On Jan. 16, Michelle Thompson-Taylor assumed her newly appointed role as director of the Intercultural Center. Her new position will involve facilitating collaboration between students and faculty.
“I’m excited to be able to lead a center that can help address the needs and concerns of our students, but can also convey the cultural identity of campus,” Thompson-Taylor said.
Thompson-Taylor had previously served as an admissions counselor at UR since 2004. She has specifically worked with the College Horizons program as well as the Rochester Urban League to create the University’s Jesse Moore Urban League Scholarship.
“[Thompson-Taylor] has tremendous energy and enthusiasm for this work,” Dean of the College Richard Feldman said. “Through her experiences in admissions, she is in a good position to collaborate with students from all backgrounds and help them build connections.”
Last semester, several students, including Students’ Association president and senior Roshal Patel, were invited to interview the four potential candidates. Patel was the only student present for Thompson-Taylor’s interview.
“She was the last one we interviewed, and none of the other students showed up,” Patel said. “We went 15 minutes over the interview time because we were having such a great conversation about what culture meant on campus.”
Since Patel was the only student present for all four candidate interviews, he was able to participate in the appointing committee’s deliberations.
Patel felt that Thompson-Taylor was very receptive to his feedback and while the discussion initially focused on the traditional idea of culture and specifically student culture groups, it eventually evolved into a definition of culture that included many different students groups including performance ensembles. Patel explained that nearly everything somehow contributes to campus culture and that he was impressed with Thompson-Taylor’s openness to student ideas.
“Having someone who thinks like that in this position is great,” he said.
Esce is a member of the class of 2015.