Taylor University’s Office of Intercultural Programs (OIP) has hired its newest member. Tia Cavanaugh-Goggans was brought on as the director of intercultural initiatives and programs for the OIP before the 2023-24 school year. She was taken through a lengthy interview process and officially started her new position on Oct. 2.
Cavanaugh-Goggans, an Indiana University alumna, spent the last seven years at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis. There, she led the school's push for diversity in her role as diversity specialist. Taylor was a natural next step for her, she said.
“I was just trying to hear and listen to God’s direction as I was going through the process,” Cavanaugh-Goggans said. “It can be a little challenging to figure out which way God is taking you.”
Cavanaugh-Goggans first heard about the job in June 2023. Right away, she was blown away by the job description which was nine pages long. Cavanaugh-Goggans will be helping out with admissions, training staff on intercultural values, participating in the advancement office, as well as leading the OIP team.
She shared that she appreciated the kindness and grace of her colleagues in the OIP: Nate Chu, director of international student programs for the OIP, and Maribel Magallanes, director of student leadership and intercultural programs.
“I’m here to learn from them as well as to eventually lead and have them learn from me,” Cavanaugh-Goggans said.
Chu shared a bit about what Cavanaugh-Goggans’ position is and how it plays into the status quo of the OIP.
Chu explained that Cavanaugh-Goggans’ role is taking on a lot of what the Rev. Greg Dyson, vice president for spiritual life and intercultural leadership and campus pastor, did for the office of intercultural leadership. She also provides an additional layer of engagement for students which Chu is looking forward to.
“I am encouraged and excited,” Chu said. “She asks good questions about why and how things are done here.”
For Chu, it is important to have someone with a new perspective to ensure that what is being done in the OIP is still meeting the needs of students.
Dyson also values new perspectives on campus and specifically for the OIP. He said that the OIP is important because it provides a place for people from across the world to meet and interact. Dyson sees Cavanaugh-Goggans as vital to this because of her ability to connect with students.
“She’s bringing a needed level of leadership and support to an amazing program already,” Dyson said.
Dyson saw a need for a new voice in the OIP since his new position as campus pastor left a lot of holes in the department that he didn’t always have the time to fill. With Cavanaugh-Goggans’ position, members of the OIP now have an individual they can directly report to.
Dyson feels encouraged to have a new person around to be able to keep him steady as well as to encourage him to do more. He appreciated her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and to God.
“God continued to affirm that this is where I was supposed to be," Cavanaugh-Goggans said. “I feel like it was a God thing from the beginning.”
Cavanaugh-Goggans said that she is excited to work in higher education and that she wants the students and faculty of Taylor to know that she loves the Lord and the people of God. She is most excited to meet staff and build relationships with students and also wants Taylor students to know that the way to her heart is by bringing her a nice fountain Coca-Cola.