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ACU names Ryan Bowman new director of Office of Multicultural Affairs

Ryan BowmanRyan Bowman (’06), associate director of spiritual formation for Abilene Christian University, has been named director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) after a nationwide search.
A graduate of Southwestern Christian College, the only historically black college associated with Churches of Christ, Bowman went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies in 2006, and a master’s in organizational leadership in 2015, both from ACU. He has worked at ACU since 2011, serving previously as Title IX investigator and case manager, and as a recruiter for the College of Biblical Studies.
The OMA serves an increasingly important role at ACU as the university has become more diverse over the last decade. Currently, more than 35 percent of our students are in underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, including 17 percent Latino and 16 percent African American.
Bowman said his goal as director of OMA is to offer an educational experience that enhances understanding of multiculturalism, inclusivity and social justice.
“My aim is to build a safe community for students of color that exemplifies inclusive excellence,” he said. “All students have a place at ACU, and it is my calling as a person of color to make sure each of them feel valued. Moreover, I understand that it is a heavy task, and it will take a committed group of committed faculty and staff of all cultures to achieve this calling.”
“Ryan is one of the most well-known and greatly respected persons across the ACU campus,” said Dr. Jerry Taylor, associate professor of Bible, missions and ministry, and founding director of ACU’s Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action.
“People across the university consistently look to Ryan for advice, consultation and counsel in matters related to student affairs,” Taylor said. “He is more than an institutional fit. His heart is an institutional match for ACU’s mission, vision and values.”
Chief diversity officer Dr. Stephanie (Toombs ’90) Hamm agrees. “I have been consistently impressed with Ryan’s willingness to learn, grow and stretch for the sake of our students of color,” she said.
In making the announcement, Dr. Scott McDowell, vice president for student life, said Bowman “has an intentionality about him that I’ve noticed from the first day I set foot on this campus. He is intentionally working to draw the circle wider and include everyone.”
Bowman’s ability to connect with a variety of individuals combined with his strong understanding and knowledge of ACU “position him well to lead this area,” McDowell said.

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