Troy D. VanAken became the 19th president and professor of mathematics at Thiel College in 2009. He has quickly become an active and involved member of the Thiel campus community and is often seen in the crowds at student athletic, arts and co-curricular events, coming up with fun new events (like a Halloween Haunted House), or just having lunch with students in the dining hall. Since taking leadership at Thiel, he has been active in launching many new programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing the student experience at the College, such as the Thiel Commitment, five new varsity sports, a marching band, a new youth ministry major and many others.
Dr. VanAken holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Bowling Green State University. A native of Michigan, his career in higher education began in 1994 when he was appointed assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of Evansville and where he was later selected as assistant vice president for instructional technology. In 1999, Albion College named Dr. VanAken as vice president for information technology. After being awarded an American Council on Education Fellowship and working at San Jose State University in 2002-2003, Dr. VanAken returned to Albion College with expanded responsibilities as athletic director and executive assistant to the president, and eventually vice president for business and finance. Dr. VanAken participated in Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management in 2005 and was named Albion’s executive vice president in 2006.