The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Office of Diversity has a new director. It’s been about two years since the department has had anyone in that position. Taniecea Arceneaux Mallery, Ph.D. graduated from Princeton University.
Dr. Mallery explains her priority is to help students, faculty and staff think of diversity in terms of culture. “My priority is to really think about diversity in terms of culture of the institution. Plus, really think about what is it about the university that allows diverse perspectives to thrive,” says Mallery.
Diversity applies not only to race, but to gender, religion, socioeconomic class and age. Those are just a few. “We know that many or our students are from the surrounding Acadiana area. One of the things I’m hoping to do is think about creative ways to expose students to different cultures.” Dr. Mallery intends to use her background as a Mathematician. “Think about how we can measure the impact of the efforts and the resources that we’re putting behind,” adds Dr. Mallery.
Mariah Smith is a UL Lafayette student-worker for the department. Research shows college is often where a student can first encounter cultures other than their own. “I actually went to Lafayette High. I was used to being the minority and use to having different types of people around, but it was nice to see that go beyond and into college,” says Smith
“I always wanted to take all the talents that I gained and experiences and really bring them back to the community and enrich the culture we have here in Lafayette,” adds the new director. Dr. Mallery is a native of Scott, Louisiana. The Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement is located in Martin Hall.