In a campus-wide email sent out Oct. 3, Alissa Pei was announced as the new director of residence life. Pei took the place of previous director Ryan Smith after his departure to pursue higher education.
Pei, a 2008 alumna, is no stranger to Stephens; she follows in the footsteps of her mother, whom she keeps a picture of in her office.
“I am a Stephens legacy. My mother attended Stephens, along with my sister and twin,” Pei said.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Fashion Communication and minor in English, the Southern California native got a job in Irvine working for women’s luxury brand St. John’s. She recalled her experience as an undergraduate, where she was an active participant in Greek life, residence life as a resident assistant and resident director and student government.
“When I was a student at Stephens, I, like everyone else, had my ups and downs. Once I settled in, I decided to become an active member of the student body. I enjoyed my Stephens experience so much. When the time came I was excited to graduate but sad to leave,” Pei said.
Pei relocated to St. John’s location in Kansas City working as their visual merchandiser and management for three years before moving back to the home of her alma mater when her husband took a position at the University of Missouri.
Pei was hired as an interim admissions ambassador for the fashion department in April of 2012 and was considered full-time that summer. Upon Smith’s resignation, Pei was asked to take over his freshman year experience class, which resulted in an application suggestion for the director of residence life.
“My previous experience with residence life and Stephens as an undergraduate definitely helped my decision to apply. I interviewed and went through the same process as other candidates before receiving the offer,” Pei said. Pei is currently splitting her time between finishing up her duties as an admissions ambassador and transitioning into her role of director of residence life.
“I am here to help as much as I can whenever and wherever I can. I hope to be in full force with residence life by the beginning of November,” she said. Director of residence life responsibilities include communication with graduate residents, reviewing weekly reports, handling conduct issues and basic room changes.
“My goal is to make sure students have the best experience possible while living in residence halls because I had such a great time. Living in residence halls allows students to continue to grow and develop on their own,” Pei said. “I am most excited about getting to work with the students I helped get here and continue making those connections with current students.”
Students with Residence Life questions or concerns can either stop by Pei’s office located in the back of Student Services or through email at [email protected]
Story by senior Paula Goldenberg with contribution by freshman Meaghan Dye