President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion

“We at Emmanuel aim to serve as a model for reasoned, fact-based discussion, listening, open-mindedness, and tolerance. We recognize the value of inclusion and diversity, including diversity of thought. Above all, we never lose sight of the dignity of the human person, so deeply rooted in our Catholic educational mission.” – Sister Janet Eisner, SNDdeN, President

The President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI) advances Emmanuel College’s commitment to understanding the root causes of racism and division in our society, while enhancing an atmosphere of authentic welcome, openness and inclusion on campus. Consisting of students, faculty, administrators and staff, the PCDI responds to the needs of students from diverse backgrounds by sponsoring College-wide trainings, programs and events such as those listed below. In addition, the PCDI frequently collaborates with partners across the Colleges of the Fenway (COF) on dynamic programs including the Undoing Racism workshops.

Listening Forums
Listening Forums to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to share their personal stories and experiences with the wider campus community. Listening Forums focus on one speaker at a time, enabling the entire audience to hear the speaker’s message.

  • December 2014 – Organized in response to the Black Student Union List of Demands
  • January 2016 – Organized in response to additional Black Student Union student concerns
  • December 2016 – Organized in response to national events

Dialogue Forums
Since 2015, faculty, staff, and students have come together for eight Dialogue Forums in response to community programs and current events

  • April 2015 – Dialogue after Dr. Peggy McIntosh Hakim Lecture on White Privilege
  • April 2016 – A Conversation about Unconscious Bias
  • September 2016 – A Summer of Violence: Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the murders of five police officers in Dallas, TX
  • April 2017 – Follow-up to Shaun King’s “Through the Wire” presentation, Dr. Charlotte Tate’s lecture, and Diane Nash’s Dorothy Day lecture
  • September 2017 – The Aftermath of Charlottesville
  • February 2018 – What We’re Missing in the Debate about Immigration
  • November 2018 – Considering the Current Social and Political Climate
  • June 2020 – Now is the Time: George Floyd’s Murder in Minneapolis, MN

A Day Of Action


Held annually since 2017, A Day of Action is a call to renewed civic engagement among all members of our community and a call to open-minded dialogue with peers and colleagues of diverse backgrounds and views. Typically held on the Friday of Family Weekend, it is a day of programs, lectures, films, and cultural experiences that engage all students, faculty and staff.  A Day of Action was introduced to Emmanuel through Dr. Clare Mehta, Associate Professor of Psychology.

COMMISSION MEMBERS:

Jeffrey Smith, Jr., Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer (Co-chair)
Erin Farmer Noonan, Vice President of Human Resources/ Title IX Coordinator (Co-chair)
Dorice Griffith ’92,  Assistant Dean of Student Learning and Success
Dr. Patricia Rissmeyer, Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Development
Sr. Bárbara Gutiérrez SNDdeN, Director of The Center for Diversity and Inclusion
Fillette Lovaincy, Program Coordinator of The Center for Diversity and Inclusion
Kaitlyn April, Senior Associate Director of Admissions: Multicultural, Transfer and International
Dr. Kelly McGuire, Associate Professor of English 
Dr. Clare Mehta, Associate Professor of Psychology 
Dr. Jaime Vidaurrazaga, Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies 
Dr. Lisa Schneier, Assistant Professor of Education
Felice Cabral ’21
Mason Cashman ’21
Lianna Reyes ’21


Steering Committee Documents:
2010 Statement on Emmanuel College Supporting a Diverse and Inclusive Community
2010 Memo - Supporting a Diverse and Inclusive Community
Steering Committee Annual Report 2010-2011
Steering Committee Annual Report 2011-2012
Steering Committee Annual Report 2012-2013

Explore Emmanuel

Research Spotlight: Searching for an Evolution Solution

Propelled by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, students and faculty in the Mathematics Department are studying the rate of evolution in spatially structured populations using evolutionary graph theory, which may inform the estimation of important events in our evolutionary past, such as when humans split from our closest primate relatives.

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Research Spotlight: Powerful Partnerships

In collaboration with Emmanuel graduate, Kierstin Giunco ’17, Associated Professor of Education Christine Leighton and current student Kayla Balthazar '20 are working with local elementary students to deepen reading engagement and comprehension.

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Research Spotlight: Economics Education on a Global Scale

As her research in economics education has focused on innovation in the classroom and finding ways to help students apply economic theories to real-world situations, students are vital in every aspect to Associate Professor of Economics Rebecca Moryl’s work.

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Eileen Milien '22: A Career-Affirming CURE

When choosing a college, Eileen knew two things for sure—that she would be able to get to know her professors and peers and that she wanted to be in an area in which she would have myriad opportunities in the research and medicine.

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Melissa Duffy '20: Artist and Appreciator

When Melissa started at Emmanuel, she chose what she believed to be two separate and distinct majors—studio art and history—to fulfill her both her personal and professional interests.

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Kai Uehara '20: Social Justice Scholar

Kai has always had the inclination to try to make any situation better. When he was searching for colleges, Emmanuel's social justice mission resounded deeply with his ideals of supporting those who need the help.

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Robert Columbus '20: The Idea Man

Robert’s interest in the workings of the wider world grew in 2011 as the Arab Spring became international news. “I love history,” he said, “so knowing the history of the states as well as their current affairs made their actions and interactions much more interesting to me.”

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Jake Hill '20: Seeing Citizenship with a Capitol C

Growing up in a suburban town outside of Boston, going to college in the city had always been a goal for Jake. After touring Emmanuel's campus he felt it had the perfect mixture of “small campus feel and big city appeal.”

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Jessie Wang '19: Head of the Class

What began as an on-campus job in Emmanuel's student center transformed into a new career path for Jessie, one that brought her to Harvard University as a master's candidate in higher education administration. 

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