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Residential Life

Residential Life Staff

Aya  Leonhardt

I began my educational career set on getting a degree in computer science at the University of North Texas is Denton, TX. However, my family moved up north and I went with them. I then enrolled in Bemidji State University in 1999 and began my studies in a previous passion, English. I love to read. I was instantly amazed by the wonderful classes here at BSU and took every writing, literature, and online publishing class available to me. I received my Bachelor of Arts with two majors in 2003: Literature and Creative and Professional Writing.

I then entered the Masters program at BSU for a Master of Arts in Literature. I taught College Writing I and II courses as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. I was also a Resident Assistant for Oak Hall. Teaching and being an RA brought me to understand myself as an individual and a leader. After two years of teaching College Writing courses as a GA, I then applied at the library for an assistantship and began writing my Masters Thesis: The Women of Beowulf and their Analogous Sagas (which can be found at the BSU library!). My passion for reading embraced Old English and Middle English literature and I received my Master of Arts in 2006.

I taught a writing course at BSU's Upward Bound for the summer as I searched for college level teaching positions. However, when the Hall Director position opened, I chose to be a part of the best team around. I was familiar with BSU (I'd been here a long time and lived in the residence halls every year!), I had experience with teaching in large groups and was comfortable with everything that came along with it, and I had 2 years experience as a Resident Assistant. Residential Life and all the people who work there took me in and the friendliness and professionalism I found made me feel at home. I have been encouraged to continue my education in my interest in the student affairs career. I have also been to many conferences around the United States and learned from the best. Bemidji State has become a home for me and their encouragement and guiding hands from the Department of English to Residential Life has made me the person I am today.

From 2006-2008 I held the Hall Director position for Tamarack Hall, Birch Hall, and Cedar Apartments. I made many life-long friends and had wonderful experiences with staff and residents.

Today, I can be found in Linden, Pine, or Cedar Hall and plan to learn and have as much fun as possible! My hobbies include video games (I am very fond of Oblivion for the XBOX360), reading (fantasy genre mostly), watching movies with my husband and friends, baking, and spending time with my family.

Ayleen Leonhardt

Call Me: "Aya"


  • Residence Hall Director: Pine Hall, Linden Hall, and Cedar Hall

Birch Office: 218-333-7203
Pine and Cedar Office: 218-333-7338