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A heart for the Taylor students

Meet Travis Trotman, Gerig and Breuninger’s new assistant hall director

Joy emanates from Travis Trotman in all he does. (Photograph provided by Travis Trotman)

Joy emanates from Travis Trotman in all he does. (Photograph provided by Travis Trotman)

By Abigail Roberts | Echo

Born and raised in Barbados with a heart for conversations on race, diversity or just about anything, Taylor welcomes Gerig and Breuninger’s new assistant hall director and Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) student.

Travis Trotman graduated from Houghton College in upstate New York this last May. And from the start of his sophomore year he knew he wanted to pursue something in higher education.

Working within the admissions realm his junior year and then as an admissions intern his senior year, Trotman’s passion for promoting learning continued to grow.

“(Personally) I like to be in the constant posture of learning; it gives us less excuses to be ignorant and you gain so much more out of life,” Trotman said.

Trotman heard about Taylor from Josh Craton’s brother, Jon, who served as Trotman’s hall director at Houghton College. So when deciding on a master’s program, Trotman quickly realized that Taylor was the place for him.

In addition to rigorous classes every Tuesday and Thursday, MAHE students also have a specific assistantship on campus. When applying for the MAHE program, the position of assistant hall director of Breuninger and Gerig was at the top of Trotman’s list.

“Over the years, I’ve experienced a lot and I want to pour into students what I’ve learned,” Trotman said. “I’m an open book, I like to get to know other people’s stories. Let’s have a conversation!”

Don’t pass up a chance to ask Travis about his connection to Rihanna’s brother, his killer pottery skills or his 113-year-old grandfather who lived to be the second oldest man in the world.

An international student himself, Trotman spent all of his childhood in Barbados. From jaw-dropping vistas and crystal-clear water, Barbados rightfully earns the title as ‘gem of the Caribbean.’

“The biggest thing I miss about home is my mom’s cooking,” Trotman said. “American food (in comparison) needs a lot more seasoning.”

Self-proclaimed as a relatively good cook himself, Trotman’s favorite dish is macaroni pie. This meal’s not-so-secret ingredient is Barbadian pepper sauce. If you ask him, he might even be willing to cook it for those who ask.  

In Barbados, Trotman fell in love with God’s creation, and at the age of 11, he made Christ his personal savior. His father, a Wesleyan pastor, and his mother, the first female CEO of a large trade company in Barbados, played key roles in his early steps toward Christ.

However, like many others, Trotman’s faith truly became his own when he came to college. Entering Houghton College as a music major with a concentration in violin and leaving with a bachelor’s of science  in communications and minor in voice performance, Trotman grew dramatically in those four years.

Trotman knows that God put him at Houghton for a reason. His college experience there geared him toward being at Taylor. Going into college with the mindset of having everything planned out, Trotman quickly realized he needed to let go and let God.

Trotman advises students to be open for the unexpected experiences and possible tornadoes in life.

“They allow us to connect with what God has actually planned for us,” Trotman said.

College helped shape many of Trotman’s views on not only God and himself but also race and social issues.

As an international student and minority, Houghton’s discussions about race, racism and identity aided Trotman’s learning experience.

“There were just a lot of different things that we don’t talk about at home (in Barbados),” Trotman said.

Trotman’s end goals are directed toward continuing on in a residence life role, then moving into possibly becoming a diversity counselor.

“I want to to pour into international students, also facilitating conversations of diversity and culture on campus,” Trotman said.

A valuable asset to the Taylor community, Trotman is bound to make Gerig and Breuninger places of open conversation and belonging.

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