College appoints Dr. Edward Lawson to new position as Assistant Director for Intercultural Relations in the Center for Student Engagement

SUNY New Paltz is pleased to announce the appointment of Edward Lawson, J.D., MBA, as Assistant Director for Intercultural Relations in the Center for Student Engagement, a new position that will support diversity, equity and inclusion programming and outreach in the Division of Student Affairs.

Lawson brings more than 25 years of experience in public affairs and advocacy to his new role, working with local and national non-profit, faith-based, and government sector organizations. Much of his career has been spent in the area of child and family services, including most recently with Family and Community Engagement Services, Inc., in Newburgh, New York.

“Every young person has the capacity to achieve greatness when their essence is allowed to flourish using an equitable education as the foundation and freedom of expression as the vehicle,” Lawson said. “I am humbled and honored to be joining SUNY New Paltz in this exciting new position that aligns perfectly with my vision for lifting the young person’s essence. During my tenure here at SUNY New Paltz, I have found it to be an institution committed to being on the forefront of providing opportunities for underserved and underrepresented communities, with a sound understanding that diversity, equity and inclusion has an important place in our society and provides the seeds that one day will save it. With these seeds, the community within and outside of SUNY New Paltz can prosper, grow, heal, and thrive.”

While this appointment represents Lawson’s first full-time engagement with SUNY New Paltz, he is an established member of our campus community who has served as an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Black Studies since 2015.

Since February 2021, he has also served as a member of the College’s University Police Department (UPD) Advisory Committee, which advises the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Chief of Police concerning campus police services, especially as they relate to UPD’s inclusivity and antiracist commitments.

As Assistant Director of Intercultural Relations, Lawson will work to provide holistic and culturally responsive support to New Paltz students of color and to cultural and ethnic-interest student organizations. He will help lead diversity, equity and inclusion training for students at Orientation and throughout the academic year; oversee and execute the award-winning Stepping Into Diversity program; and collaborate with a network of programs across campus that are designed to support students from diverse backgrounds, including the Scholars’ Mentorship Program, AMP & CSTEP Community (AC2), New Paltz Athletes of Color and Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), among others.

“We are very excited for Ed to join the Student Affairs team,” said Emily Bazinet, director of the Center for Student Engagement. “He is a visionary leader with extensive experience building community and cultural competency around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. He also has great energy and ideas, and is committed to serving as a resource for New Paltz students.”

Lawson holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia and earned his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Manhattan College.