By Holly Gaskill
On Jan. 2, the Rev. Greg Dyson officially started under the position of special assistant to the president for intercultural initiatives.
"The Special Assistant to the President for Intercultural Initiatives will build on Taylor University's existing intercultural programs to establish and implement initiatives that will enable all members of the Taylor community to thrive, prosper and benefit from and contribute to the Taylor University mission," a university press release said.
The Echo published an article on Nov. 9 titled "New diversity position created" by News Co-Editor Rayce Patterson discussing the intentions for this new role on campus. Dyson was announced as the hire to fulfill this position on Nov. 16 in a press release.
As the special assistant to the president for intercultural initiatives, Dyson will be on the President's Cabinet, the Deans' Council and the Student Development Lead Team.
"Greg has established a great reputation within the CCCU and in Christian higher-education as a thoughtful, wise and empathetic leader," President P. Lowell Haines said. "He also possesses a proven track record in strategic planning at the collegiate level, and we believe Greg is going to do some great things here in our midst. All of us join in welcoming Greg, his wife Gina and their family to the Taylor University community."
Dyson holds an M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Cairn University, a B.A. in Bible from Cedarville University and a diploma from Word of Life Bible Institute. Dyson has served at Cedarville University as the director of intercultural leadership since 2014. Dyson has also served as well as dean of admissions, chaplain, senior pastor, associate pastor and youth pastor.
First and foremost, Dyson considers listening to the concerns of students a priority. By first listening to students, Dyson said, he can be more effective on campus.
"We need to start understanding not what we know but who we are," Dyson said. "That means spending time with people from different quadrants of our community and really hearing them and I'm excited for the freedom to do that."
In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the university held workshops to discuss topics of diversity. In his workshop, Dyson used art to discuss topics where many students struggle to find their voice. According to Dyson, several students found that their experience, or lack of experience, should not hinder them from engaging in discussion.
Dyson also cited the university's willingness and excitement to discuss, listen and act as an encouraging sign for growth on campus.
"Everyone's voice is needed in these kinds of conversations," Dyson said.
In the future, Dyson will potentially be teaching courses or guest lecturing in various courses across different departments. Meanwhile, Dyson is currently focused on getting transitioned into the position and listening to students and faculty.