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Pepperdine Portrait Series: A Conversation with Lizzy Kovach

Lizzy Kovach is a junior serving as a residential advisor (RA) for Darnell, a first-year women's dorm on campus. Her passion for serving as an RA stems from the personal fulfillment she receives from seeing young women find their home at Pepperdine. In the process, Lizzy has found her home through her residents.

Why did you decide to join Housing and Residence Life (HRL)?

I decided to join HRL for a few reasons. Last year, when I first came to Pepperdine, I struggled with feelings of homesickness. My RAs and the overall sense of community within HRL eventually helped me overcome those feelings and inspired me to do the same for the incoming residents this year. I wanted to help create the sense that Pepperdine was their new home. Additionally, since I wasn't studying abroad, I wanted to have something on campus that could be my new community.

How would you describe your house and group of girls?

All my residents are different from one another but we've all been able to make strong connections. They're all so fun and cool. When they were first moving in, I realized that all my residents were so much cooler than I am. I never want them to move out!

Seaver RA Lizzy Kovach outside Darnell house

What has been the most challenging part of your experience as an RA?

I think the most challenging part of my experience has been seeing the girls struggle with feelings of homesickness, issues with classes, and other first-year challenges. It's difficult not being able to take those worries away for them. But the most rewarding part of my experience is being able to walk with them through it all.

I wish I could do more, but seeing them grow through this essential period of their college experience has been amazing. They've already grown so much through their friendships, involvement on campus, and leadership positions. I'm so proud to watch them do such great things.

How do you think this year is changing you as an individual?

This year has pushed me to be more open to new experiences. Every single day is different. There are no set job hours, which has required me to become more adaptable. Everyone living here has come from a different background and has had different life experiences. I have to remind myself that everyone is always going through something, and it's my job to meet them where they're at. It's pushed me to form deeper relationships.

What fulfillment do you get from your job?

When I see the girls in the house forming real relationships, finding community, and enjoying their time at Pepperdine I feel like everything I do is worth it. One resident told me that all the programs we engaged in made her feel more welcome here. Just having one person say that was enough. It made me feel like I was doing my job.