Bruce Taft Jr. BA ’15
What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?
Open, challenging, worthwhile
Describe your job.
As program manager of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), I organize the committee’s meetings, take meeting notes, and administer the institution’s diversity and inclusion website and email. I also take the meeting notes for the Bias Assessment and Response Team. As the assistant to the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion (DDI), my job list can’t be described as simple. I do assistant work like printing and scheduling, but I also communicate with people outside of the Lewis & Clark community to help bring them on campus or sponsor an event that they are hosting through our diversity fund. My work has ranged from giving presentations at the orientation for students going abroad to designing t-shirts for students at the Pioneer Fair at the beginning of the year. I just try to lend a hand wherever diversity and inclusion efforts are needed that Janet, the dean, is too busy to attend to.
What do you like best about your job?
Being able to help make my alma a better diverse and inclusive place. Also having the freedom to throw some jeans and clean kicks on everyday isn’t too bad. I wish you could see what’s on my feet right now honestly, lol.
What makes Lewis & Clark special?
I would have to say having the ability to be yourself whenever and wherever you are on campus.
How inclusive do you think Lewis & Clark is?
I would say that Lewis and Clark is a very inclusive place. We just need more work on the diversity part.
What kind of work remains to be done to make Lewis & Clark a truly inclusive community?
We need more students/staff/faculty of color. Not just so students can see these professionals on campus, but because students will feel more comfortable to open up to each other if they have more people around them who look like them. That’s just me being honest. Also we need to better our communication across the three Lewis & Clark schools about what our diversity and inclusion initiatives are and who is responsible for making those happen.
Where did you find community as a student? Where do you find community now?
As a student at Lewis & Clark, I found community in my athletic teams, and I still do today here in Portland. If I’m not FaceTiming my family or friends, I’m hanging out with an old teammate beating him in Madden or something, haha.
What are your career goals? How will your Lewis & Clark education help you reach them?
As for now, I can’t exactly answer that. I know that I want to work with troubled children, or children that come from lower income families with regards to education. I want to share my story and use my platform to give encouragement and proof to students that they can and will succeed in school. Growing up I didn’t hear much about scholarships and opportunities outside of sports, so to be able to educate kids on that is huge! My L&C education has opened many doors for me to be able to reach out to schools and tell them about the education I have acquired. You will be surprised by the opportunities in your life that arise when you become a Pioneer.