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nadia lewis
Blog

TU Opens Center for Intercultural Excellence

Tiffin University recently celebrated the opening of the new Center for InterculTUral Excellence on January 1, 2022, now being led by Ms. Nadia Lewis, former Associate Vice President of TU’s Office of Human Resources. The Center’s main objective is to ensure that TU’s campus remains not only a place where people of all cultural identities are provided with the best in educational practices, but where every member of our community feels comfortable and where all voices are given equal attention. The decision to dedicate a physical space to this work was made due to the success with a related program, Celebrating Cultural Uniqueness at Tiffin University, and the Dragon Family’s desire to share this knowledge with other organizations seeking to enact similar changes within their own circles.

In 2016, TU modified its prior decision to be conscious of the need for workplace diversity and inclusion to being unwaveringly committed to its execution on campus. This decision was accompanied by a new set of learning standards designed to produce culturally competent and sensitive graduates. The initial movement was called Celebrating Cultural Uniqueness at Tiffin University, or CCU@TU, and was organized by Tiffin’s President, Dr. Lillian Schumacher.

Today’s employers look for culturally attuned individuals with honed interpersonal skills. At Tiffin University, students now experience an academic curriculum (the Dragon Core) that provides them with these specialized 21st century competencies. Through such integral classes, TU instills workforce-ready skills in students that address today’s professional challenges no matter the organizational type. Through collaboration with businesses and professionals to provide hands-on, experiential learning, graduates enter the workforce with the technical know-how and interpersonal skills to succeed. Similar training is also required of each TU community member in order to foster an environment conducive to equal opportunity for all.

The first tier of this training is the requirement that all students, employees and board members undergo a seven-month training program entitled Building Cultural Competencies within Organizations. The certificate awarded upon completion ensures others that cultural awareness is part of each graduate and faculty member’s repertoire. The course is also available to third-party organizations or individuals of any kind (colleges, businesses, nonprofits, etc.) seeking to restructure and learn through the new Center, and the Dragon Family could not be more proud to have inspired others to follow in our footsteps toward a brighter, more inclusive future.

Nadia Lewis has been promoted to the title of Vice President within TU’s Office of Human Resources, in addition to becoming the first Vice President of TU’s Center for InterculTUral Excellence. As the Center is now home for Tiffin’s Office of Equity Access and Opportunity, Office of Human Resources as well as several associated departments, the primary function of her hybrid position is be the concurrent strategic oversight of the Human Resources team, and the development and success of the Center.

Nadia has played an integral role in TU’s work in the area(s) of diversity and inclusion, and this promotion will allow her to continue these efforts on a larger scale. Nadia said, “I am extremely honored and humbled to get to lead this important work alongside some truly inspiring and talented individuals on the TU campus. Our goal at Tiffin University is to create a sense of belonging, to celebrate our uniqueness and to embrace our varied perspectives as a community. A true inclusive culture is where differences drive innovative solutions for our students, staff and faculty. The vision for the work of the Center is to become a center of best practice that reflects the world around us. We believe diversity drives innovation, and creates a space for positive transformation. We celebrate building a culture where difference is appreciated, respected, embraced and valued. The Center will be the place where we can continue the important work of transforming our students’ lives through education and the celebration of our cultural uniqueness.”