About Residence Life at SMC


Residence Life is an essential element of the Southwestern Michigan College total college-life experience.  Our mission is to foster communities that transform student lives through purposeful and creative programs, practices and services provided in a safe, residential environment.

Student Employment

SMC employs a number of students across campus, and many in the Department of Residence Life. Students may apply to become an RA or front desk assistant. See below for detailed information about each position. Click here to browse all student job openings and to apply.

Resident Assistants

The resident assistant (RA) facilitates the social, academic and personal adjustment of students to the residence hall and college. The RA develops a sense of community among residents as members of a floor, residents of a hall and active participants in the Residence Life system. The RA serves as a positive role model to residents and peer staff members. The RA enforces the rules and policies of Residence Life and the college.

Desk Assistants

The desk assistant (DA) is the first point of contact for students, staff, faculty and visitors seeking assistance for residence hall issues and/or campus information. Desk assistants are under the direct supervision of the residence hall manager for each respective building. The primary duties of the desk assistant are to provide receptionist services and the first–line of emergency response at the 24-hour front desk.

Student Custodians

The student custodian will perform a variety of custodial, groundskeeping and light maintenance work which may include but is not limited to cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, mopping and using vacuum cleaners to clean floors; washing walls, windows and fixtures; emptying trash receptacles and picking up debris; pulling weeds and assisting with room set-up/take-down for college facilities. Other duties may be assigned by the director of residence life or residence hall managers.

Meet the Professional Residence Life Staff

Alicia Wicks

Alicia Wicks

Residence Hall Manager—Jerdon Hall

Email: awicks@swmich.edu

Phone: 269-783-2802


Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design, Alma College
Master of Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel, Kent State University

About Alicia

Before coming to SMC, Alicia worked as a library technician for Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and prior to that as a hall director for Baldwin Wallace University. She looks forward to working with students and bringing a spin of creativity to the mix.

Megan O'Neill

Residence Hall Manager—White Hall

Email: moneill@swmich.edu

Phone: 269-783-2902


Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Alaska Fairbanks

About Megan

Megan recently graduated with her bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she worked as a resident assistant. Her goal is to work towards her master's degree in family and child therapy in an effort to become a therapist. Some of her interests are being outdoors, cooking, dancing and spending time with animals. She is looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing life in Michigan.

Karissa Light

Karissa Light

Residence Hall Manager—McKenzie Hall

Email: klight01@swmich.edu

Phone: 269-783-2702


Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Indiana State University
Master of Science in College Student Affairs, Eastern Illinois University

About Karissa

Karissa recently graduated with her master's in college student affairs from Eastern Illinois University where she worked in student activities, advising the programming board, Student Government and the Latin American Student Organization. Karissa enjoys hiking, traveling and crocheting. She looks forward to working with students during their collegiate career at Southwestern Michigan College.

Jeff Hooks

Jeff Hooks

Director of Residence Life

Email: jhooks@swmich.edu

Phone: 269-783-2159


Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Mississippi State University
Master of Public Policy and Administration, Mississippi State University

About Jeff

Jeff has worked in student housing for the last 12 years and has been with SMC since January 2017. Before coming to SMC, Jeff worked at universities in Virginia, New York, Tennessee and Mississippi. Jeff also served four years in the US Army with one deployment to Iraq and three years in the Mississippi Army National Guard while an undergraduate student. Jeff enjoys working with students and looks forward to bringing great experiences to all students who live in Southwestern Michigan College's residence halls.

Meet the Resident Assistants

Tamia Cruz

Tamia Cruz

My name is Tamia Cruz (I go by Mia). I am from Chicago, Illinois. I am currently majoring in social work with a minor in psychology. I plan to work in the foster care system and make improvements in the social work department in Chicago. I am looking forward to bringing SMC’s campus to life and getting the word out about how great a school SMC is. I hope to meet new people and make great connections this fall. I am very creative and open minded, so I never hesitate when it comes to trying new things. Fun facts about me: I am a huge Marvel Fan, and I love Disney Channel! See you all in the fall!

Calvin Gillings

Calvin Gillings

My major is criminal justice, and my hometown is Chicago, IL. I am looking forward to interacting with new residents who are coming to SMC for the Fall 2018 semester. I am also looking forward to helping shape the minds of students and their perception of life in showing them that it is ok to be educated, cool and still have fun at the same time.

Shelbey Guarino

Shelbey Guarino

My name is Shelbey Guarino and this will be my second year here at SMC. I am interested in many fields of study: psychology, gerontology, communications and political science. This is one of the reasons why I am still undecided on my major. My plan is to transfer to either Western Michigan University or Grand Valley State University after I finish my studies here at SMC. My hobbies include dancing, reading, listening to music and going on walks.

A little bit about me: I am originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, but I graduated from Plainwell High School. I have been dancing for eleven years, have been a vegetarian for two and have three siblings. My goals: I hope to someday become involved in my local government, volunteer at animal shelters across the nation and maybe join the Peace Corps. But for right now, as an RA for the 2018-2019 school year, I hope to be someone whom you can come to whenever you have any issues or just need someone to talk to, and I hope to be someone whom you can confide in whenever needed.

Miyoshi Jackson

My name is Miyoshi Jackson. I am from Westland, MI which is about three hours away from Dowagiac. This is my sophomore year here at SMC, and I’m majoring in nursing. I would like to become a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics. I enjoy shopping, watching movies and spending time with my friends. I hope we have a great school year!

Nicholas Jelsomeno

Hey guys, my name is Nick, and I will be part of the housing team for this school year! I am from Bloomingdale, Michigan, a blink-and-you-miss-it area, so I enjoy the atmosphere of campus and Dowagiac! I am going into my fourth year on campus, enrolled in Ferris State University through SMC's partnership program. I'm studying Criminal Justice and hope we have a great year! My hobbies range from video games to sports and everything in between! It'll be a great year, and I can't wait for it to start!

Jeremy Pyburn

Hello, my name is Jeremy Pyburn. I'm from Bridgman, MI. My major is criminal justice, and I'm a freshman at SMC. I plan on becoming a police officer to help as many people as I can. I love action movies and all kinds of video games. As an RA, I look forward to making friends with all my residents.

Cydney Robinson

Cydney (Cyd) Robinson

Welcome to SMC! I am from Belleville, Michigan and a part of the graduating class of 2017 from Belleville High School. I am a sophomore at SMC majoring in criminal justice psychology. I enjoy getting to know new people, solving life problems, watching movies and laughing. This fall I am looking forward to bringing my residents together and furthering my career in criminal justice psychology. Let’s have a great fall!

Michelle Stevens

Michelle Stevens

I am from Niles, MI. I am currently undecided and taking general classes until I find the right career path for me. For the Fall 2018 semester I am most looking forward to meeting all the new residents!

Aryn Scholten

Aryn Scholten

I am originally from Plainwell, Michigan. It is a small town full of very amazing people. I am currently an environmental science major. I enjoy learning about the environment, as well as learning the possible ways we can save it. You will probably find that I am a major science nerd. I love being outdoors and spending as much time as possible on the trails.

I am looking to creating a family atmosphere in the halls and hope to spend quality time with all the residents in my hall. It is very important to me that we all get along and have the best year we possibly can. I want everyone to be able to come to me whenever they need. It can be for something important or just because you’re super bored and want someone to talk to. I will always enjoy the company. I am very excited to begin this new journey, and I’m glad to say it is happening here at SMC.