She holds a BA in Psychology and Business Administration from Colorado Christian University. At CCU, she worked as an Assistant Resident Director, and with this previous work experience, she decided to continue pursuing her career in this field. Her desire to work in Residence Life, as well as striving to broaden her horizons, urged her towards taking this job at LCC.
Clarisse first learned about LCC from the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) website, where she saw the job offer for Resident Director. When she heard of LCC, she was instantly fascinated by this institution. After learning about LCC and the job opening, she shared the news with her colleague, Collin Quin, who at that moment was also working as an Assistant Resident Director. He was also drawn by the idea of LCC, so they both applied and were hired for two of the Resident Assistant Positions at LCC. Clarisse states, “There truly is no place like LCC in the whole world, with students coming from all around the world to one place, to learn and grow together. It’s been such a gift to be here and share with others about the gift of this place!”
Working at LCC has been a delight to Clarisse. She describes the LCC community as one big family. Sadly, at the beginning of the academic year, she has faced some health issues but was generously supported by many others on campus. “During my first month in Klaipėda, I got a head concussion and was very sick. Immediately, so many people stepped in to bring me meals or help me in various ways. It was so awesome to have such great support after only a month of living here!” She is thankful for the help of not just other ex-pats, staff, and faculty, but students as well.
As Clarisse experienced life around Lithuania, she was shocked that few people either on campus or in the city would smile back at her upon greeting or crossing paths. “I smile a lot, so as you can imagine, I didn’t fit into the culture very well. However, people here are so kind when they warm up to you. It’s been helpful to recognize that ‘different’ is beautiful and good – I have so much to learn from each person I meet!”
She was, however, pleasantly surprised by the beautiful nature here in Klaipėda. Before arriving, she could sense that it was a nice place based on research she did, but the photos did not reflect reality its full capacity of beauty. “There is nothing quite like the towering pine trees and walking through the forest to the sea. There is something magical about it.” As such, exploring nature in and outside of the city has been one of her hobbies lately.
Additionally, she likes to play and create music. Her most common lyrical themes revolve around God, life, love, and relationships. She rejoices in this season of being able to spend more time doing what she enjoys.
Clarisse also truly enjoys working with students. Her normal connections through her job have her working with the students in the meetings solving floor, roommate, or residence hall issues, or meeting with them in the campus events. Even though it has been challenging to work in such a leadership position, it still has been a rewarding experience. Clarisse shares, “The students are my favorite part of my job – they are so hungry to learn, and I have gotten to see my student Resident Assistants grow so much this year as they’ve faced various challenges.” She also opened up about the additional challenges that she has had to face this academic year – besides work, she has had to cope with a concussion, which made it difficult for her to concentrate on the tasks and on residents, as well as getting Covid at the beginning of 2022. Despite the work and health challenges, she is still grateful for the supportive Residence Life team who helped her in times of trouble.
When facing troubles and difficulties, Clarisse likes to verbally process the situation and talk it through. She likes to contact her family and friends for their input, which helps her to cope with different situations. Another technique that she uses is journaling, and writing or playing music. Being able to express herself in written or spoken words helps her to get through any troublesome times.
She also relies heavily on her faith. Clarisse admits that her relationship with God as a Christian is most important. God has been “a dear friend” to her. She shares, “Knowing Him changes my life. He gives me purpose, grace, and truth. He gives me what I need each day. In this season of health challenges, God has been my strength and sustained me in times of difficulty. I feel so grateful to know Him and get to have a personal relationship with Him!” When asked about the best piece of advice she has been given, Clarisse boldly states, “To trust in God! It is scary at times, but He has never failed me!”
Finally, for LCC’s 30th anniversary, Clarisse gives her wish that LCC would “continue to grow and flourish in all its ways! I also hope we can have a new Residence Hall and keep expanding our housing so more students can live on campus and experience our LCC community life!”
Photos are taken from Clarisse's personal archive.