By Ryan Fitzgerald – Sports Editor
Over the summer assistant professor of psychology Jesse Tauriac was named Head of the Donahue Institute, after three years in his role as a professor of social sciences. The plan was implemented when Professor Tessa le Roux stepped down after 14 years as director.
“I decided to step down from this position to spend more time on my other love – teaching,” said le Roux. “Lasell has grown tremendously – the student body is more than double what it was when I first came here. This is the perfect time to take the institute in a new direction.”
It was le Roux’s pleasure to pass the title on to her successor. “I am thrilled about the appointment of Dr. Jesse Tauriac as the new Donahue Director,” she said. “I know he will lead the community in having difficult conversations, so we can be stronger and closer as we become more inclusive and supportive of one another.”
Tauriac earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University before receiving his masters degree and Ph.D in clinical psychology from UMass Boston.
After taking a position at Lasell, Tauriac grew fond of the school. “There’s an opportunity for faculty to really get to know their students which I enjoy,” he said.
His admiration for the staff and programs offered to students only furthers his commitment to the position. “I saw so many people who are doing amazing work here and are dedicated to the community. I want to pull everyone together and do what I can to create positive change,” Tauriac said.
Upon receiving the opportunity to be new director Tauriac said, “I’m passionate about helping foster an environment where all students, faculty, and staff feel welcome here.”
There are three primary areas Tauriac will be working on. The first is continuing the work of Professor le Roux in terms of planning, organizing, and sponsoring events, while engaging members of the entire community. These programs focus on social justice, diversity, and social inclusion.
Tauriac will also work as the Lasell Diversity and Inclusion Officer. “I will work very hard in collaboration with other faculty on campus to ensure that all students are welcome here,” he said. “As a society we work best when we collaborate and learn from people of different backgrounds.”
The third area Tauriac will tackle is helping colleagues to coordinate a junior ethics experience.
Tauriac has already planned three events for this semester. The first is a lecture by Dr. Lee Ann De Reus set for October 6 from 2 to 3 p.m. in de Witt Hall. Dr. De Reus is the founder of the Panzi Foundation, an organization working to reduce sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As for the ultimate goals he’s set for himself as the new director, Tauriac said, “I want members of our community to hear and respond to others who may be different, as well as consider ethical problems critically and thoughtfully.”
Tauriac aspires “to offer events that are important to the entire population and offer programs that students will be excited about.” He considers diversity an important topic and will promote equality and diversity among the student population.