Student Affairs

Leading in the classroom and on the hall: Get to know Addison Langston


Residential community mentors are unique members of the Clemson student community. Described by some as the “backbone” of first-year success, RCMs— formerly resident assistants, or RAs—provide students who live on campus a stable community in which to explore, connect, engage and lead.

During the 2023 Fall semester, Clemson had 7,136 students living in residential communities on main campus. Seventy-seven percent were either traditional first-year students or those in the Bridge to Clemson program.

A successful transition to Clemson is critical, and creating a robust residential experience is often the conduit. That’s where student leaders like Addison Langston come into the equation.

Langston served as an RCM the past two years and serves in the role of residential community leader as a senior. A native of Greer, South Carolina, she credits the experience with bringing her out of a “shell” as Clemson was emerging from modified operations and online classes.

“Freshman year, I really didn’t make any friends,” she admits, reflecting on the difficulty of entering college during a global pandemic. “After getting this job as a sophomore, I’ve been able to open up more and more. I’m working with many of the same people to this day, and we’ve become best friends. I’ve gained a support network at Clemson.”

Langston serves as a residential community leader in Lever and Mauldin halls.

And now it’s Langston’s turn to pay it forward. As a live-in resident on campus, her main priority is building community with students in Lever and Mauldin halls. She decorates bulletin boards, hosts events, celebrates holidays, meets with students one-on-one and engages in educational development. Most importantly, she helps introduce students to the plethora of resources available to aid them throughout their time at Clemson.

“Sometimes it’s simply providing advice or support when needed,” she says. “Checking in on their well-being is a must.”

She’s not alone in providing support to students, though. Every living space has a full-time staff director, graduate assistants, a residential community leader and multiple RCMs. In Lever and Mauldin, for example, she says 24 students come together to support the broader population.

Langston says each resident is different, so she tailors her leadership style and approach with that in mind. Some groups of students are more willing to engage, while others are more passive. For her, staying flexible is the key.

It helps to have the support of a strong team. Rachel Garner serves as the full-time community director in Lever and Mauldin. New to Clemson last summer, it didn’t take her long to notice Langston’s strengths.

“As a community director, I knew I would need to rely on returning staff and students to help set up a cohesive and successful team,” she says. “Addison brought a lot of experience and historical background on the community and was willing to take on additional work to help us have the best leadership and a clear direction. She advocates for staff who are overwhelmed with academics and brings clear strengths in team building as well. She’s been the perfect student leader throughout my first year at Clemson.”

Langston’s impact extends beyond Clemson Home. Last winter, she was one of five Clemson students chosen to attend the 2023 ACC Leadership Symposium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She’s also thrived in the classroom as a biochemistry major. With graduation around the corner in May 2024, she’s already been accepted into pharmacy school at Campbell University, a private school located just outside of the Research Triangle in North Carolina.

While she’s excited for the next step of her educational journey, she’s also fond of her time at Clemson.

“It’s been full of opportunities to educate myself on a variety of topics, whether it’s academics, interacting with people, how to make friends or how to be a leader,” she says. “I’ve enjoyed my time here and the friends I’ve been able to make along the way. It’s been especially fun to see residents develop; you feel like a proud mom.”