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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Staff Spotlight: Sean McFarland

Photo Courtesy of Todd Reedy.
Photo Courtesy of Todd Reedy.

Sean McFarland is the Assistant Director of Residence Life as well as an Assistant Coach on the Track and Field Team. Currently found in the Residence Life House on 1301 Main Street, Sean brings energy, inclusivity, and a palpable sense of belonging to life on campus that every Moravian can appreciate. As an alum of the class of 2021, it’s an honor to welcome him back to the Moravian community. 

What does your position usually entail? What department do you work in?

I work under student life as a broad division. I essentially supervise all of the RAs on campus, and I support them with everything they need. I make sure that everything’s running smoothly in the residence halls and kind of take care of all things Res-Life.

In my coaching position, I coach our sprinters. So, anyone who runs the 6m dash through the 400m dash are my folks!

What are some of the unique challenges that come with your position?

Navigating any conflict that might happen in the residence halls. It’s both a challenge and also a really great developmental opportunity to teach people successful conflict resolution. It’s a great skill to learn when you’re in a developmental stage of your life. It can be challenging but also very rewarding at the same time.

What are your favorite aspects of working in your position?

In Res-Life specifically, it’s working with all the RAs and students in general. Helping to make all of their college experiences as good as they can be and making people smile and laugh in any way I can through that role is really rewarding. 

What made you decide to work at Moravian?

I am a Moravian alum! I graduated in 2021 as a psychology major. I left a few years to work for a little bit and came back to Moravian. It was kind of the right place at the right time. I was looking for something, and this position opened up. This is an environment that I’m very familiar with, as I was an RA when I went here, so I knew the culture around the group. When the opportunity presented itself to come back, I just had to take it. I love this community and institution and wanted to come back to be a part of it again.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself that most people don’t know about you?

I have a lot of lore … I have a lot of interesting lore that people find exciting. I think the one that I go to most is that when I was a kid, I fell on a manatee. My family used to live in Florida. One day, my mom took my younger brother and myself to the park. My mom was playing with my brother and told me not to wander off, so then I wandered off and went over to an open area. It was kind of an ocean bay area with an open fence, and when I looked down, I saw a manatee! Being a young child, I wanted to get a better view, so I went through the fence, looked down on the manatee, slipped because my hand fell off the fence that I was holding on to, and fell on the manatee. 

(Other than falling on manatees) What do you do in your free time, or hobbies?

I have a young puppy named Daisy. She’s seven months old, so she takes up a lot of my time outside of work when I’m spending time with her or playing with her. I like to play video games, read books, and when it’s nicer out, I like to go hiking, fishing, and spending a lot of time outside.

Pictured Above: Daisy McFarland. Photo Courtesy of Sean McFarland.

What is your favorite video game of all time?

If we’re talking about the game I have the most hours in, it’s Pokemon Pearl. I have so many hours, well over 1,000 hours, on that game from when I was a kid. I think my favorite game of all time would probably have to be The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Are there any interesting projects or things you are working on, even outside of your career?

For a couple of years, before I came back to Moravian, I was a psychology researcher. I was specifically called an Affective Scientist. I was publishing academic papers, which I’m still actively doing now. I’m putting out scholarly articles for the betterment of the world! A lot of my work focuses on adolescents and technology use and how it can best prepare them to succeed in using technology to avoid any negative effects from it. 

Did you plan to work in higher education?

Yes and no. I originally had goals for myself to become a clinical psychologist. After working closer to that field for a while, I learned that it wasn’t something I was interested in, which is a good thing. It’s always good to learn what you don’t want to do. I did always have this thought that I might find my way back to Moravian since I had such a good experience when I was a student here. Even when I wanted to be a clinical psychologist, there’s just so many opportunities in higher education: to be a professor or to work in that space clinically. I thought that it’s such a big field that I’m passionate about with my research, so I always thought that I’d find my way back to Moravian and higher education in general. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am related to the almost vice-president of the United States. It was Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine. I don’t actually know him, but he is my grandfather’s nephew. So, when the election was going on, that crazy year, my family was receiving letters from the Secret Service along the lines of, “this is a lot of craziness, if you hear or need anything, like, protection, let us know.” I was basically like, okay, so this is a man I have never met, never even knew I was related to him until now, but yeah, that was crazy … fun fact about me!

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    Dr. Sarah JohnsonFeb 16, 2024 at 12:17 pm

    The Psychology Department is so proud of all Sean accomplished as a student here and his time after graduating, and we’re excited to have him back and contributing so positively to Moravian University for our current students. Yay Sean!