OUWB Office of Diversity & Inclusion adds new assistant dean
Tracey Taylor talks with OUWB students
Tracey Taylor, Ph.D., officially became the newest assistant dean at OUWB's Office of Diversity & Inclusion on Aug. 1. Immediately prior, she served as vice chair of OUWB Department of Foundational Medical Studies.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion has named a longtime member of faculty as its newest assistant dean.

Tracey Taylor, Ph.D., officially started in the position Aug. 1. Immediately prior, she served as vice chair of OUWB Department of Foundational Medical Studies.

Taylor is now one of four assistant deans for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. The others are Thomas Guerrero, M.D., Ph.D., Dawn Jung, M.D., and Robert McClowry, M.D.

To find success in her new role, Taylor said she plans to draw on her extensive professional background in education, as well as her upbringing in a small community in Calgary, Alberta in Canada.  

“The ‘big dream’ is to do something to try to change the world — and do something to ensure that we can have as much diversity as possible,” Taylor said. “That’s what this position is all about, and that’s why I was interested in it.”

 

Helping shape OUWB

Taylor received a bachelor’s of science degree and a master of science degree in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology from the University of Calgary, Alberta, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Western Ontario, London.

In 2014 the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners appointed her to its national faculty in the Foundational Biomedical Sciences in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology.

Taylor’s main research areas are microbiology and pathogenesis, and includes a microbiology medical education research project investigating the use of online learning modules for microbiology laboratory teaching.

Taylor joined OUWB in August 2014 as associate professor of Microbiology.

She still teaches microbiology and infectious diseases to M1 and M2 students.

“I’m not giving that up,” she said with a smile. “I love that.”

Tracey Taylor talks with other OUWB studentsPrior to OUWB, Taylor was an assistant, and then associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Microbiology at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, where she taught microbiology to M1 and M2 osteopathic medical students.

Taylor said it was an adjustment to make the move to what was then a new medical school (OUWB) from an institution that had just celebrated its 100th birthday.

“I had thought the biggest differences would be moving from a D.O. school to an M.D. school, but by far, the biggest differences were moving from an established school to a new school,” she said.

Taylor said she enjoyed being part of a new school that wasn’t as set in its ways as one that had been around for such a long time.

“I liked the idea that if you wanted to improve something, you felt like you could implement change,” she said. “Like figuring out ways for the school to function better, and provide great opportunities for students to learn things.

“At an older school, it might be difficult to bring in new ideas,” Taylor added.

At OUWB, Taylor’s first leadership role was as chair of the curriculum evaluation subcommittee, before becoming chair of the curriculum committee. Most recently, she served as vice chair of the OUWB Department of Foundational Medical Studies.

 

Looking ahead

Diversity has always been a part of Taylor’s life, she said, starting from when she was a young student in elementary school.

“My elementary school had 100 kids total and there were people from all different backgrounds — more than half of my friends had either parents or grandparents that didn’t speak English,” she said. “I just thought that was normal.”

As an adult, Taylor said experiences throughout her career have helped her understand the importance afforded by exposure to a culture rich in diversity.

She said she’s looking forward to her role in furthering OUWB’s efforts to promote such diversity as the school moves out of the “new school” stage.

According to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion webpage, “Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine facilitates and promotes its diverse and inclusive medical learning community through pipeline programs, student support and interest groups, educational programs and community outreach events. 

“We are mindful of our mission to serve our community by addressing health care disparities locally and nationally. Diversity & Inclusion reminds us that everyone at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is responsible for sustaining and promoting our culture.”

Deirdre G. Pitts, Ph.D., is the interim associate dean for Academic, Faculty Affairs and Diversity & Inclusions. She is also an assistant professor of Foundational Medical Studies. 

“Dr. Pitts always says diversity inclusion is the job of everyone, which I really think is true,” she said. “I’m looking forward to helping further what’s already been done and helping promote more awareness and learning.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at adietderich@oakland.edu

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