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School of Humanities, Education, Justice & Social Sciences

Tessa LeRoux, Ph.D.


Office: Plummer

Tel: 617-243-2104



  • Ph.D., Rand Afrikaans University;
  • M.A., M.Ed., University of South Africa;
  • B.A., Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg

Dr. Tessa LeRoux's main scholarly work is in the field of gender and family studies. She has published articles in the area of gender role socialization, teenage pregnancy and single parenthood, domestic work and migration, and caregivers and family ideology. Books include, "We Have Children Too: Live-in Domestics Talk About Their Lives," and, with Anna F. Steyn, "Die Gesin: Gister en Vandag" ("The Family: Yesterday and Today"). She is currently focusing on immigration and family separation, with particular focus on women and migration. LeRoux is the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Family Theory and Review, published by Wiley-Blackwell. She is a Board Member of the Committee on Family Research of the International Sociological Association, and past Board Member of the Groves Conference on Marriage and Families. In 2013 she organized a Groves conference “And Justice for All: Families and the Criminal Justice System”. Before joining Lasell University, LeRoux was a research coordinator for PXE International. Prior to her relocation to the United States in 1997 she was a professor, first in the sociology department at the University of South Africa and later at the University of Pretoria, where she was also a founder member of the Women's Center. She is fully bilingual in Afrikaans and English, and speaks Dutch, German and some Spanish.

LeRoux has taught a range of courses on both graduate and undergraduate level, and has supervised masters' and doctoral students on topics such as the effect of military service on families, and the role of teachers in political change in South Africa.

What do you enjoy about teaching?
"The great poet Yeats said, 'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.' From my very first working days training fieldworkers in a family planning program, through my experiences as a substitute teacher, professor at various universities and volunteering as a teacher naturalist for the Audubon society, I have always been most fulfilled when I was teaching - interacting, being instrumental in "lighting the fire." My position as Sociology Professor and Director of the Donahue Institute allows me to light the fire of social justice in the classroom and beyond - what more can anyone ask?"