“I think I made over 300 masks and donated them because I felt like I needed to do something–I wanted to do something. “
Maxie Holman is an area coordinator at Merrimack College for the residence halls Monican Centre, O’Brien Hall, and the townhouses. She is responsible for dealing with facility issues within the residence halls and maintaining the social emotional wellbeing of her residents, while also creating a safe and inviting place for all. Holman also serves as a conduct hearing officer for students who violate policies put in place by the Office of Residence Life. In the interview, Holman describes her role at Merrimack College since beginning in November 2019, with particular attention to how that role evolved during the pandemic.
Allyson Patrikis: So could you describe what was going on in your life right before the pandemic?
Maxie Holman: In my personal life or here at Merrimack?
AP: Let’s start with Merrimack.
MH: Yeah so wow that feels like a decade ago. I had actually just started here. I started my job at Merrimack in November 2019 and was transitioning from another role at a different institution in residence life, so I was just getting my groove on here at Merrimack and figuring it out. All the policies and procedures and the students and the culture here at Merrimack and I felt like I was just getting my feet under myself and getting connect and like we were like getting programming going and getting like again, resources and connections with students and then we had break and then all of a sudden, we came back from from break and everything started to pick up with concerns about COVID and like there was already some concern about COVID like in the distance. Some students who are like most of our international students or students outside of the region, probably had a little bit of a concern from COVID. When we were leaving for break, we had had some discussions internally in the department-of like this doesn’t seem like it is going to be a big impact on us but let’s just start talking about it so that we have it on a radar and start to plan the things we should be considering um but then we came back from break and that is when things started to shift.
AP: Right, that’s really interesting. Of course you were just starting to get comfortable at school then it was alright let’s go into a pandemic.
MH: Yeah, so basically my whole time here has been through a COVID lens.
The interview was conducted on Zoom in North Andover, MA, on November 22nd, 2021 by Allyson Patrikis.
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.