Meet Isaiah Barnfield

Isaiah Barnfield. Photo by Michael Fuller.

Isaiah Barnfield. Photo by Michael Fuller.

Isaiah Barnfield, from a tiny town in Southern Ill. called West Frankfort, is the new Resident Director in Founders. Before coming to Covenant he worked as an RD at Greenville College, a Free Methodist liberal arts college, in Greenville, Ill. He and his wife Hayley grew up together and are now loving life at Covenant. Isaiah is excited to get to know the residents of Founders and for the residents to get to know him as well.

How did you and your wife Hayley meet?

“We went to highschool together. Funny thing is my best friend had a huge crush on Hayley’s twin sister in high school. He hashed up a strategy for each of us to date the girls. Hayley and I have worked out well. My friend was not so lucky with her sister.”

Are you doing anything to further your education?

“I am currently in my final year in the Masters of Art in Higher Education program at Geneva College. I want to keep auditing religion courses in coming semesters here at Covenant.”

How have you transitioned into being an RD at Covenant after being an RD at Greenville, and how is it different/the same?

“Lots of things are different. Having ladies on the RA staff is new to me. I have also never had such a large RA staff. The hall culture is also very strong here in which students identify by hall more than building. Those are the differences, but they are good differences. The biggest difference between Covenant College and every college I have attended or worked at is the genuine institutional fit of the students. Students here seem to want to be here and that makes everything about my job and students’ educations more exciting.

One thing that is the same at Covenant and Greenville is that I work with a great administrative professional staff in the student development office.  Covenant loves their students and it is apparent in the daily practices here. In order to transition, I am trying to figure out the campus culture, buy into that culture, and gain a footing as part of the community that already exists.”

How do you feel about living in Chattanooga? What are some things you miss from living in the North?

“Chattanooga is great! I love that there are so many restaurants. I also love that there are so many churches that practice expository preaching and teach solid, reformed doctrine. Hayley and I like to go out to all the parks and walk around downtown on the weekends. Something I will miss about Illinois will be the music scene and the less formal church settings. I also miss the contemporary worship music from the churches up north, but I’m not sure if that is really a regional thing or if I just haven’t explored Chattanooga enough.”

What are some of your hobbies?  

I love to record, write, and play music. I was a music major in college and I was in a pop/punk band throughout high school and most of college. That led to fascination with pro audio gear like microphones, interfaces, amps and speakers. I took every audio editing elective and live sound course I could take in college and have even worked as a sound designer for full orchestral-accompanied musicals a few times. Camping, hammocking, and driving Jeeps off-road are some of the outdoor activities I enjoy. I love to just throw some gear in the back of the Jeep and head out to the middle of nowhere with a group of friends for fireside chats and scary stories fueled by Mt. Dew and S’mores.”

How do you like Founders? Is it as ‘weird’ as everyone says?

“Founders is a brick and mortar maze where Covenant College students live. It is awesome! I feel like Indiana Jones when I set out to explore Founders. I’d say Founders is the most unique residence hall of which I have ever been a part. I think that ‘weird’ is hard to define though. If any distinctive feature of a group of people makes them weird, then sure, Founders is weird, at least from the perspective of outsiders. But what if everyone else is actually weird and Founders is really normal? The spectrum of ‘normal’ to ‘weird’ is subjective; the people defined by those words are determined by vantage point. Was that a weird answer?”

Isaiah is excited to be the new RD of Founders and is eager to get to know the culture and character of the building. having Stop by his office in Founders from 8-10 on weekdays to say hey and get to know Isaiah a little bit more!