Gilberto Perez, Jr., has been named the new dean of students at Goshen College.
In this capacity, Perez will provide institutional leadership to the areas within student life, which includes residence life, campus ministries, counseling and health, campus safety, intercultural student support and retention. Perez will oversee Student Senate and the student leadership program, while supporting the larger learning environment through development of policies and programs promoting the personal growth of students within the college’s mission and values. He will also assist offices in the interpretation and compliance of federal laws and guidelines, such as Title IX, FERPA and the American Disability Act, and will be working to more fully integrate intercultural competency into student development as the college continues to move toward achieving Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status.
“I am excited to serve alongside a talented group of student life professionals whose heart and soul is in student development,” Perez said. “I look forward to spending quality time with students listening with attention to their ideas and desires for a life-changing student experience here at Goshen College.”
Since 2014, Perez, Jr., served as senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships through Goshen College’s Center for Intercultural and International Education (CIIE) and has been a member of the college’s President’s Council, which he will continue. He was associate professor of social work at Goshen College from 2012-14.
“I am excited to work with Gilberto in this new capacity as he brings energy, ideas and a commitment to student development in all he does,” said Dr. Ken Newbold, interim president. “Gilberto will advance our work to more fully integrate intercultural development into the student life experience. With a background in social work and higher education, Gilberto has cultivated strong relationships on and off campus that will help create new opportunities for GC students.”
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.
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.
He will replace Launa Leftwich, who recently accepted a new position with the Boys and Girls Club in Goshen. Leftwich served Goshen College in a variety of capacities within student life for 22 years.