The School of Education’s Impact Living-Learning Center (LLC) will enter its fourth year this fall, and new statistics reveal its value to the SOE and Baylor. Freshman education majors who live in the LLC are more likely to remain as sophomore education majors at Baylor than those who do not.
“Students in the LLC experience a sense of belonging that comes through intentional community,” LLC Program Director Erin Stamile, MSEd ’12, said. “Our leadership— from student volunteers and Community Leader staff to the SOE faculty and staff— intentionally builds connections that lead to greater personal and professional growth both inside and outside of the classroom for our residents.”
Originally named the Education Living-Learning Center, the program in South Russell Hall changed its name in 2017 to reflect the broad scope of its student population. While providing a special home to education majors, the LLC is open to Baylor students of any major who share a commitment to the importance of education.
A unique aspect of the LLC is the faculty partner program, which pairs a faculty member with each residential hallway. Faculty members host casual get-togethers and focus on building relationships to make sure students feel comfortable interacting with faculty members.
Dr. Brooke Blevins, associate professor in the School of Education, helped develop the original proposal for the LLC and continues her involvement as a faculty partner.
“Being a faculty partner for the past few years has given me a chance to get to know students and to interact with them on a regular basis as we all seek to impact the world around us,” Blevins said.
In addition, Dr. Mona Choucair, senior lecturer, lives in South Russell as the faculty-in-residence, serving as a mentor to students and providing leadership with a focus
The LLC also provides important leadership opportunities, especially for underclassmen.
“As a student director, I support my team’s events and focus more on the big picture,” sophomore Jordan Bringe said. “This role taught me a lot about communication and how to work with people overall, which will obviously come in handy in my career as a teacher. It also helped me realize that I might want to work in administration one day. This place is amazing, and I truly believe in what it does.”
The LLC is open to freshmen, but its energy and opportunities have led many to sign up again.
“As an incoming student I loved the community of the Impact LLC,” freshman Bryanne Sanchez said. “I felt connected to the students I met, because they had a passion for learning and were extremely welcoming and friendly. I’ve signed to live in South Russell and be a part of the Impact LLC again, because I know that I’m surrounded with a family who will be there for me every step of the way.”
— By Taylor Ward