By Savannah Cooper | Staff Writer
For first year students, leaving home and entering college is one of the most difficult changes to go through. One way Baylor helps ease that transition is through live-in resident chaplains.
Resident chaplains are placed in one of the 15 on-campus residence halls with the goal of guiding students in spiritual development.
In addition to being George W. Truett Theological Seminary students, chaplains share a passion for spiritual development and student growth. No two dorms are alike, and their chaplains reflect that. Whether it’s emergency room visits, leading spiritual development events or just listening to a resident about their performance on a test, chaplains wear several hats while serving their residents.
Collins chaplain Julianna Marraccino said she encourages students to reach out to their perspective chaplain throughout the semester and get to know them.
“Say hi; get to know us. All the chaplains across campus want you to. We wouldn’t be able to do this job without the students that live in our building,” Marraccino said. “The students are what really make our job and give purpose to the job.”
With one of campus’ most active lobbies as his backdrop, Penland chaplain Emmitt Drumgoole has 452 residents who come from all types of backgrounds and experiences. This academic year he, plans to foster a community by building relationships.
“Our primary goal in this community, foundationally, is to build relationships and we try to do that in a variety of ways,” Drumgoole said. “We create as many opportunities as we can to share our stories so each individual story we all have is unique and powerful.”
As a chaplain, Drumgoole realizes his position to discuss tough yet necessary topics, because it helps with growth.
“We don’t shy away from hard conversations like race, ethnicity, political views, theological differences,” Drumgoole said. “We don’t shy away from those because part of our growth as Christians is understanding that people have different experiences and learning to love and value a person for who they are rather than what they think or believe is at the heart of the gospel because God first loved us.”
For the students who are interested in seeking out their chaplain but are hesitant to do so, Marraccino hopes you don’t shy away from them.
“There’s no need to be hesitant. This is our job. This is the reason why I am in the hall and why I live in the hall,” Marraccino said. “I’m there to be there for you and that’s in any capacity that you might need it.”
In like manner, Drumgoole invites hesitant students to live life with him.
“For the student who’s strays away, I would say let’s eat together, let’s do life together. That means living and viewing each other as an entire human being and not one small facet. We tend to reduce people to the smallest aspect of who they are,” Drumgoole said.
Collins residents can find Marraccino in her apartment, or reach out to her via phone, text or email.
Penland residents can always come to his apartment, email him or contact their CL to set an appointment. He said he’s always down for a bite to eat. You can often catch him at Common Grounds, Madhasher Food Truck, Alpha & Omega or Chick-fil-A.
Drumgoole is on the lookout for a particular student who’s a bit on the daring side of life. His test: trying Chick-fil-A chicken strips with Raising Cane’s signature sauce.
If you chaplain wasn’t mentioned above, don’t worry you can find them here:
Collins Hall: Julianna Marraccino
Korkernot: Anna Garcia
Martin: Josh Flores
Allen & Dawson: Niesha Nixon
Brooks Flats: Chris Williamson
Earle: Ben and Courtney Haworth
North Russell: Joseph Tobias
South Russell: Laura Robertson
Penland: Emmitt Drumgoole
University Parks: Stanton Corley
Brooks: Caitlin & Ethan Brown
Honors: Kaleb Loomis
Teal: Elijah Tanner
Arbors, Fairmont, and Gables: Jerry Sidi
North Village: Tierney Boss