Photo courtesy of Lewis & Clark

Director Kayleigh McCauley-Sayer leaves Center for Social Change

Dr. Kayleigh McCauley-Sayer, associate dean of students and executive director of The Center for Social Change and Community Involvement, departed Lewis & Clark on April 6. LC hosted a farewell party for McCauley-Sayer the same day in the Albany Quadrangle.

Dr. McCauley-Sayer arrived at LC in 2014 to work as the director of student-athlete development. In 2017, she became associate dean of students, director of student support and Title IX case manager for what was then Student Support Services (now the Office of Student Accessibility). She most recently took on the role of inaugural executive director of The Center for Social Change and Community Involvement in June 2021.

McCauley-Sayer will become Director of Member Services at Move United, a non-profit organization based in Rockville, Md., which ​​is an affiliate of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, according to The Bark.

“L&C allowed me to develop my skills outside of athletics but now it’s time to get back to what I love,” McCauley-Sayer said via email. “The great part about my new position is that it combines the entirety of my skill set; sport administration, accessibility and community engagement.”

She is also looking forward to moving back to the East Coast, after having lived away from her family since leaving for college when she was 17. Because she is from Massachusetts and her wife is from New Jersey, the move will allow them to be closer to family and friends. 

As for her work leading The Center this year, McCauley-Sayer feels that she has laid the path for what is to come in the future, and is certain that The Center’s four signature programs, L&C Volunteers, L&C LEADS, Alternative Break Programs and Immersion Programs, will continue to grow.

“I’m leaving behind a talented student staff team who will thrive in the coming years,” McCauley-Sayer said. “I am most excited for the L&C LEADS program to officially launch next fall, and to see the extension of the Alternative Break Program as the college begins to offer multiple throughout the year.”

A highlight for McCauley-Sayer this year was painting the rainbow crosswalk in October 2021. 

“I will miss serving as a resource for our LGBTQ+ students,” McCauley-Sayer said. “I know that my visibility as a queer person on campus was important to many students, I didn’t take that responsibility to serve as a role model in that way lightly. I hope that the college continues to prioritize hiring diverse candidates, and supporting them once they are on campus.”

She also hopes that the crosswalk will receive a touch-up in years to come. Anyone interested in helping with this effort can contact L&C Volunteers.

Katie McGuire MA ’23 is one of this year’s graduate assistants for The Center and is mainly involved with the L&C Volunteers program. She praised McCauley-Sayer’s devotion to both the LC community and the Portland area, saying that this made her feel more connected to these communities as well. McGuire explained how McCauley-Sayer has always been personally dedicated to student growth and has put a lot of faith in the student leaders in The Center.

“She values leadership and autonomy and so really, she’s allowed me to take my position in the way that I have wanted,” McGuire said. “I really care a lot about mental health, and so she let me lead a mental health month this semester on (the) undergrad campus … Her kind of mentality in The Center was we’ll make dreams come true. What do you want to do? What do you feel passionate about? Let’s get you involved in it and see how The Center could do that for you.’” 

She also admires McCauley-Sayer’s interest in the future development in The Center, and her willingness to step away even as the office is growing and thriving.

“It’s really cool to see a leader on campus that knows when it’s time for her to go do her next thing,” McGuire said. “(It) is something that matters a lot.”

McGuire mentioned the importance of having a queer mentor on campus. She hopes that as LC looks to fill McCauley-Sayer’s vacant position, they will look for someone with a deep commitment to diversity on campus who can get the LC community to “think differently and act differently.”

McCauley-Sayer also expressed her hopes for the new director of The Center.

“The new Director may have some new ideas of their own too, and as the inaugural Executive Director it will be fun to watch from afar as they make it their own, while honoring the L&C traditions that we have preserved and created in the last year,” McCauley-Sayer said.

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