By Miriam Rixon
Promoting diversity training for students, assisting campus leaders in creating diversity initiatives and serving as an advisor on diversity issues to faculty, staff and students will be some of Terrance Schofield’s responsibilities.
But first, he wants to get to know the campus community.
Schofield, who was hired over the summer to fill the newly established role of associate provost for mission excellence and reconciliation, is spending time better understanding the campus community and its needs around diversity.
Schofield went on to what he calls his “listening tour” as he first stepped into his new role.
This looked like speaking to students, faculty and other organizations at Trevecca, which has so far included Walden, Futuro, the Diversity Council and has attended various events on campus to connect with people.
“If you ask me what I’m doing,” said Schofield. “I am building relationships.”
He has an open-door policy from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and encourages people to stop by for a chat and have a cup of hot chocolate.
Tom Middendorf, provost and senior vice president, has been helping Schofield meet new people and get integrated in the community.
“Dr. Schofield has many strengths,” said Middendorf. “One he is grounded in his faith. He understands the mission of our institution which I think is really important. But two, he is a relational person. His personality is one that lights up a room.”
Schofield has worked in a private psychology practice as a resident psychologist in the state of Virginia doing psychological evaluations, as well as an adjunct instructor and professor at Regent University, Maryville College and Northeast State Community College. He has written three books and is the co-author on a journal centering on intimate partner violence among African American individuals. He has also served as senior pastor of several multicultural churches, including some Nazarene churches.
Schofield plans to use his experience in psychology and his time teaching to achieve his goal of gaining a better understanding of the people and community at Trevecca.
“My grandmother told me to have a small mouth and big ears,” said Schofield. “You can’t do this work by yourself. You’ve got to join hands with people to do it.”
One of his first tangible programs will be a more robust Black History Month on campus.
“One of the biggest things that he’s been advocating for and planning for is Black History Month coming up in February,” said Selah Torralba, diversity council president and director of inclusion and belonging.