Resident Assistant looks forward to marriage, graduation

Lawrenceburg junior Sarah Schell works the front desk in McLean Hall Tuesday, Feb. 18. Schell often painted on small canvasses during her shifts to raise money for her upcoming study abroad programs. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Kayla Boyd

Frequent Face is a series that highlights various individuals that are frequently seen by the WKU community.


The alarm goes off at 5:30 every morning, but she’s gotten used to waking up and functioning early. At this point in the semester, Lawrenceburg junior Sarah Schell feels as if waking up any later is a waste of her day.

Schell is a woman who wears many hats, as the expression goes. She is a resident assistant in McLean Hall who can be found painting at the desk during her shifts, and she’s currently preparing to student teach, while managing an 18-hour course load.

She volunteers at the Center for Courageous Kids, a camping facility for children with medical illnesses in Scottsville, is a College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Ambassador and Governor Scholars Program alternate resident assistant for the summer.

Her fiancé, Aj Snipes, a sophomore from Frankfort, proposed on Christmas Eve during their family’s joint holiday celebration. She’s now in planning mode. The wedding, studying abroad for student teaching and graduation will all happen in April and May of 2015.

To say she’s busy would be an understatement.

Schell is learning to balance a hectic schedule of meetings, working, student teaching, cooking dinner every night and doing homework.

The alarm rings at 7 a.m. on weekends. She starts her homework then and usually doesn’t stop until 1 p.m.

“I do about 15 hours of homework on the weekends,” she said. “In between homework I’m making phone calls to [wedding] venues and photographers.”

She’s also taken up a few businesses of her own. She has a photography business in her hometown and photographs anything from pregnancies to senior photos to weddings. Recently, however, Schell has taken up painting canvases to fund her student teaching abroad fees, which will cost her about $3,000.

“I’m looking for money just to afford it all,” she said. “I have over 50 [canvases to paint] already.”

Schell’s hall director, Heather Thomas said Schell has a lot going on yet manages to stay grounded.

“She’s very level headed and keeps herself organized,” Thomas said. “She may be blown away when something hits her but she manages pretty well.”

Although one would think Schell’s busy schedule and lack of downtime would put a strain on any relationship, Snipes doesn’t think it has at all.

“Our relationship’s not really affected,” he said. “It’s really brought us closer together actually.”

Snipes, a recreation administration major, is prepared to go with Schell wherever her career takes them.

“She freaks out about it but we haven’t thought that far ahead,” Snipes said. “I just follow her, wherever she goes I’ll find a place.”

Schell uses her desk shifts in McLean as time to paint and hang out with her fiancé. While the couple stays busy, they always make time for each other. Plus, Schell cooks dinner for them every night.

Amidst a packed and detailed schedule, Schell said she talks to her parents, sister and grandma every day.

“Don’t forget about your family,” she advised. “You have a million and one things to do everyday and your family is still at home living their life without you. That’s what I struggle the most with.”