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​New Balfour Office Welcomes First Director

Providence, R.I.--Elena T. Yee, a former administrator at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., has begun serving as the first director of Providence College’s Balfour Office for Multicultural Activities (BOMA).

Located in the Slavin Center, BOMA is a newly designed unit within the Office of Student Affairs Administration that engages the campus community through a number of multicultural events, activities, and opportunities. The focus of the office is to provide a place where members of the College community--representing a variety of backgrounds--can participate in meaningful engagement.

Prior to joining the College, Yee served as director of intercultural programs and as coordinator of student ministries and missions from 2000-11 at Westmont, which is a Christian liberal arts college.

Her duties included training students on issues relating to diversity and leadership; organizing volunteer opportunities for students; advising student organizations that conducted community service in southern California, Mexico, and overseas; and partnering with members of the college community to retain students of color and offer diversity programming.

From 2006-09, Yee was fund development co-chair for Just Communities Central Coast in Santa Barbara. She also served as a member of the organization’s board of directors and advisory board. The community-based organization offers cultural competency training to organizational leaders, seminars for the general public, leadership training for students and teachers, and consultation to local agencies for diversity and organizational change initiatives.  

Yee earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She received her master’s degree in intercultural studies from Wheaton College (Ill.).

Drawn to “commitment to diversity”

A native of Massachusetts, Yee said she was drawn to the position because of the “clear commitment to diversity” shown by PC.

“It’s an opportunity to enact a vision for which all students--of every race, ethnicity, and creed--may engage and respond to the realities, gifts, and challenges that come with being diverse,” she said.

Yee said her initial goals are to share the vision for BOMA with the campus community and to organize diversity programs with student organizations, academic departments, and staff. 

“The vision is to provide opportunities for all students to cultivate and deepen their intercultural understanding through building intentional relationships with one another, examining historical and theological perspectives, serving locally and globally for mutual benefit, and providing collaborative educational programs on- and off-campus for learning and growth,” she said.

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