To meet more fully the needs of Concordia University Wisconsin’s growing number of students of color, the university created the Office of Multicultural Engagement and appointed a director who is a known name at Concordia and in the Milwaukee community.

This fall, Walter Goodwyn accepted the position of Director of the Office of Multicultural Engagement and will oversee the formation of the office. Located within the Division of Student Life, the Office of Multicultural Engagement will coordinate programs that educate, engage, and embrace students of different ethnic and diverse backgrounds so that all students have a richer campus experience and are better prepared for service and leadership after graduation.

“We take for granted knowing how to navigate college life,” said Goodwyn. “For first generation college students, tasks that involve becoming familiar with the university can be difficult, and, in some cases, a barrier to their success. We want students to feel supported and that they are not alone. It excites me to assist them in their overall educational and life goals.”

This role aligns well with two other initiatives with which Goodwyn is invested: Emerging and Unlimited Potential Scholars.

Goodwyn joined CUW in 2017 as the director of The Emerging Scholars Program at  Concordia’s Midtown Center. This program offers high school graduates the opportunity to earn their associate degree in one of two fields, Business or Justice & Public Policy.

He also supports the Unlimited Potential Scholars on the Mequon campus. These students are enrolled at the university through the traditional admission process, but they represent underserved student populations with a distinctive talent to invest within the Concordia community, such as music, theatre, or athletics.

As director, Goodwyn will:

  • Conduct a campus needs assessment in the areas of multicultural student engagement.
  • Serve as an advocate and mentor to students from underrepresented populations.
  • Create an advisory council of stakeholders representing students, faculty, and staff.

The positive impact that the Office of Multicultural Engagement will have on the entire campus will be palpable.

“It is our responsibility as educators to prepare students for the world that they will be born into when they graduate,” explained Goodwyn. “Through various programs, our office will engage the entire campus community with meaningful conversations, sometimes around hard topics, so that we all grow. You have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable sometimes.”

According to Dr. Michael Uden, vice provost of Student Enrollment and Engagement, “Increased racial diversity is a commitment of Concordia University and a priority within the university’s strategic plan. It is my pleasure and privilege to work with Mr. Goodwyn in the launch of this vital office.”

Prior to Concordia, Goodwyn led initiatives for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Goodwill Industries, and the Private Industry Council. He has also served as a financial analyst in the private sector.

Goodwyn earned his undergraduate degree and MBA from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and is the proud father of a teenage daughter.

For more information contact the Office of Multicultural Engagement at 262.243.1884.

— Lisa Liljegren is vice president of marketing and strategic communications.

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