Former graduate hall coordinator Joel Gutierrez was hired Nov. 25 to replace Dominic Alleto as the new assistant director for Intercultural Affairs (ICA). Gutierrez is the first permanent ICA professional staff member to be hired following the exit of Alleto, Assistant Dean Paula Crisostomo and Program Coordinator Sean Ford. He will begin working Dec. 15.
According to his official job description, Gutierrez will help oversee the Intercultural Center, manage the Center for Gender Equity and work with staff members from both centers to develop workshops and programs that promote a greater understanding of cultural and gender differences on campus.
Candidates were evaluated based on their educational background, prior work experience, technical qualifications/experience, administrative and budgetary experience, leadership ability, customer service skills, communication skills, enthusiasm and overall impression, according to the interview evaluation sheet.
Gutierrez currently works at Whittier College as assistant director of the Leadership Experience and Programs Office, which focuses on building leadership skills and hosting seminars. Assistant Dean of Students Tim Chang, who served on the hiring committee for the ICA’s new assistant, said that Gutierrez’s experience and background made him the most suitable candidate for the position.
“While the campus generally liked all three candidates, the overwhelming feeling was that [Gutierrez] was the best fit for the campus at this time,” Chang said. “I can say that I am excited to welcome him back to campus and I look forward to working with him.”
Gutierrez completed his undergraduate education at the University of California Davis and his graduate education at the University of Southern California (USC). As a residence coordinator at USC, he supervised three themed communities in the residential halls—the Latino floor, the Somerville (African-American) floor and the Rainbow (LGBT) floor. These communities were aimed at fostering an inclusive and diverse living environment for residential students, according to Gutierrez.
“Diversity for me is a very unique word,” Gutierrez said. “It’s not just the culture, gender, first-generation aspect … but has a lot to do with the individual.”
Although the ICA lost three professional staff members at the start of the semester, this is the only permanent hire this year. Chang explained that, before additional hiring processes can start, the school must assess the need to fill the positions at all.
“The reason for this [process] is that jobs change over time and the need for a position may change as well,” Chang said. “This position was reviewed and approved before the other vacancies and rather than wait for the approval, we started the process for this position.”
ICA Programming Assistant (PA) Danielle Raskin (sophomore) said that she and the other PAs are happy that the assistant director position has been filled and are excited to begin next semester with additional support. However, she feels that additional professional staff will need to be hired to help manage the workload.
“I am not happy that ICA will only be getting one new staff member,” Raskin said. “The services that ICA provides to the campus requires that there is more than one staff member focused on developing relationships with students and supporting them throughout their college journey.”