Gilberto Pérez, Jr., associate professor of social work at Goshen College, has been appointed as senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships at Goshen College’s Center for Intercultural and International Education (CIIE).
“I am excited about the great gifts that Gilberto brings to this role,” said Goshen College President Jim Brenneman. “As a long time member of the Goshen community, his strong community connections and leadership in the church make him a true visionary for the future of intercultural education at GC.”
Pérez will lead a team focused on creating a transformed learning community on campus, increasing access to Goshen College for under-served students and doing research on changing local demographics and their implications for higher education. This includes diverse student support, the Master of Arts in Intercultural Leadership (MAIL), research, and community outreach and education.
“At CIIE, we are moving toward becoming more learner-centered, knowledge-centered and intercultural assessment-centered,” Pérez said. “This will require us to listen with attention and respond with intention to members of our internal and external community. We will devote time and energy to supporting community initiatives that bring people together.”
Pérez has served as associate professor of social work at Goshen College since 2012. Prior to coming to Goshen College, Pérez was employed at Northeastern Center, a community mental health center in Northeast Indiana. There he worked on authoring the Bienvenido curriculum, a nationally recognized mental health promotion curriculum for Latino immigrants that addresses access to mental health services, increased knowledge of mental health and increased sense of belonging for Latinos in their respective communities. The curriculum has been implemented in 13 cities in Indiana and is available in 14 states across the United States.
“In the coming years CIIE will strive to create outstanding intercultural leaders,” Pérez said. “Our goals will look to build on the work that CIIE has done and move us to a place of intercultural responsiveness.”
Pérez earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), as well as a graduate certificate in conflict transformation from EMU. He earned a master’s degree in social work from the Universidad Interamericana in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. His social work experiences include hospice social work, emergency social services 911 and community mental health. Pérez lives in Goshen with his wife and three children.
Pérez replaces Dr. Rebecca Hernandez, who served as senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships at Goshen College since 2008, and has accepted a position at George Fox University.
“I am excited to build upon the work done by Dr. Hernandez and all of the other staff members that have served at CIIE,” said Pérez. “Our movement forward will be built upon partnering with many in order to better understand our way.”