With one semester already under his belt Tyrone Black, director of Multicultural Affairs at Quinnipiac University is eager to make his mark.
“I thought the campus was beautiful, but lacking in diversity,” Black said, adding that his goal is to increase diversity and multicultural awareness at Quinnipiac.
“If people are planning on working and existing in the world, you have to plan on encountering different people,” Black said. “We need to adapt to that.”
Black, received his Master’s in Education at the University of New Haven. His previous work includes seving as Director of College Counseling at Cheshire Academy. In his five years there, he also worked as an English teacher and a track coach, served on the disciplinary committee and was head of the gospel choir.
A pastor at Charter Memorial Temple in Hartford, Black feels his experience as a religious leader will aid him in reaching his goals at Quinnipiac.
“You have to be able to find different ways to preach to people. Open their minds and hearts, I am preaching to people,” Black said, while wearing a gold cross over a green sweater.
Black was encouraged to join the Quinnipiac campus by Joan Isaac Mohr, Vice President and Dean of Admissions.
“I have always been interested in working here,” Black said.
Black is developing two programs at Quinnipiac, hoping to spur the interest of prospective students from diverse backgrounds.
The Shadow program allows students of diverse backgrounds from Hamden Middle School to accompany Quinnipiac students to classes.
Adopt-a-student, is a similar program in which students of color from Cheshire Academy will be adopted by student-run clubs at Quinnipiac, and shown campus life.
Since his arrival, Black has spoken to the Quinnipiac faculty about the changes that he thinks need to be made in the curriculum. He recommended that there be an increase in cultural majors, such as African and East Asian studies and African and Native American studies.
Black called on the faculty to go to events that promote diversity.
“For courses to be effective, faculty need to foster events and go to them,” Black said.
To improve multicultural awareness on campus, Black conducts workshops for faculty and students.
“Students can bring honesty and the truth, to let others know how they feel about one another,” Black said.
One of the workshops Black conducted was for the Resident Assistants. He asked them to write as much as they knew about different cultures on a piece of paper. The results were not good, according to Black.
Black wants to conduct a workshop to encourage students to think outside themselves.
“I want to have them think about diverse areas. I want our students to explore tolerance,” Black said.
Black is in the midst of creating a multicultural newsletter at Quinnipiac. The newsletter will serve as a space for multicultural clubs to have a voice and promote awareness of the different cultures on campus.
In addition to his current projects, Black advises the Student Diversity Board and Step Squad and chairs the Multicultural Events Committee.
He is also an honorary member of the gospel choir at Quinnipiac.