A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Charles Allen

Wengatz Assistant Hall Director
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Why I Came to Taylor

I rarely tell strangers that I come from Newberg wine country, because no one knows where that is. But when I tell them I am from the Portland area on the Northwestern coast of Oregon, everyone wants to know if life there is like the show “Portlandia.” Then I get to define what hipsters really are, talk about mountains and coffee culture, and explain to completely baffled students that, in Portland, wearing a beanie, dress shirt, and Toms is completely normal.

In 2013, I graduated from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, with honors, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a minor in Biblical Studies. While I was an undergraduate, I worked four years with the graduate and undergraduate admissions offices and was a Resident Assistant for three years in a freshman hall, university apartments, and university-owned houses. It was during those three years in Residence Life that I discovered the incredible potential that this part of higher education has to transform the lives of students—largely because it focused on learning outside of the classroom. Residence Life allows me to engage with people in the daily grit of life and walk with others in their personal journeys, adventures and struggles. There is nothing better than the raw discovery that happens during young adulthood. It is the joy of traveling with others through that beautiful mess that drew me to Taylor University.

To me, one of the epitomes of human experience is the sharing of stories. My story is full of trees, road trips, the Three Sisters mountain wilderness, pillow talk, awkward dancing, chai coffees, guitars, and beautiful relationships. The privilege of letting others into that story—as well as hearing where others have journeyed from—is what makes Residence Life as powerful as it is. College students are living more fully in their own stories every day as they dig into who they are, and it is a Resident Director’s greatest privilege to walk alongside and help shape that journey.