Welcome Piedmont’s Quarantine Queen


New Director of Residential Living, Madison Smith, poses with Leo the Lion during summer orientation. // PHOTO BY MELISSA SCUDERI

(Audio provided by Caden Nelms)

Matthew Kodrowski, Opinions Editor

Over the years, Piedmont University has introduced plenty of new faces to the students and faculty on campus. One of those faces is the new Director of Residential Living, Madison Smith. Before Piedmont, she spent some time working in housing for the Huntsville campus of the University of Alabama. When the pandemic hit, she became in charge of isolating and housing COVID-19 positive students. Due to her valiant and organized efforts, she was crowned the noblest of nicknames: the Quarantine Queen.

Anyone who meets Smith quickly falls in love with the way she treats people. Her fun-loving personality is infectious, and she loves talking with the students and getting to know everyone around her. She is confident and truly embodies the positive aspects that make someone a queen. 

“I went to Kennesaw State for my undergraduate and worked at Reinhardt University before my last three years at the University of Alabama,” Smith said. “I was in my last semester and it was my first day of student teaching. When I came home that day, I just remember thinking I did not want to do this anymore but I had spent three years on this degree.” 

Smith recalls feeling stressed because she did not want to change her major when she was so close to graduating. While she was working as a student leader, she sought counsel from her boss in housing. Her boss suggested that Smith try housing since she would not need a specific major for that line of work.

“My boss had a Bachelor’s in Biology and she was a hall director,” said Smith. “I’ve also had friends who have been math majors purse jobs in housing. You do not need a specific degree to do this, which is what I think intrigued me so much.”

Smith explains the path she took to becoming interested in the housing department. But how does a Quarantine Queen go from working at one of the most well-known universities in the country to finding her way to a small town in Northeast Georgia? 

“I knew of Piedmont. I knew Piedmont’s campus fairly well and I liked the small private school feel, so I thought ‘Why not? Let’s try it,’ and I got the job,” Smith says, “I feel like there is a lot that can be done here. I was really excited about all the possibilities.”

She knows her job interacts with and benefits the students now as well as the generations of students to come. Smith sees the importance in her job and strives to create a great atmosphere for the students. 

“I have an opportunity to create a new culture and environment at the college. There are a lot of things that we can create by just listening to the students and constantly receiving input.” Smith said. 

She appreciates and is very open to student input. Smith wants the students to know she will be holding town hall discussions on what can be improved within the housing department.

“You guys have a voice, and I need to be listening to that,” Smith said.