Resident directors at Clarks Summit University have a unique role. Every day, and well into many nights, they live their everyday lives alongside dozens of students, making their home inside the residence hall and serving as real-life, moment-by-moment mentors. As a student at Clarks Summit University, Michelle Hammaker (’88) was blessed to have two resident directors who poured into her life and remain “great encouragers and examples” to her—Tim (’73, ’83, ’85) and Barb (Batten) Vermilyea (’74) and Steve (’88) and Linda (Brown) Kurczy (’88). Her desire to emulate these mentors resulted in more than two decades of faithful service for Hammaker as a CSU resident director. She served in Vibbard Hall from 1996–99 and in Carter Hall from its inception in 2000 until this past spring.
Hammaker learned, “It is always about doing what God wants, not what I want,” trusting God every step of the way. In 24 years, roughly 500 girls went through her hall; four of those were her nieces. As many as 60 girls were living in the residence hall at once. “Many of those young women are out serving the Lord faithfully, and I still have a front row seat in their lives,” she says. “I feel like a proud parent watching my girls soar.”
After 24 years as a “dorm mom,” God called Hammaker to take the next steps in her life. She is the administrative assistant at Heritage Baptist Church in Clarks Summit and an independent certified health coach as she cares for her parents. She says, “I walked through some dark valleys…but through it all, God was and still is faithful! He is the one who guided me and gave me the daily strength to do what He was asking me to do.”
By Ainsley Hall, Communications-Writing major