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“Momma Schertz” Proves to be an Inspiration for MBU Students

Being integrated on a college campus can be scary and new, but MBU staff member, Taira Schertz, makes resident and commuter students feel like they belong within the MBU community through fun events and activities.


Taira Schertz, resident life director at Missouri Baptist University, works in her office. Whether she is planning an event or talking to students, “Momma Schertz” can be found in Spartan Village, Row 503.     Photo by Kate Goodberlet

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Inspirational, encouraging, genuine and a mom to thousands — just a few words Missouri Baptist University students have used to describe Taira Schertz, resident life director for nearly two decades. 

On any given day, you can find “Momma Schertz” counseling students in her office, eating lunch with her husband on campus or having an upbeat conversation with one of the alumni who work for her.

Schertz grew up on a small farm in Kidder, Missouri, and attended Missouri Western State College in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

During college, Schertz led mission trips to St. Louis with her college classmates, which connected her to a pastor who offered her a job at Compton Height Baptist Church in St. Louis. 

She then moved to St. Louis, worked with that church and got a job at Alexian Brothers Lansdowne, starting as an administrative assistant and then working as an activity director on the Dementia floor.

After working at nursing homes for a few years and having children, she noticed the resident director position open at MBU in 2005.

Her husband, Eric Schertz, a senior accountant at MoBap, graduated from MBU in 1997 with an accounting degree and was working for the university at the time.

“Momma Schertz” applied for the resident director position, got the job and has worked at MBU for 17 years, experiencing many positive changes.

“It’s exciting because there’s always something new and upcoming happening with ResLife,” Schertz said. “Every year is different so you don’t know exactly what it’ll be like. Sometimes it’s really great and sometimes it has a lot of challenges. This is my 17th school year so a lot has changed with facilities, how many more buildings we have and things like that, but we also have more opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom as well as different majors and different things that have changed, like more opportunities for students to serve in leadership roles.”

Schertz meets in her office with Ethan Metzler, resident director of Pillsbury-Huff Hall and MBU alum. Photo by Kate Goodberlet

As a resident life director, some of Schertz’s responsibilities include running the ResLife program and its facilities and staff, overseeing the clubs and organizations department, intramurals and student activities. 

Schertz reports to Dr. Ben Lion, vice president of student development and dean of students.

She has three full-time employees, one part-time employee, three graduate assistants, 18 residence assistants and four student life leaders working for her. 

Working as the resident life director at MBU, Schertz has encountered her fair share of interesting moments and busy days.

“My day can be anywhere from helping unclog a toilet, to planning an event, to helping a student through a crisis or getting to celebrate with a student when something great has happened for them,” Schertz said. “There’s lots of challenges and then lots of blessings just getting to be a part of students’ daily college lives.”  

Getting to know many of the MBU students throughout the years, Schertz has enjoyed watching them grow into the people they were created to be. 

“My favorite part is you see them when they come in as freshmen, and maybe they’re shy, or maybe they don’t know everybody, or maybe they don’t wanna be here, and then over the years, while they’re here, getting to see them grow, getting to see them look forward to what their future will be once they leave here and helping them in that process whatever that may look like,” Schertz said. “Helping them as they start leadership positions, or help them just talk through how to deal with people and learn how to live in a community with other people.”

Schertz influences and encourages the MBU students, the people who she works with and the people who work for her.

Kolby Matsushima, graduate assistant resident director from Kaneohe, Hawaii, said working for Schertz “has been amazing.”

“She is probably the best boss I’ve ever had. She is extremely understanding, you can really see her heart for students through the events she plans and just incorporating all her students into her schedule and what not,” Matsushima said. “Every day is comical. We’re just able to laugh about something, while doing work, and it’s just a great working environment.”

Matsushima is not the only employee at MBU who speaks highly of Schertz.

Colton Albers, freshman admissions counselor from Centralia, Illinois, has experienced different sides to Schertz from being a resident assistant at the Village apartments for two years and now working full-time with Schertz.

Albers knows her as Momma Schertz, just like many other students, and admires how she runs the Residence Life Department.

“She is someone who has become like family to me and so many others — hence the name, Momma Schertz. She just has a way of connecting with students that is just so rare to see. You can really see the heart that she has for so many different types of students, whether they’re residents, whether they’re commuters. For me, I felt that same love as a student, but then I also get to see it now on the staff side by working with her,” said Albers, who graduated from MBU in 2021 with a degree in marketing. “Just the amount of logistics and things that go into play of her being able to manage such a large group and so many different interests and things and still be able to connect them with events and things to do on campus and make it a great experience.” 

As a student, Albers said he felt that Schertz was always there for him if he needed anything, which still holds true for him as an employee at MBU.

“She is Momma Schertz, again, in any way possible. She’s momma whenever she has to crack down on you, she’s not afraid to tell you what she thinks and she’s also that amazing comfort presence here,” Albers said. “Like for me, when I came here as a student, I moved away from my family and for her she really stepped into that role of I knew someone was there should I need to go to someone with anything — and it was anything, always an open door policy. Working for her or just being a student it was the same thing.” 

Albers expressed his appreciation for Schertz and how she goes out of her way for students or employees on a consistent basis. 

“She’s a go-getter, you tell her you wanna do something, ‘Great, what do I gotta do?’ It’s her running to Sam’s Club three times to make sure your event happens. It’s just encouraging students, I’ve seen that whole office transform under her leadership recently and I can’t wait to see where they’re going in the future,” Albers said.

Ethan Metzler, residence director of Pillsbury-Huff Hall, from Frederick, Colorado, raved about Schertz and how he enjoys their working relationship.

“It’s a lot of fun, we have a lot of fun during our days. We have a lot of fun events that we get to do and work on together, but we know when to have fun and when it’s time to be serious, but it’s a joy getting to work with her,” said Metzler, who graduated from MBU in 2019 with a degree in physical education. “It’s always fun to show up and just know that even if there’s not a ton going on, that we can have some good conversation about stuff and catch up. She’s very helpful and she’s been around ResLife for years and years so definitely just lots of knowledge on how to be a good RD.”

Working with Schertz brings innovative ideas and unexpected experiences each day of the week.

“It’s something new every day. She likes to keep things interesting. Since she’s been working here for so long she also likes to do different things and find different ways to do things well,” Metzler said. “She’s very good at delegating things to people, in a good way. Being like, ‘Hey I want you to be involved in this, in this way,’ and kind of pushing us outside of our comfort zone a little bit, too, in some of those things, and I really like that about her. She keeps things fresh, keeps it new.”

Metzler went on to say Schertz has encouraged him “in a lot of ways.” 

Her caring and motherly personality shines through with every student she meets, whether you live on campus or not. 

“I mean she’s kinda like everybody’s mom on campus it feels like. If you live in ResLife, in a lot of ways she gives a lot of good motherly encouragement, which I’m always appreciative of, especially since my family lives 800 miles away, so it’s really nice,” Metzler said.

Living on a college campus with a husband and children has become normal for Schertz and is something she has come to enjoy.

Schertz and her husband have three kids, Haydn, Ellie and Hunter. The oldest is Haydn, 19, who is taking a gap year from college and working full-time for the City of Sunset Hills.

Haydn Schertz graduated high school in 2020 from Parkway Central High School and is hoping to study turf management and professional landscaping next year at State Technical College of Missouri in Osage County, Missouri.

Schertz’s daughter, Ellie, 17, is a senior at Parkway Central High School, who desires to study nursing at MBU next fall. 

Her youngest son, Hunter, 14, is a freshman at Parkway Central High School, who plays football, baseball and loves to fish. 

Schertz is a mom to students at MBU and to her own three children. Photo courtesy of MBU Communications

“It’s definitely a way of life so a lot of people are like, ‘Why do you do that?’ But my husband and I both really enjoy getting to be on campus. We owned a home and all of that before we moved on campus and just really feel that this is where we’re supposed to be and felt like that God called us to do this. We love it. We love being around college students and we love eating in the caf and we love going to games and events and getting to hang out with people, so it’s definitely something different,” Schertz said. “Our kids, you know, pretty much that’s all they know is to live here and sometimes they’re like, ‘Why can’t we have a house with a yard?’ and things like that. But that’s pretty much all they know too. To most people it seems kind of weird, but to us it just seems like a normal thing.”

Raising her children on campus has been interesting for Schertz and her family.

Schertz’ children love living on a college campus, have great memories growing up at MBU and cherish the friends they’ve made with MoBap’s students. 

“When they [her kids] were little or infants, they really thought it was cool. We feel like we get to share our life with them and sometimes they see the good, bad and ugly of the Schertz family and that’s OK because that’s just the way it is,” Schertz said. 

The resident life, or ResLife, department orchestrates activities not only for residents, but also for commuter students.

“So we’re really trying to figure out how to engage commuter students and this year we opened the commuter lounge in one of the dorms. We’ve had almost 90 people apply for access to the commuter lounge,” Schertz said.

Located in Room 301 of the Spartan Village South building on the first floor, the Commuter Lounge includes coffee makers and fun activities, which allows commuter students a place to hang out and relax in between classes.

The hours of the Commuter Lounge are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

“It gives them a place that they can hang out between classes and we try to keep coffee and there’s an ice machine and different activities they can do over there,” Schertz said. “We really try to think about making sure we do some events during the day and giving them opportunities to have something to do while they’re here. Always interested in hearing from commuter students and things they would like to do, but we have noticed, probably this year, an increase in the number of commuter students that are at our events even if they’re in the evening or the weekends, so that’s been really great.”

Examples of events include open mic night, first Thursday in the Perk, open gym, blood drives, Homecoming, Spring Break mission trips, seasonal events and many more. 

For commuters to access the Commuter Lounge, they first need to fill out a form on the MBU website, which is then reviewed by Public Safety before students are then allowed to scan their ID before entering the lounge.

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Kate Goodberlet

Kate Goodberlet

Kate Goodberlet is a staff writer for MBU Timeline, majoring in communications studies. She was dual enrolled at MBU before starting full-time. In her free time, Goodberlet enjoys worshiping the Lord by playing piano and singing, being creative, and helping others. After graduation she plans on working for a newspaper or magazine, owning a business, working in event planning, or being an interior designer.

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