St. Olaf names director of new Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion
St. Olaf College Vice President for Student Life Hassel Morrison has announced the appointment of Dr. María C. Pabón Gautier as the director of the new Glenn and Myretta Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion.
Pabón, who is currently an assistant professor and program director at St. Catherine University, will begin at St. Olaf on January 21.
“María will be an authentic, valiant, and collaborative leader for the Taylor Center and the St. Olaf community,” Morrison says. “I am excited that she will be joining the Student Life team.”
Pabón earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota and her B.S. at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her teaching and scholarship have focused in areas of ethnic identity, microaggressions, anti-bias education, social justice, and issues of diversity and equity. She has worked at St. Catherine University, the University of Minnesota, and in the nonprofit field.
Pabón has more than 10 years of experience working and applying skills to advance social justice, equity, and the representation of marginalized communities, and more than 15 years of experience in research, assessment, and evaluation in nonprofit, higher education, government, and K-12 settings. Originally from Puerto Rico, Pabón is passionate about integrating her cultural background, identity, and traditions into everything she does.
The Taylor Center, which was established this fall with a $1 million gift from St. Olaf Regent Glenn Taylor ’73 and his wife, Myretta, aims to foster an inclusive environment across the intersections of race and identity that students bring to St. Olaf. As part of the Student Life Division, it is a core function of St. Olaf’s residential learning. Pabón will serve as its inaugural director.
“I am humbled and honored that St. Olaf’s community has put their confidence in me to continue to grow and strengthen the work of diversity, equity, and social justice at the institution,” Pabón says. “I am ready to hit the ground running!”