Starting college can be a hassle for first year students. There’s so much planning to do. You have to decide where to go, what to do when you get there, etc. Luckily, one thing first-year students do not have to worry about is finding a room assignment that will suit them throughout their first year: that is the job of Travis Yoder, head of Housing here at Eastern University.
Yoder is one of many unsung heroes who help manage the housing process selection. The most important thing he wants students to know is that he and his staff are always striving for perfection. Yoder is big on serving the students in the best way he knows how and is always striving to get things right.
Having worked here only two years, Yoder is still a fairly new face on Eastern’s campus. He heard about Eastern’s “excellent reputation and strong qualities” at his previous job and cited Tony Campolo as one of his strongest influences in coming here. Yoder says that he has always been an admirer of Dr. Campolo and has read and evaluated his work throughout his studies.
Yoder attended college at Taylor University in Indiana, where he studied Sociology. While At Taylor University, Yoder served as a resident assistant for three years. He loved the job there so much that he decided to make a career out of it by relocating to Eastern University. Yoder now lives on campus in the Eagle Hall where he is also known as the Resident Director.
Yoder is also a fixture in the community. He attends church lo
cally at Saint David’s Episcopal Church and leads a high school level Bible study on Friday mornings.
Yoder keeps busy working and says this time of year is his busiest. His favorite thing about the job is interacting with students and supporting them in their walk here at Eastern. His least favorite part of his job is not being able to get everything perfect every time.
Yoder has very little down time since he lives on campus. He says he spends many of his free hours trying to get to know his students better over coffee or by simply having friendly chats in his apartment. His hobbies include enjoying a hot cup of coffee and watching a baseball game, though, working with students throughout the school year does not give him a lot of time to do these things.
Yoder says his greatest challenge in his job is setting up freshman pairings. It is difficult to put to names together on paper, especially without having met the parties or the personalities involved. This concerns him because he believes first impressions are the most important. “Meeting your roommate for the first time is similar to a first impression of how your year will be at Eastern, since that is who you will be spending most of your time with,” he says.
Yoder dotes on his Resident Advisory staff and says they have been a blessing to him over the past two years.
Looking to the future, Yoder plans to continue the job he has grown to love making the life of first-year students easier by giving them a little less to think about.