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Troutman Says Goodbye to Kenyon, Hello to New Opportunities

Troutman Says Goodbye to Kenyon, Hello to New Opportunities

By Madeline Thompson

After five years of living and working alongside Kenyon students, Associate Director for Housing and Residential Life Matt Troutman has decided to move on to a bigger city, though he hopes to return in the future.

“I would love to leave for next year and work in a bigger city and then come back like five years from now and work for the rest of my life and retire here,” Troutman said. “After living here for five years, I will be interested in some more culture and some bigger places within a different institution, but I would love to come back. I wish I always worked here, but it’s good to have different experiences.”

Troutman started as Assistant Director in 2007 and had originally planned to start a new job this year, but when Assistant Dean of Students for Housing and Residential Life Alicia Dugas asked him to be the Interim Director in April of 2011, he couldn’t say no.

“I was happy to do so because I love Kenyon so much,” Troutman said. “I wanted to help my colleagues where I could. It also let me develop professionally by giving me some new and valuable experiences.” His job as Assistant Director entailed living in campus housing, managing the staff of Community Advisors (CAs) and taking charge of an area of facilities.

“The job is a dynamic opportunity that is very rewarding,” he said.

Troutman remembers coming to campus to interview for the position of Assistant Director and being “impressed by the direction of the Residential Life program, the quality of the students and, of course, the beautiful campus.”

He is enthusiastic about every part of his job but has especially enjoyed working with the student CAs. Troutman said in an email that if given the opportunity, he wouldn’t be able to stop talking about how much he loves them. “As their supervisor, I am blessed to be able to work with them along the way in this process, which is always cathartic for them as they learn things they would not otherwise be able to acquire,” Troutman said.

One of the hardest parts of his job has been the behind-the-scenes administrative processes that go on more quietly. These processes are what keep the quality of residential life up to the same standard as Kenyon’s academic life, and the issues that go on within this area aren’t always easily fixed. “It is challenging because these procedural tasks are very important,” Troutman said, “but building relationships with people has to be a priority – so balancing time to be able to accomplish these can be difficult.”

Troutman reflected on his years here, remembering the many major improvements made to the system during his first year at Kenyon. Over the last four years, he has “worked to help make the residential experience a learning opportunity as well as [helping] students feel comfortable in their home away from home,” Troutman said. “For the last couple of years I have especially enjoyed working with division housing groups.”

Many CAs have worked with Troutman during his time here, and their praise of him comes easily. “Matt is a really really nice guy,” said Sara Schiller ’14, a CA in upper Lewis Hall. “He has been great to work with, and it’s going to be really sad to see him leave.”

The search for Troutman’s replacement will begin at a job fair-like event called The Placement Exchange in March. ResLife utilized this fair when hiring last year. “We interviewed 60 or 70 people and then did maybe 10 second interviews, and then of those 10, we brought maybe four of them to campus,” Troutman said. This year’s hiring process will be similar and include a lot of input from CAs.

As for the impact he hopes to leave on the Kenyon community, Troutman said he hopes to leave behind a legacy of “helping others to improve the Residential Life program and the housing procedures to a world-class level.”

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