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Dr. Leslie H. Picca

Dr. Leslie H. Picca

Written by Dr. Daria Graham, Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director, Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center

Dr. Leslie Picca is the Raymond A. Roesch, S.M., Chair in the Social Sciences and a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. Dr. Picca joined the University faculty in 2005. The first woman to serve in the Roesch Chair position, she is a noted author and speaker on race and ethnic relations.

Leslie’s accomplishments are vast and include being an author of more than 20 scholarly publications, and the co-author of two books: Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the backstage and frontstage (2007), and Jim Crow’s Legacy: The lasting impact of segregation (2015). She has been interviewed by CNN, the Associated Press, Congressional Quarterly, Inside Higher Ed, among others. She is a HERS-Bryn Mawr Summer Institute alumna for women’s leadership (2014), and the co-recipient of the 2016 UD Faculty Award in Scholarship. Dr. Picca has served as a diversity consultant or keynote speaker for local organizations including Premier Health, Lexis Nexis, and the Columbus Police Academy, and has delivered keynote presentations to academic audiences across the US. As a Marianist Education Associate who is passionate about teaching, her work is grounded in social justice for diversity and equity. Dr. Picca has previously served as Department Chair, and is active in faculty governance including serving as vice president on Academic Senate.

Leslie is also known for her devotion and deep commitment to University initiatives, particularly those related to diversity and inclusion. She has served on the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Assessment Task Force and collaborated with campus partners to enhance the status of and increase the opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups at UD. She has coordinated campus book reads, invited prominent social scientists as speakers to campus, and hosted dialogues on diversity-related topics. Through her teaching and scholarship she has worked to address and dismantle systemic privilege and oppression.

Leslie served as the first Common Academic Program (CAP) SSC 200 coordinator and co-founded Creating Inclusive Community, a program for faculty, staff and students that combines a mini-course with attendance to diversity-related conferences.

Leslie has made a lasting impact on the University of Dayton community through her connections with faculty, staff, and students, and her influence on University structure and initiatives. She has been an advocate and ally who many regard as the one who has introduced and nurtured their understanding of a truly socially just world.