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Collin Quinn: Resident Director of Neumann East

2022-01-06

Collin Quinn is the Resident Director of Neumann East Residence Hall at LCC International University. He is an American who started this new position in the Fall of 2021.

He is from Colorado, and he graduated from Colorado Christian University in Spring 2021. Even though he graduated from college just last spring, he already has quite a lot of experience working in Residence Life. When he was a student at CCU, he was also working as a Resident Assistant for two years and then as an Assistant Resident Director in his last year of college. As Resident Director here at LCC, he can apply the knowledge and experience he gained as a student leader to this current job position.

At CCU, Collin studied Business and Administration with a focus on International Business. He first heard about LCC from his colleague Clarisse who also was accepted as a Resident Director at LCC. The Director of Residence Life at CCU told Clarisse about LCC and about the job openings. Because Collin was not sure what he wanted to do after graduation, he decided to try this opportunity. He applied for it the same day as he heard, and was so excited, wanting to take steps forward in terms of his future.

When asked how his parents reacted to the news, Collin said he was unsure what their reaction would be. He says, “I was a little nervous to tell them because I thought that they would think it unwise to move across the world to an unknown place especially in the midst of COVID. While I expected a very skeptical or concerned response, they offered nothing but excitement and interest in what I wanted to do. It was great to see them being so supportive and encouraging in my desire to move to Lithuania and work at LCC.” Even though Collin’s parents did not even know where Lithuania was or what LCC was about, they were supportive of his decision.

After being here for some time, Collin says he truly enjoys the LCC community. When he first came, the staff and faculty were exceptionally helpful and supportive. He appreciated that the other foreigners who have lived here for some time shared tips about life in Lithuania, which made his adjustment much easier. Unfortunately, he has not had many chances to interact with Lithuanians, which is disappointing as he wishes to use his Lithuanian skills more. He hopes that this upcoming summer he will be able to do so and enhance his language skills when he will have more free time and can dedicate time to the local community.

Before coming to work at LCC, Collin had a chance to visit Europe once before. He had visited Sicily, Italy when he was in high school. Sadly, because of the pandemic, any plans to visit Europe again were canceled. Collin is happy to be here now as it opens more opportunities to travel more often and more cheaply. During this past Fall semester, he had a chance to travel to Latvia, Estonia, and Spain.

In terms of Lithuania and the Lithuanian people, Collin shares that in general Lithuanian people seem more initially closed-off to foreigners. He noted also, compared to the culture he is accustomed to, the customer service here is different than what he was used to. Although he does not find it hard, he simply realizes he needs to get used to this new culture that he is immersed in here.

When talking about working in an international community for the first time, Collin admits that it has been a challenging but also rewarding experience. He shares some of the intercultural aspects he experienced,

“The way we get feedback here is very direct, which I think is most helpful because in the U.S. people may say ‘yeah, you’re doing great,’ even if there are issues and here people just tell you what needs to be fixed. Of course, there’s good and bad in that.”

When it comes to Collin’s day-to-day tasks, he feels the hardest part is facilitating meetings for infractions to the rules in the residence halls. He finds it hard to make decisions for misconducts that residents may engage in. Not only is it difficult to facilitate these meetings, but also it often becomes difficult to find the truth in the stories, especially when hearing different versions.

An aspect that Collin especially appreciates is that he gets to work on a Christ-centered team. Having this foundation on his team truly helps to receive both emotional and spiritual support from his teammates, some of the Resident Assistants, and his boss. This seems especially important as many of the student population do not have a similar faith background. He does enjoy the opportunity to share his faith with others and anyone interested.

In terms of his faith, Collin was brought up in a Christian family. Besides his mother and father, he has 2 younger brothers. Collin went to a Christian school, which impacted his faith journey a lot. He made a choice to believe in God when he was in 8th grade, and since then he has been growing in faith and making life choices based on that. Collin points out that it was always his choice to go to a Christian school but for some of his peers their Christian parents signed them up even though their children were not Christian believers. This type of environment made life at college harder for Collin, as the peers who were forced by their parents to go and were supposed to be pursuing the Christian way of life, did not choose to reflect this in their behavior. Overall, Collin says that he finds his relationship with God as one of the main coping mechanisms for him. Whenever he feels stressed out or worried, he likes to find peace at the best place he knows.

During his free time, Collin likes to play piano and guitar. At LCC, he has joined the Chapel worship team, and together with his colleagues and students, he leads worship during the Chapel Service. Besides playing the instruments and worshiping, he likes to engage in many sports activities, whether it’s basketball, bike riding, or even dodgeball.

When asked about the best piece of advice he has been given, Collin smiles and said that usually, it is hard for him to remember such things, as he claims to have a bad memory. But the best piece of advice he has gotten is from the Director of Residence Life at CCU, who said “It’s better to try and do something and fail at it, rather than do nothing at all.” Collin feels like this is even applicable at his current position at LCC,

“It’s better to fail, and know that you tried, and learn something from it than knowing that you didn’t try at all.”

Finally, for LCC’s 30th anniversary, Collin would like to wish LCC all the best for the future as big plans are being made and hoped to be accomplished in the future.

Photos are taken from Collin Quinn's personal archive.

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