Michaela Page is the Housefellow for Webster Hall and Shirley Apartments in Oakland. Additionally, as the Coordinator of Residential Education, she spearheads Y2@CMU, a program that supports sophomores and their second-year experience as Carnegie Mellon University students. She also works with transfer and global exchange students.
Let’s learn more about Michaela!
How did you come to join CMU?
After moving to Pittsburgh in 2011, I took a slight hiatus from student affairs. I served as an AmeriCorps Member and worked in the non-profit sector. They were enriching experiences and I fell in love with Pittsburgh because of those opportunities. Still, I missed working in student development tremendously. I saw the Carnegie Mellon housefellow position and knew I had to apply. A few months later, I was hired!
Why is the Webster community awesome?
Webster is a great place to live during that transitional time between a student’s first year and becoming an upperclassman or woman, when some students are seeking more independence. Sophomores to graduate students find their home at Webster, and I think they enjoy it for many reasons: the Oakland location, getting to cook their own meals, a great management team that is on top of maintenance concerns, the tasty food at Kevin’s Deli (you have to check out Kevin’s!), and a friendly, committed RA staff that is passionate about creating a sense of community with programming and events but without cramping each resident’s individual style. Webster residents enjoy the range of programs offered – progressive dinners, career-readiness workshops, meditation sessions, and trips off campus to check out the awesome city surrounding us.
Share one of your most prized CMU memories.
Being part of the human tunnel during PlayFair, otherwise known as “the biggest ice breaker ever,” during first-year orientation. It was astounding to watch as hundreds of first-year students scurried through the tunnel, as upper-class students cheered them on. They were totally unaware of the human chain whirlwind that was coming up next!
What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?
That dreaming big is a great way to live life, and home is wherever you want it to be.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?
I love to be active in any way through exercise and group endeavors, like road races. I also love to sing, dance, and act. Currently, I am a member of the Renaissance City Choir. I love to travel and learn about the cultures and histories of places. I also enjoy cooking, reading, watching movies, and snuggling up with my dog, Rufus, and my cat, Gandalf. I am passionate about many things, but giving back through service is super important to me. Whether it’s on a small or large scale, service teaches you a lot about yourself and others and keeps you continually evolving as a person.
All-time favorite book: Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Geoffrey Canada, the founder of Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ). He started a movement to reform public education by utilizing the community around him. HCZ has a very successful graduation rate from high school and college. There aren’t many cities that have been able to replicate a model like his, and I would love to hear his story and how he got started. I want to know the secrets to creating an equitable, enriching education experience for all children.
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?
Chicken Parmesan with lots of Parmesan sprinkled on it, fresh pasta, and a rich tomato sauce. Yum! Okay … now I am hungry!