Monique Taylor, Ph.D. Campus Dean and Executive Director, NYIT-Nanjing Office: Global Academic Programs Campus: Nanjing
Member of NYIT Since: 2012
A few months ago Monique Taylor, Ph.D., began taking Mandarin classes in Mexico City with her husband and nine-year-old daughter. She had just returned from three trips to Nanjing bearing gifts of tea, silk, coins, and maps to offer glimpses of the life her family would begin when she assumed her role as NYIT-Nanjing’s campus dean and executive director.
“What excites me most about joining NYIT is its sweeping global vision and President Guiliano’s idea that the university must reinvent and re-imagine itself to meet this vision for the 21st century,” says Taylor. “American universities can be very conservative and tradition-bound so to have the chance to work in an environment that encourages risk-taking, non-traditional thinking and a bit of daring is very exciting to me.”
The Washington, D.C., native says working with students was her first love, and that she began her Ph.D. straight out of college because she was determined to teach at a university. Her fearlessness in the face of change took her around the world — in addition to Boston, New Haven, Conn., Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York City, she has also lived in Jerusalem and in Mexico City.
“About 10 years ago, I left the United States when my husband — at the time a foreign correspondent with the Los Angeles Times — was assigned to cover conflicts in the Middle East,” she explains. “I had just received tenure but was on maternity leave and decided to take a chance on something new.”
It wasn’t long before she found a teaching position in Ramallah, but she also found herself increasingly involved in program development that bridged academic and non-academic worlds.
Then, when her husband’s job transferred their family to Mexico City, she had to start all over again.
“This time, though, as opposed to when I first left the U.S., I had a very different sense of possibility for what I could accomplish as a U.S. academic in an international arena. I definitely didn’t see this so clearly when I took that first step away from a solid teaching career in the U.S.”
Taylor hopes to provide strong leadership for NYIT-Nanjing, whose students already have taught her how important it is to provide international opportunities for students from around the world to come together and form new vocabularies and definitions of themselves as global citizens.