in the process of beefing up Student Services by hiring a new Director of Student Wellness. The person in this position will act as the Director of the Health Center and its nursing and counselling staff, a Title IX Coordinator (for all members of the campus community), and as ADA/Section 504 Coordinator for students. The hiring of this position will allow for her office to run more efficiently and focus a lot more on providing the services that students need at the college.
Ms. Waters has spent a significant time at St. John’s, calling it ‘home’, which allows her to really understand the St. John’s culture and know the ins and outs of the school. She admits that while her goal is gratify the student body, she understands that she cannot please everyone. However, she still tries her very best and implores students to come into her office to speak with her, whether it to complain about their roommate, or criticise her office, or really anything a student is concerned about, as her office can only know how to help the students if they come in and speak with her.