At the end of August, Leana Amaez, former associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion and co-director of the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG), left Bowdoin to accept a position as the director of pro bono services at Pine Tree Legal Assistance.
In an email announcing Amaez’s departure, Dean of Students Tim Foster identified Pine Tree Legal Assistance as an organization that has provided free civil legal aid to low-income Maine residents since 1966. For Amaez, who worked as a staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders before coming to Bowdoin in 2010, the new position will mark a return to the pursuit of an old passion: true justice in the court system.
“She’s going to advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves, and she’s going to focus on making Maine a more just and equitable, fair place,” said Foster. “And this is at the very core of who she is.”
During her eight years at Bowdoin, Amaez played a leading role in diversity and inclusion efforts. Her tenure saw the creation of the Religious and Spiritual Life and the Multicultural Life centers and positions, the merging of the Women’s Resource Center and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity into the SWAG and the addition of “Perspectives” and “More Than Meets the Eye” to the list of mandatory orientation programming for new students.
In Amaez’s absence, Kate Stern, who has been the associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion and co-director of SWAG, will become director of the center. The College will hire an associate director to work with Stern.