Director of Cultural Enrichment and Diversity Joins Sage

Russell Sage welcomed Michelle Lawson as director of cultural enrichment and diversity in October. In this newly created position, Lawson will consult with other offices and departments on matters related to increasing diversity among students, faculty and staff at The Sage Colleges. “This position has been designed to impact the College’s culture at many levels,” said Trish Cellemme ’90, dean of campus life. “Michelle serves as an internal consultant of sorts, helping us develop plans of action around issues of culture and diversity and setting us on the path to see the plan through.”


At Russell Sage, Lawson will build on existing programs—such as a growing mentoring program that matches minority alumnae with current students—to create a network of minority alumnae. “I am looking forward to working with Russell Sage’s Alumnae Association to build a forum for professional and social exchange among minority alumnae while also assisting the Association as it develops events, programs and services to appeal to the variety of backgrounds and experiences represented in its membership,” she said.

She is collaborating with the Athletics Department on an NCAA grant to support diversity among athletics personnel at Sage, and she is working with the deans of Sage Graduate School and Sage College of Albany on initiatives to address the needs of international students. She will also teach human resources courses within Sage’s Management Department.


“Michelle’s work will enhance all areas of the College—student and employee recruitment and retention, reflections of culture and diversity in our curriculum, and students’ co-curricular life and their curiosity about the role diversity plays on our campus and in the world,” said Cellemme.


Prior to joining Sage, Lawson was the president and founder of Integrated HR Strategies, an Albany-based human resources consulting firm. She has more than 15 years of human resources and management experience, including more than seven years as an affirmative action professional, and she has taught human resources, management and public administration courses at the college level for 12 years. Lawson is completing her Ph.D. in public administration at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs.