By Nicholas Pandolfo
Mary-Elizabeth Sabo is a new Resident Hall Director (RHD) at Sacred Heart University in Scholars Commons, also known to students as J-Hill.
She has only been working here for three weeks but already has huge goals set for herself here. She not only wants to make an impact on campus but also in the surrounding community.
On campus, she loves the social aspect of Sacred Heart and wants to be involved in as much as she can. Sabo is Catholic and loves attending church on Sundays along with all of the students.
“I wanted to go to a Catholic institution because I wanted to be a part of an institution that has the same faith and values as I do, it feels like a family,” said Sabo.
Sabo is from Milford, Conn. but received both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stony Brook University in Long Island.
For her undergrad, she double-majored in political science and theology. For graduate school, she studied higher education administration with a focus in student affairs, and her thesis was on bystander intervention and sexual assault.
She also ran a food pantry at Stony Brook because she wanted to help people that were in need.
At the start of her college career, she did not know what she wanted to do for a living.
One of the most influential reasons she wanted to work with students rose from a problem her roommate was having their freshman year of college.
Her roommate was being stalked by someone, and they even went as far as trying to run her over with their car. She went to Sabo for advice and to just talk about everything rather than going to a parent or Resident Assistant (RA) first.
After this incident, she knew she wanted to help students in need. She started by becoming an RA.
“People think that if you’re in college you have it figured out, everyone struggles way more than you think,” said Sabo.
She wants to advocate for people who can’t talk about the hardships they go through on a daily basis because nobody is perfect. A lot of people have a hard time due to a learning disability that nobody may know about, and she wants to help as many people as possible graduate.
“There is a common misconception that when an RA knocks on your door, you are in trouble,” said Sabo. “They just want to hang out like regular people and they want to make your life and college experience better.”
Before coming to Sacred Heart, she worked at Roger Williams as a coordinator of resident education, which is similar to an RHD. She oversaw all Living Learning Communities and had an RA staff.
Her duties in Scholars Commons are to manage the facilities of the building, help the Resident Success Assistant (RSA) staff grow, select and train the new RSA’s, and respond to emergency situations on campus.
“Sometimes I don’t get enough sleep, but it’s the best job in the world,” said Sabo.
Sabo is passionate about what she does because she puts the students whom she works with before herself.
“My kids will never be able to get away with anything because I already have 500 of them,” said Sabo.
Something else she is passionate about is the New York Mets; she was named so that her initials could spell out Mets (Mary-Elizabeth Theresa Sabo).
She also loves cooking and baking with her fiancé Tim, and she used to teach Sunday school at St. Mary’s in Milford. This is something she says she wants to go back and start again this fall.