Here She Belongs: Alumna Returns to SAU as Lowell RD

By Caralyn Geyer

Lowell Hall is one of three female residence halls on Spring Arbor University’s (SAU) main campus. Built in 1970, it is known for zero air conditioning and a lobby that routinely smells like burnt popcorn. Lowell houses nearly three-hundred girls every year, each of whom are learning to live in community more and more each day. As of 2017, the Hall has undergone a leadership change by gaining a new Resident Director (RD). This year, Hannah Sinkovitz has succeeded the former RD, Kelly McGraw. This is Sinkovitz’s first year being an RD and says she has big plans for Lowell Hall this year, and for the many years to come.

Sinkovitz is an SAU and Indiana Wesleyan Universtiy (IWU) alumna. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree at Spring Arbor, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Global Missions, and then proceeded to continue her Psychology education by gaining a Masters in Clinical Health from IWU. During her time as a student at SAU, Sinkovitz played on the soccer team. At IWU, Sinkovitz continued her soccer career as a coach, which helped to pay for some of her Master’s schooling. This time is also when she and her husband, Jake, began to gain experience in the field of being an RD. During their years at IWU, Jake was an RD for a men’s dorm, so Sinkovitz got to live with and experience everyday RD life first-hand. After finishing her Master’s program, Sinkovitz moved her family back to SAU, this time to work as an RD herself.

Hannah with her husband, Jake, and son Leo. From Facebook.

“It’s surreal to be back,” Sinkovitz said. “It’s definitely sooner than we thought, but it was always a dream for us to come back. We have relationships here and plan to invest here for a long time.”

Starting this year, and for the years to come, Sinkovitz hopes to make Lowell known for being a welcoming and safe place. She believes in making a residence hall somewhere students can deal with the uncertainties of life that college brings, including figuring out where one is going, learning how to live and preparing for the outside world. Sinkovitz’s main hope for her dorm is that it would be a place to belong. Part of Lowell lobby’s decorations are three painted pictures with the words, “Here We Belong.” These signs represent her hope that residence life will be a place to call home, a place to reside and grow alongside other women through these years of learning.

“College is a unique time,” Sinkovitz said. “It should be a time where we can let our guard down and give grace where it is needed the most.”

Sinkovitz has been learning alongside Lowell residence this year as students enter the new school year and as she starts her first RD job. Already, Sinkovitz says she has “learned a lot about herself and how people interact, how to deal with ‘spur-the-moment’ occasions and especially about having grace and patience.”

In the end, everyone is learning how to create his or her own “Here We Belong” space, whether it is senior year, freshman year or the first year on the job. This year, Sinkovitz wishes that, if nothing else, Lowell Hall can hold this meaning for all of its residents. A place where everyone comes as stranger, leaves as friends and knows that it is “Here We Belong.”

Stats and Facts

Harry Potter?: All the way, and she’s in Gryffindor house

Favorite TV Shows: Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Rec and New Girl

Favorite movie: Currently Moana, because of her 18-month-old, Leo (go ahead and give him a highfive if you see him!)

Favorite drinks: Loves coffee with chocolate and sugar and is a fan of the Pumpkin Spice trend

Favorite memories from SAU soccer: team bonding trips to Puerto Rico and Hawaii, as well as team service projects.

Home Sweet Home: Her favorite place where she stayed on campus as a student was Delta 3