A new school year means new beginnings, but for Heritage Hall, that statement has a different meaning. An unexpected change in resident directors has opened the door for a new chapter in Heritage Hall history. Former resident director Christina Schnyders resigned and Bethany Buchwalter has taken the position.
After five years as resident director, Schnyders has stepped down from her position to serve as a visiting instructor of counseling and human development in Malone’s graduate program.
No one expected this transition. After an abrupt fallout of other candidates, the graduate department approached Schnyders with the position after she co-taught a class at Malone in preparation for an internship. Schnyders is working towards a doctorate in counseling and human development, and views this as the next step in her academic career. However, this decision took serious thought and prayer.
“I took about a week to pray and seek Godly and professional advice,” Schnyders said.
She also shares how she sought a blessing from the other resident directors and Dean of Student Development Josh Perkins.
Schnyders found confirmation that she was making a good decision after Bethany Buchwalter was chosen as the new resident director of Heritage Hall.
“She was an immediate fit,” Schnyders said. “I am thrilled she is carrying it on.”
The residence life staff is accepting and excited for the transition.
“Beth is a great addition to the team and we’re thankful for the years that Christina gave to residence life,” Perkins said.
Buchwalter graduated with a communication arts degree and received her master’s in higher education and student development from Taylor University. She heard about the opening from her friend, DeVol resident director Rhett Edwards. Her previous experience as a resident director at the College of Wooster qualified her for the job and she was a standout candidate according to Perkins.
“She brings a wealth of experience, an understanding of relationship ministry and has desire to be a Malone,” Perkins said.
Buchwalter shares that she always wanted to work for Malone because of how positive the resident life program is received. Before hearing about the opening, she and her roommate continuously prayed for her to be given the opportunity to come to Malone.
“I was so full of joy and peace knowing God would provide,” Buchwalter said.
Her desire to come to Malone made the decision an easy one and she is looking forward to starting a new chapter in Heritage Hall.
“I have been looking forward to building identity in this hall,” Buchwalter said.
She had adopted the theme of revolution and love to start her own legacy at Heritage.
“Love can truly change and start a new movement,” she said.
Senior communication arts major and Heritage resident advisor Laurel Weir describes the transition as smooth, seamless and God-ordained.
“I feel so content and at peace,” Weir said. “It’s apparent that God is in control and wants this to happen.”
While Buchwalter is looking forward to establishing her own identity in Heritage Hall, she also wants to carry on the traditions begun by Schnyders.
“She really pushed the idea of what it means to have Heritage, build traditions and leave legacies and I want to continue to build that,” Buchwalter said.
Schnyders did leave at least one critical piece of advice to Buchwalter: “Above all else, win Nike Air Band.”