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New diversity officer truly dedicated

Dr. Dale Dan

Dr. Dale Dan began her duties as LCC’s new Chief Diversity Officer on Jan. 8, 2024.  Courtesy photo

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

While there are many ways to define the word leader, there is one quality that every leader simply must possess: the ability to be truly selfless. It is a rare quality, but LCC’s new Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Dale Dan is one of the few.

Dan became an official LCC employee on Jan. 8, and her attitude toward everything and everyone is one of servitude. Only allowing herself four hours of sleep a night, Dan pours her heart and soul into bettering the world around her.

 She said she couldn’t be happier in her new role at LCC. She said she started her journey at a community college and couldn’t think of a better place to end it.

“This is my last career stop,” Dan said. “I had six weeks of interviews and four job offers. It was very hard, but my last interview here, I can’t even explain it, it was just magnetic. I really liked what I saw and what I heard. Even in these two weeks, I can’t begin to tell you how many people I have connected with at LCC. The warmth and love and respect … it has just been amazing.”

Dan is quite amazing herself and has the impressive resume to prove it. She has a total of six degrees; finishing from Nova Southeastern University with a doctorate focusing on education, human resource development and organizational leadership.

Originally from Guyana, she came to America at age 23 to study business. Upon her arrival she quickly learned her scholarship was withdrawn. The only scholarship she still qualified for was one in criminal justice.

“I didn’t want to do that,” she said. “It wasn’t where my heart was, but it was a way of staying in the U.S.”

Even though that was not the field she would have chosen first, she still described herself as fortunate, and said she had no trouble finding work after graduation. She spent 10 years working for two separate chief judges before making her way back to education.

Though her professional career as an educator did not begin until the mid-2000s, it was always something she was called to do.

Her father was an engineer and served in the military, and her mother owned a large university. At a very young age Dan, inspired by an atmosphere of academia, was teaching a reading class on her own.

“I was 10 and I had 102 students, some of them were over 40 years older than me,” she said, giggling. “When parents would ask for the teacher, they would see me and think the students were joking. I wasn’t just young, but also extremely tiny. But it was so special to me. I have continued on since then and it has been amazing.”

Since then, in fact, Dan has served as dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as a professor of education and business, for Bethel University in Minnesota. Most recently, she was the chief diversity officer for Empire State University, part of the State University of New York system.

She is a certified U.S. Supreme Court mediator and corporate mediator. She has also taught and served at Bakke Graduate University, Carlos Albizu University and Serenity Projects, Inc.  She is also a four-time published author with Barnes and Nobles and Amazon, while also heading a mission campaign present in 26 countries called “Joy at Work.”

Her focus in DEI work has always been to increase the opportunities made available to marginalized students. At one point, early in her career, she set out to increase the number of online students at a specific institution, and grew that population from four students to 450 while maintaining a 98 percent retention rate.

Already in her time at LCC, her work is being noticed. LCC Vice President of Business Operations Dr. Seleana Samuel she is very excited to continue working with her new colleague.

"Dr. Dan impressed me with her intelligence and understanding of the importance of belonging and working with others through compassion,” Dr. Samuel said. “Her extensive knowledge of DEI, decades of teaching experience and global perspective will help move the college forward in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She genuinely finds joy in this work and we are fortunate to have her at LCC."

Dr. Dale Dan is an exceptional leader because her passion is ensuring the prosperity of others. She loves the movie “Sound of Music,” water aerobics and going to lunch with friends. However, her main priority is always to be a part of a purpose so much greater than herself.

“If during my tenure, I can achieve one thing, I will be happy,” she said, “and that is to hear every staff member and student say ‘I belong here.’”

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