Features

Staff Spotlight: Linda Hytha

Administrative Assistant at Eastern

The Administrative Assistant for the Youth Ministries, Sociology, and Missions and Anthropology departments, Linda Hytha, has been working at Eastern since 2007. Her previous work experience includes co-owning a real estate business with her husband and being a member of a family band.

Hytha assists 11 professors with preparing syllabi, grading tests and papers, and developing special projects and programs. She also is hospitable to the students in these departments by helping them operate Blackboard, select courses, and understand assignments, and by providing advice spiritually, emotionally and career-wise.

Hytha really tries to be a model of love and hospitality. Students refer to her as “mom,” which speaks to how she is viewed as a person to confide in and seek guidance from. “I have little adopted grandchildren from previous students, [and] I go to their weddings,” she says.

Since students come into the office randomly and Hytha has assigned duties, there is not a typical day in her office. According to her, it depends on “the need of [the] moment,” such as a student needing to talk, checking emails, or working on a project with a professor.

Hytha manages her work duties and conversing with various students by making sure that she effectively completes her assigned work by coming in early or staying later.

“It is tricky to manage everything because when there is an emotional need, you do not want to dismiss it, but at the same time you have responsibilities here,” she says.

The reason why she chose this job was because her children have been able to attend the university with tuition remission, and Hytha is also studying at Eastern through Palmer Seminary with tuition remission.

Working here, Hytha has been reminded of her calling as a pastor or a spiritual counselor. She says that “this is a self-discovery that just happened recently because I am taking a course called Spiritual Formation,” and she has reflected on her experience of counseling fellow students while in high school.

At first, it was a difficult transition for Hytha: “It was stressful to even think about and subtracting how to negotiate working, and the first two months I was working here…all I wanted to do was go home,” she says. Once she adjusted to the position, her mindset changed. “I love my job, and I am happy when I get up in the morning,” says Hytha.

The challenges of the job are time management and interpersonal problems involving students, but they do not seem like struggles because she has experienced more positive than negative moments.

“When you are in the spot that God wants you to be, it is such a blessing that you barely notice the negatives,” says Hytha.

She likes that Eastern has a variety of professors who teach a wide range of ways to study the Bible. She notes how the multiple perspectives “give students the opportunity to explore their faith and make it their own.” The Sociology and Missions and Anthropology departments provide Hytha with the experience of studying something new. Also, she enjoys how the Youth Ministries department is rooted in the Bible and awareness of adolescent culture and psychology.

She is aware that God has her working at Eastern to pursue and harness her calling as a pastor or a spiritual counselor.

“God has me here to revive that interest, gift and love,” Hytha says.

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