Before she went to work on Nov. 16, I sat down with Ruby Zollinger, a student studying applied mathematics, and asked about her job as the Executive Office Student Writer.

“Before I made it up here, I was looking at the student job board for a job,” Zollinger said. “… I just felt so strongly like this was part of the reason why I was coming up to BYU-Idaho.”

Zollinger went to BYU in Provo before she served a mission in New Mexico. While on her mission, she felt prompted to go to Idaho.

“No thank you — never,” Zollinger said in response to the prompting.

But after her mission, Zollinger came up to Idaho anyway in the fall of 2022.

Zollinger’s position is one of four students. She works closely with Kathy Webb, the executive assistant to President Meredith.

“President is a very busy man,” Zollinger said. “We’ve been there to support him … we collect documents for different meetings and events that he’s going to throughout the week, and put that in a place where he can access them.”

Zollinger also helps others in the office.

“We’re the students in the office that people come to when they need documents looked over, edited, reviewed … ” Zollinger said. “Other than that, a lot of what I did yesterday was taking phone calls, leaving messages for people who weren’t in the office.”

After work, she goes to her apartment where her friends gather — among them is her fiancé, Kasey Higdon.

Zollinger and her fiancé, Kasey Higdon.

Zollinger and her fiancé, Kasey Higdon. Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Ruby Zollinger

“He hasn’t seen Avatar (The Last Airbender) all the way through … so I’m trying to get him to get through that with me,” Zollinger said.

Zollinger shared one memorable moment earlier this semester when President Meredith helped her.

“Kasey and I were not engaged, but we were dating … and (President Meredith) was like, ‘Listen, I know I’ve only been here for a month, but before anything happens, you need to bring him up here and I’m going to interview him,'” Zollinger said. “Long story short, I got engaged before President met him, and when I told President, he was like, ‘Uh uh, this is not official until I interview him.'”

President Meredith did meet Higdon, and he passed the interview.

“When he sees a need, he’s really good at setting apart time in his calendar to focus on the individuals who really need him,” Zollinger said. “He always has time set apart for his wife.”

Zollinger emphasized her love for the experience of working in the Executive Office.

“Every single decision that comes out of (the Executive Office) is out of such pure love,” Zollinger said. “It’s a lot of love, and they’re all such amazing people.”