Greater is next...I still have hope

Quentin Tyler, associate dean and director for diversity, equity and inclusion, shares his vision for the next year and for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources community.

It is understood that when you travel a new path, there will be moments of uncertainty. There will be times when you question if you made the right decision. There will be periods of doubt and unfamiliarity and no one around to shield you from the adversity that you are about to experience nor inform you. There will also be moments where you will feel all alone and defeated, and that is expected.

But this time, everything seemed different. I am staring in the face of an unfamiliar foe. A nemesis that would regulate many of us to our home space, managing multiple responsibilities, disrupting daily routines, canceling, and derailing efforts that have been planned for over a year in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive college.

Quentin Tyler, Associate Dean and Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, CANR
Quentin Tyler, Associate Dean and Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, CANR

“Good things are only supposed to happen to good people." But In a matter of days, my team was regulated to corresponding and providing updates via Zoom, my gym and stress reliever was closed, and the meetings and conferences that would facilitate my growth and future collaborations were all canceled. My feelings of hopelessness and isolation magnified. Yet, despite these occurrences, something inside of me believes that greater is next and because I still have hope.

I was on the receiving end of sending societal reminders that I am viewed in a different light than my counterparts and looked at as not normal in this city, state, country, and even on this campus that prides itself on serving all.

Colleagues and friends were losing loved ones at an alarming rate and were at risk of providing services to a society much in need as they earned a new identity of being “essential.” But resiliency and determination do not happen overnight and are built through experiences, actions and supportive words. The fundamental belief that you accomplished and leaped many hurdles before and this time was a new and unfamiliar hurdle masked in unfamiliar cloth and territory stand in the way to be conquered and defeated.

This will be the hardest work and some of the most difficult situations we will find ourselves as we move forward because it requires us to trust the process despite experiencing so much of the unknown. Due to the world being on pause, we have a renowned strength and belief in each other that is focused on forced pay attention to our individual and collective needs and acknowledging and affirming the need for a change.

Crisis brings about the opportunity, and this is an opportunity for us to come together as a college and community to lead the way. And because of our past experiences, bonding together, and the work that we do to improve lives, I have hope and believe greater is next.

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