OBU recently welcomed Jonathan Solomon as assistant dean of students for diversity and multicultural student services. He assumed his duties effective Jan. 2.
He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in organizational management from Langston University. He then earned a Master of Education in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently working on a Doctor of Education in educational evaluation and research from Wayne State University.
Before coming to OBU, Solomon was as the assistant director of TRIO, Upward Bound, at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. In that role, he reviewed student academic progress, recommended specific actions regarding academic and career goals, maintained and updated student advising records, and approved student requests for academic action, among many other duties. Prior to that position, he served as community director for housing and residential life, also at Wayne State. In that role, he managed the daily operations of a first-year and upperclassman residence hall with a total population of 400 students. He previously served as a resident director at the University of Oklahoma, managing a residence hall of 1,200 students.
In his role as assistant dean of students for diversity and multicultural student services, he will develop, manage, and implement programs and services for current students in the areas of international student services and underrepresented ethnic populations. He will partner with academic and administrative departments to promote student success and health through general advocacy and a variety of academic support services, accommodation services, multiethnic education, leadership development, and mentoring opportunities that provide for intentional student interaction and engagement.
Odus Compton, associate vice president of student development and dean of students, is excited to have Solomon on Bison Hill.
“I am thrilled to have Jonathan Solomon join the Student Development team as the assistant dean of students for diversity and multicultural student services,” he said. “Jonathan comes to us with great experience in residential life and student development, and he brings a deep understanding university student needs. Jonathan's work with Upwards and his own life experiences make him exceptionally qualified to serve our first-generation students and our underrepresented student population. I'm excited about the diversity initiatives that Jonathan has already begun to work on in the brief time here and the long-term plans that are taking shape.”
Solomon was born in raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but also has spent time living in Oklahoma, Michigan, Minnesota, California, Georgia and Arizona. He felt drawn to the opportunity to serve on Bison Hill.
“I truly believe God brought me to OBU. One of the things I felt that I was missing at some of my previous institutions was the ability to fully operate in my faith when interacting with students, faculty, and staff. I found myself not being able to have the conversations that I knew would change the lives of my students because of the common separation of religion and education found in most higher education institutions. OBU stood out to me as a place where faith could guide everything that I do. OBU is the perfect place for me to be able to have those conversations with students and advance the kingdom of God.”
“I am most excited about being able to expose the entire student body to the beauty of diversity and inclusion. There are students from all walks of life who come to OBU to further their education. I want to work to make this campus a place where we can grow an appreciation for other cultures through education and our daily interactions. I also look forward to creating systems of support for our multicultural students.”
Solomon looks forward to providing support services for underrepresented students, leadership opportunities, personal and professional development, as well as opportunities for all students to be engaged in learning more about diversity and inclusion.
“I plan to utilize the coming culturally themed months as an opportunity for multiethnic education and cultural appreciation.” He said. “My short-term goal is to focus on building connections with people on-campus who have been doing the work to support underrepresented populations. I believe that will allow me to learn more about the OBU community and build a system of support for all students.”
Solomon and his wife, Shanel, have been married for more than two years. He loves to travel and has visited five countries in the past two years. He also enjoys sports and being active within Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He has a passion for mentorship and enjoys interacting with students.