Johnson Hall welcomes new resident director

KNOXVILLE — This semester Cana Thompson moved into Johnson Hall as the new resident director.

As students moved out of the dorms for Christmas break, Becky Eveland, the resident director of Johnson Hall for nearly nine years, was moving out as well.

Becky Eveland and family

Eveland’s journey as resident director began back in 2005 when she took the position at Clark Hall.

At that time Clark Hall was a girl’s dorm and housed about 30 students.

When the resident director of Johnson Hall, Vivian Gearheart, retired three years later, Eveland made the transition to Johnson Hall, which housed over 200 girls.

It was announced that Eveland would be retiring to the residents of Johnson Hall at the beginning of Fall semester 2016.

Eveland said that her decision to retire was not an easy one.

“I am going to miss the connections that I have made, I have watched eight and a half years of students go in and out of the building. Knowing that I’m not going to know all the girls anymore [will be hard],” Eveland said. “I decided it was time for me to not be head resident anymore so I can spend more time with my family. I want my kids to be my main focus.”

Eveland is now working in the School of Communication & Creative Arts as the administrative assistant.

Cana Thompson, like Eveland, was resident director of Clark Hall for three years before taking the position at Johnson Hall.

Clark Hall housed a small amount of boys during Thompson’s time there.

“It’s different in the sense that I am working with girls now. And a lot more of them.” Thompson said.

Cana Thompson and family

Thompson began working at Johnson in 2010 as a part of admissions. Later she moved into the Registrar’s office, where she helps students with their records and schedules.

Thompson, who’s undergraduate degree was in counseling, said that the transition to head resident is one she has looked forward to for a while.

“I’m really excited to do more of a direct ministry. Living in the dorm with the girls and helping them through things one on one. I’m excited to build relationships,” she said.

Thompson will continue to work as the assistant registrar in addition to her position as resident director.

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