Purpose & Staff
With compassion, we meet students where they are and encourage them to do their best.
The Office of Residence Life brings students and housing together in a safe and comfortable living environment. Our staff provide services and learning experiences beyond the classroom to promote educational, social, and personal growth, as well as manage the judicial affairs for residential and commuter students.
Our Core Values
•Direct Communication: We encourage everyone to respectfully dial-direct.
•Emotional Intelligence: Increasing self-efficacy through learning opportunities based on empathy, self-awareness, motivation, social skills, and self-regulation.
•Resource Referral: We’re generalists who refer students to appropriate experts to fulfill their purpose.
•Personal Relationships: We get to know each other, and we care.
•Diversity and Inclusion: Celebrating the wide-range of differences in the human experience, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, religion, and thought. We emphasize civil discourse in a community where all must be able to feel they belong.
•Leadership: Robust opportunities to strengthen skills, get involved, and be in service to others.
In addition to the professional staff listed below, 22 current undergraduate students serve as resident assistants to carry carry out the office's purpose.
Office: Whitaker Campus Center, Student Life Suite, Room 223
Matt Troutman has worked in institutions of higher education in student activities, student union, residence life, housing operations, and judicial affairs over the last 19 years. He is passionate about the growth and development of students, as well as out-of-the-class learning important for responsible global citizens. Matt earned a bachelor of arts degree in social and behavioral sciences and a master of science in higher education and student affairs. Matt is enrolled in the Hood College doctoral program in organizational leadership, which takes up most of his time when not working. When he gets a moment to have fun, he enjoys spending time with friends, watching television, and cooking plant-based (vegan) food.
As director of residence life and student conduct, Matt oversees judicial affairs, the residential life program, and housing operations. His close-knit team of area coordinators and resident assistants help carry out the mission of the office. Matt works closely with the vice president of student life and dean of students, as well as colleagues in student engagement, orientation, diversity and inclusion, and many others, to meet student needs and support a welcoming college community.
- M.S.Ed., Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
- B.A., Indiana University Kokomo
Office: Whitaker Campus Center, Student Life Suite, Room 228
Areas responsible for: Meyran Hall, Coblentz Hall, and Duplexes
Schedule a meeting at: https://calendly.com/taylor-
LaShawn Taylor was heavily involved as a student leader during his undergraduate years at Shepherd University. After completing his bachelor’s degree in English with a creative writing concentration and a minor in communications and new media, LaShawn entered the College Student Development and Administration master’s program at Shepherd University. He served there as a hall director, mentoring and being a resource for residents and student leaders. During LaShawn’s time at Hood, he works to help students reach their full potential so that they can be successful in reaching their goals. Some of LaShawn’s hobbies include playing with his dog Tinker, writing, painting, and pretending to sing. He is also a huge fan of the Washington Redskins and enjoys acting.
- M.A., Shepherd University
- B.S., Shepherd University
Office: Whitaker Campus Center, Student Life Suite, Room 227
Areas responsible for: Smith Hall and Shriner Hall
Schedule a meeting at: https://calendly.com/bakerkandyce
Kandyce Baker’s journey into student affairs started during her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It is there she worked in various functional areas, but settled into her passion of residential life while working as a resident assistant. After finishing her masters degree in criminology, law, and justice, Kandyce worked as a resident counselor and area coordinator at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. In 2017, she moved to Binghamton, New York where she served as area director. At Hood College, Kandyce enjoys getting to know students and serving as a resource to meet their needs. In her free time, she enjoys running marathons, hot yoga, dance, and playing with her energetic dog, Charlie. She is also loves Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat.
- M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago
- B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago
Office: Whitaker Campus Center, Student Life Suite, Room 229
Areas responsible for: Memorial Hall and the new residence hall
Schedule a meeting at: https://calendly.com/vanwychen
Becky VanWychen became heavily involved within residence life during her undergraduate years when she served as resident assistant and in leadership roles within the National Residence Hall Honorary and Residence Hall Association. After completing her bachelor's degree in Dairy Science and Pre-Veterinarian Medicine, she completely shifted her life goals by deciding to pursue a career in higher education student affairs. This decision took her Arkansas, where she pursued a Master's degree in College Student Personnel while working in residence life. During this time, Becky really found her purpose supporting students in all their endeavors and mentoring them along the path to success. Becky hopes to continue this while serving as area coordinator at Hood College. In her free time, Becky loves to take her dog, Stark, on nice long walks, play video games, and run her youtube channel.
- M.S., Arkansas Tech University
- B.S., University of Wisconsin-River Falls