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NewsSep 1, 2022

Embracing the promise of the new academic year

Lesley faculty and staff reconnect and look forward to the fall in a return to in-person kick-off celebration

image of people gatherd on South Campus

About 200 people gathered Tuesday on our South Campus to say goodbye to the summer break and gear up for the 2022-23 academic year at an annual fall kickoff barbecue hosted by Lesley University Hospitality.

In addition to reconnecting in person with colleagues, many for the first time since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, Provost Jonathan K. Jefferson and the Lesley community feted the newest emeritus faculty:

image of Janet Steinmayer speaking at podium outdoors
President Janet L. Steinmayer and Provost Jonathan K. Jefferson honored retired faculty and updated the community during the 2022 fall kickoff barbecue.
  • Nancy Waring, founder of our Mindfulness master’s program, faithfully served Lesley and the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences for more than 20 years. Jefferson lauded Waring on her creation of the first-of-its-kind program.
  • Caroline Heller taught in the Ph.D in Educational Studies program in ourGraduate School of Education. Jefferson marked her academic and literary accomplishments, such as her acclaimed book “Reading Claudius: A Memoir in Two Parts.
  • Geoffry Fried, a professor of design in our College of Art and Design, taught at Lesley for 28 years. His tenure typified “dedication to excellence” and helping to build a department of design “worth of admiration, professional esteem and high regard,” in the words of Dean Amy Green Deines.
  • Jared Kass, a professor in our Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences’ Counseling and Psychology division,  retired in 2021. Jefferson shared a salutation by Kass’s colleague Rick Reinkraut, who called him “a faculty member of laudable contribution, a clinician of profound understanding and a Lesley community member held in outstanding regard.”

Jefferson recognized College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty Mary Beth Lawton, a professor of Early Childhood Education, with a Distinguished Achievement honor. Tthe university also marked the retirements of Lily Fessenden, assistant professor and former division director of Environmental Studies in GSASS, and Graduate School of Education faculty Paul Naso, former director of the Ph.D. in Educational Studies program.

President Janet L. Steinmayer welcomed faculty and staff to the barbecue and, in brief remarks, directed attendees to a video emailed earlier in the morning that highlighted new employees as well as the promotions of numerous Lesley community members, while outlining some goals, campus improvements and strategies for this academic year.

“Our professionally based curriculum and employer partnerships are designed to accelerate your creativity, contributions and career,” the president said in the video. “We are creating a new approach to education, one that supports an ecosystem of skill-building, professional opportunity and self-care and understanding for our students and faculty, and one that sustains dedicated professionals and alumni throughout the entire arc of their lives.”