In its continued efforts to apologize for being white and western, Columbia has appointed another bureaucrat you’ll never actually meet: Dean Shollenberger just announced that Theresa Martinez will serve as the new Dean of Community Development and Multicultural Affairs. Shollenberger explains that “students expressed a need for greater coordination of services that support co-curricular life and a desire to foster a greater sense of community” among the multicultural student body. They might have also considered adding Toni Morrison to the Lit Hum syllabus once and for all.
Martinez comes to us from Ithaca College, where she served as Director of the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs, or, as Shollenberger gracefully put it, she “managed a number of offices, including multicultural affairs, residential life, leadership development, community service and service learning.” She received her B.S from SUNY College, Buffalo and her M.A from NYU.
Full email after the jump.
September 29, 2009
Over the last few years there have been ongoing conversations with students and staff about what it means to be a member of Columbia’s diverse, multifaceted community, distinctions we both celebrate and value. As part of these discussions, students expressed a need for greater coordination of services that support co-curricular life and a desire to foster a greater sense of community. To that end, a new senior level position was established within the Division of Student Affairs to provide direction and leadership for the offices most directly involved with Community Development: the Office of Student Development and Activities, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Student Group Advising, and the Office of Residential Programs. With the help of students and administrators across the University, we conducted a search to find the best qualified professional for this position. I am delighted to announce the appointment of Theresa M. Martinez as Dean of Community Development and Multicultural Affairs.
Throughout her career in Student Affairs, most recently at Ithaca College, Dean Martinez has managed a number of offices, including multicultural affairs, residential life, leadership development, community service and service learning. Her experience in each of these areas provides a strong foundation from which to continue her work at Columbia. She will play a strategic role in helping to enhance and coordinate organizational advising, leadership development, advocacy, diversity education, civic engagement, and community programming.
Theresa Martinez has much to offer the Columbia community. The students and staff on the search committee were enthusiastic about her candidacy, and we are thrilled that she has accepted our offer. With an impressive record of leadership, commitment and involvement, Dean Martinez will support the Community Development and Multicultural Affairs team in continuing the excellent work that has already begun. We look forward to welcoming her to Columbia in early November.
Kevin G. Shollenberger
Dean of Student Affairs
Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Student Life, Arts and Sciences