Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-4513


For immediate release.


By Diana Conard

Haywood Community College nursing student, Kalyn Matthews, has devoted her life to serving others. She's spent time in Fiji, New Zealand, Vanuatu, and lots of countries in between. She's traveled all over the southeastern United States. But now she wants to serve the people in her community.

That's what brought Matthews to HCC. "I chose HCC because the nursing program is rated top notch. I asked other nurses and over and over HCC was recommended," she said. "The nursing instructors have set high standards."

Matthews grew up with both parents in the medical field. Her dad was a speech pathologist and her mom a nurse.

Currently an emergency room technician at Haywood Regional Medical Center, Matthews plans to work in the Intensive Care Unit. "I like working in the emergency room because you have to be ready for anything-from congestion to stab wounds. I enjoy helping people in crises," Matthews explains. "But the ICU allows you to give more personal patient care."

But before Matthews was ready to serve her community, she gained experience serving people in faraway places.

After earning a bachelor's degree in religion from Florida State University and a master's in Christian Education from Duke Divinity School, Matthews and her husband Clint spent three years in the South Pacific touring for their Christian theatre company called Detour Theatre Company. The couple were missionaries who performed the material they wrote. They were responsible for every aspect of the operation from booking performances to marketing the company.

But many miles and one baby girl later, they decided to settle down in Haywood County. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Matthews had vacationed here growing up. When her parents began looking for a place to retire, they knew this area was the answer.

Returning to college at 35 years of age with a family and financial obligations was a challenge. "It's hard to divide your focus between responsibilities. It requires determination," Matthews explains. " But after that first test, my confidence was boosted. And I have a very supportive family."

When Matthews completes the strenuous nursing program at HCC in May, she plans to tackle her flowerbeds, read for pleasure again, and put on her traveling shoes once more. This time, the trips will be short.

"I've traveled to an incredible amount of countries but I'm ready to serve the people of my community."

Photo attached: (photo by Debra Davis)

Upcoming HCC nursing graduate Kaylan Matthews will begin work in the intensive care unit of the Haywood Regional Medical Center after graduation in May.