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College Names New Director of Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion

August 20, 2015

Following the renaming of Lasell's Donahue Institute to the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion earlier this year, the College has announced a new leader for the program - Dr. Jesse Tauriac. He begins this new position September 1.

Tauriac, who has taught psychology as a full-time member of Lasell's Social Sciences Department since Fall of 2012, will now serve as Director of the Institute and as the College's Diversity Officer. In addition, he will have a leadership role in the new Junior-level Ethics Experience component of the new Core Curriculum, which will launch in the 2016-17 academic year.

"At Lasell, Jesse has emerged as a leader in fostering awareness of issues of diversity and inclusion throughout our community; and we all look forward to great things from him in this new, important role for the College," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Jim Ostrow.

Tauriac will oversee all daily operations and planning activities related to the Institute including coordinating events and activities for the Ethics course requirement in the Core Curriculum. As the Diversity Officer for the College, he will coordinate educational efforts across the campus focused on diversity and serve as a resource for all students, staff, and faculty, helping to ensure that the College is fostering and promoting social justice, global consciousness, human rights, civic engagement, and inclusion on campus.

Tauriac earned both his PhD and MS degrees in Clinical Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He holds a BA in Psychology from Boston University. He has served as a consultant in the areas of cross-cultural and interracial communication, and as a clinician at The Charter School, Cambridge, Cambridge Health Alliance, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His doctoral and post-doctoral research focuses on resources and on-campus support factors that promote academic success for underrepresented ethnic minority undergraduates and first generation college students. He has presented and published widely in this area of research as well as cross-cultural and interracial sensitivity.

The new focus for the Donahue Institute reflects a shift for the institution toward addressing issues of diversity and ethics both on and off campus. Last Fall, the College decided to suspend its international service learning trip to Uganda in the wake of political and social threats to members of society who identify as gay or transgender. The College also supports an active Diversity and Inclusion Committee that involves, faculty, staff and students.

Tauriac takes on the Director role of the Institute following the decade-long tenure of Professor Tessa leRoux, who announced in May that she wished to step down as Director of the Donahue Institute and return to full time teaching in the Social Sciences Department.

Tauriac's new office on campus will be located on the second floor of Klingbeil.