Vice President, Division of Student Affairs; Interim Vice President, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity
Hometown: Born in Beaufort, South Carolina. Raised in Lake Forest, California
I am: Someone who values fairness and integrity, and a belly laugh.
Why did you choose UO? I thought I would only live here for about three years. I had just finished my psychology residency and was looking for an opportunity to work at a University Counseling Center as a psychologist. In addition, I had really tired of living in California and wanted a fresh adventure. When I visited UO for my interview, I went on a run on the bike path by the river and I had what can only be described as a spiritual experience. I was hooked.
And what have you had to get used to in living here? It has been very, very hard to adjust to the weather (it took three years), and the lack of diversity—especially the small amounts of African Americans.
Who inspires you the most? Why? My mom and dad. They are the two most honest, hard-working people I know. They were strict parents, but I never, ever doubted their love for me and my brothers and sisters. They taught me everything that I know.
What advice would you give to someone like you who is new to the UO? Or, what advice do you wish you had been given? Eugene is clique-ish. Find a community, and stick with it. Buy a raincoat, or any coat, for that matter. I didn’t have one for the first 6 months and it was rough! Give it some time; Eugene grows on you.
What book do you think everyone should read? "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer
How do you think others see you? What don’t they see? People think I am more outgoing and extroverted than I really am. I prefer solitude and quiet time to large groups and parties. I am also not as tough and dogmatic as I appear to be; I have a very soft, sensitive underbelly and a wildly imaginative inner life.
What isn’t immediately apparent about what makes you unique? Something unique and quirky about me is that I love to exaggerate and embellish stories. I get that from my dad—he is a master at that, so I guess I am a chip off the ol’ block.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Or, what frightens you? I absolutely HATE to fly. The scariest flight I have ever experienced was coming back from Texas during a hurricane. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers. I also hate rollercoasters. Basically, I don’t like anything that scares me!
Where do you find joy? What do you do to recharge yourself? My biggest joy is with my family. I am super attached to my wife; she is my BFF. My boys are a kick and I am so proud to be in their lives and they in mine. I love going on family vacations. I recharge by hanging with the family or conversely, spending time alone, working out and especially being in the outdoors.
What continues to surprise you? How deeply I love those who are close to me—it absolutely shocks me sometimes, but there it is.
What’s the thing you are most proud of in your life? I genuinely feel that I am a good person and live a solid, reflective life. Because of that, I think I am able to be good and loving to those around me.