A Q&A with the 2024 Coordinators of Residential Life

Take this opportunity to meet some of the friendly faces you will see around MSA in June! The 2024 CRLs are Grace Sullentrup and Colin Wilburn, who both have a long history at the Academy. 

This will be Grace’s second year as head honcho. Grace was a scholar in 2014, the year of teal and maroon, and participated in the Great Voice of American Literature major and Intro to Philosophy minor. As a scholar, she relished in the opportunity to meet new people. 

“Specifically, I enjoyed playing card games with friends around Mark Twain and learning about my classmates during PSD,” Grace said. 

She returned to the Academy in 2018 as an RA until 2023, when she transitioned into her current role as CRL. 

One of her favorite memories as an RA comes from the 2019 Academy, when her house made her a card and scrapbook for Father’s Day. 

“Those keepsakes remind me of the amazing friendships made during MSA,” she said.

When she’s not at MSA, Grace works as a social worker at a hospital in St. Louis and in the Wellness Center at Clayton High School. She also enjoys reading, yoga, and – as she puts it – “the hunt for the best chai latte on the market.” 

This year, she’s looking forward to reunited with old MSA friends and making new ones along the way. She also has high hopes that this Academy will be the year that she finally perfects her Mark Twain coffee recipe!

Grace’s advice to the 2024 cohort of scholars is to embrace the risk and change at the Academy. 

“It takes bravery to apply to something like MSA. It takes bravery to choose a major and minor from a course catalog. It takes bravery to pack up and drive to Mizzou’s campus. It takes bravery to say goodbye to your caregivers and jump into MSA. By the time you get to Mark Twain in June, you’ve already exhibited great bravery. Keep it going! Try new afternoon activities, talk to a new person, try a new food at the Mark. MSA is a community, and we’ll always be there to catch you if you stumble.”

This will be Colin’s first year as CRL, but he is certainly no stranger to MSA. He was a scholar in 2018, the year of Kelly green and navy blue. He took the Finding Your Voice: Explorations in Writing major and the Mathematical Mazes of the Mind minor. 

Like Grace, Colin also enjoyed connecting with his peers as a scholar. His favorite scholar memory is playing card games before going to his major for the day.  

Colin returned as an RA in both 2022 and 2023, where some of his favorite memories occurred while running house meetings and interacting with scholars. This year, he’s looking forward to returning as a CRL and interacting with the 19 RAs he is working with. 

During the other eleven months out of the year, Colin attends the University of Missouri. He is pursuing a degree in Biochemistry and Agricultural Leadership.

Colin’s advice to the upcoming scholars is like Grace’s: try something new. 

We are extremely excited for this dynamic duo to take the 2024 Academy by storm and cultivate community in Mark Twain. They are going to make a great team, especially since they can both agree on the fact that the omelets are the best food in the Mark. See you in June!