Josh Schaldenbrand is the Housefellow for the Residence on Fifth first-year community in the Oakland neighborhood of Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. He is also the university’s Coordinator of Community Standards and a member of the Upperclass Housefellow Team.
Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts in history in 2005 and his Master of Arts in counseling in 2008, both from Edinboro University. “Edinboro is located about two hours north of Pittsburgh and 20 minutes south of Lake Erie,” says Josh. “If you have seen the movie, Frozen, then you would be familiar with the weather in Edinboro from October to April.”
In the photo above, Josh and his sister, Sarah, hold his (adorable) nephews, Henry and Baker.
How did you come to join CMU?
I previously worked in residence life at three other universities where much of my work was focused on residential education and staff selection and training. I joined CMU in September 2014. During my interview process, I was so impressed with everyone I met and with how invested everyone is in their work. I was also eager to gain more experience relating to community standards and wanted to return to Pittsburgh, where I was born and raised.
What are you looking forward to most in becoming a housefellow for the Residence on Fifth?
I am super excited to be working with first-year students as they explore campus and learn what it means to be a member of the Carnegie Mellon community. Beyond that, I hope to introduce first years living in the Rez to all the awesome things that Pittsburgh has to offer. Finally, I am looking forward to expanding the amount of pink clothing options I have to choose from on a daily basis!
Share one of your most prized CMU memories.
Even though I’ve only been at CMU for two years, I have some really great memories. Seeing Spring Carnival take place for the first time was really awe inspiring. Students and colleagues had described the booths, buggy, and all the activities, but being there made their stories real for me. Also hosting a weekly social program with residents every Thursday has been a highlight for me. It’s a time where community members come together to laugh, relax, and take a time out from studying. I really value that time spent with students.
What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?
Students have taught me many things. One lesson that I have learned from students I have worked with is to look beyond what exists and create something unique. I am inspired by the work of RA staff who create programs/events that reflect who they are and the things they are most passionate about. This helps me to continually reflect on the work I do, who I am, and the impact that I can have.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?
I read, I Netflix, I cook, I dote on my partner Meredith’s four cats – Charlie (pictured right), Liam, Oliver, and Eloise. I’m extremely passionate about Pittsburgh sports teams, specifically the Pirates. Most importantly, I love spending time with my nephews, Henry and Baker (pictured above).
All-time favorite books: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (fiction) and The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard (non-fiction)
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Martin Luther King Jr.
You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?
Mineo’s Pizza in Squirrel Hill.