Taylor Cain's portrait.

Taylor Cain named director of engagement, leadership, and service

Taylor Cain, who has served as associate director of the Tate Student Center and director of the Center for Student Activities and Involvement since 2017, has been named director of engagement, leadership, and service at the University of Georgia.

The Department of Engagement, Leadership, and Service is a newly merged department, combining the Center for Leadership and Service with the Center for Student Activities and Involvement. The new department will develop, implement and promote diverse opportunities for student involvement in leadership, service, activities, events and organizations to support student engagement and success.

In this role, Cain will serve as a thought leader in the areas of student leadership development, student engagement and service. She will report to Associate Dean of Students Jan Barham and serve as a member of the leadership team for the Division of Student Affairs.

Vice President for Student Affairs Victor K. Wilson said, “Taylor has long been a leader for student engagement at UGA. I know that our colleagues across campus will be delighted at this appointment, because they know well the expertise and skill which she brings to her work.”

Wilson also spoke to student service and the new department’s charge to build on current successes.

“UGA students are known for their commitment to the community,” he said. “Combining our programming in leadership and service with engagement, under Taylor’s leadership, we are positioned to continue to offer the best learning experiences.”

Cain’s appointment is effective June 11.

As director, she will facilitate the successful execution of four key areas: involvement, student activities, service and leadership. The areas include signature programs such as the University Union Student Programming Board, the Student Government Association and Graduate Student Association, the student-run WUOG radio station, the Pandora yearbook, Homecoming, ServeUGA, IMPACT service breaks, Leadershape, and Involvement Ambassadors, among many other engagement opportunities.

As part of the enhancement of the role, Cain will lead the creation and integration of new initiatives, including a leadership curriculum, a student organization advising philosophy, an expanded service initiative, and enhanced experiential learning opportunities.

Cain desires for university educators to recognize all involvement as contributing to student learning.

“From attendance at events to serving as a chief officer within an organization, each student strengthens their skill set through the sum of their experiences,” she said.

She also sees a complementary relationship between leadership and service.

“To lead is to serve, and to serve is to lead,” Cain said. “We can and should challenge students to expand their understanding of critical issues and how to solve them.”

Cain brings a wealth of expertise in student affairs and student activites and involvement, serving  nearly seven years in various leadership roles in student engagement at UGA.

She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia. She holds a Master of Education in higher education and student affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in history, both from the University of South Carolina.

Written by Stan Jackson in Campus News