The Emory & Henry College Inclusion & Dialogue Center has hired its first director just over a year after opening its doors to serve students.
Patricia Gonzalez will be leading the College’s efforts to build a more inclusive environment. She comes to Emory & Henry after serving as the programming coordinator in the office of student development and leadership involvement of the New York Institute of Technology. There she managed and developed programming centered on creating inclusive and safer spaces for all students.
“Having the opportunity to come to Emory and Henry College is exciting,” said Gonzalez. “I am even more excited about expanding the opportunities and resources that are available at the ID Center to our students, faculty and staff.”
One of her goals is to continue to connect student groups to resources on and off campus that best support their goals. To accomplish this, she hopes to leverage programming that aids students in finding a voice and gaining a sense of belonging in the E&H community.
The center is a vital place for the campus because outside of the classroom, our students have the opportunity to continue and to initiate conversations that otherwise may not feel appropriate. It is a safe space for our students to hang out-in, do homework, to hold conversations, but most importantly, it is a safe space for our students to find solutions that tap into addressing bigger issues on campus.Patricia GonzalezDirector of Inclusion & Diversity
One of eleven children, Gonzalez was born in Los Angeles and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico until the age of seven. After returning to the United States, her interest in education was sparked when she realized that her high school, along with other public schools in South Los Angeles, needed to become better and safer environments for students to study and live in.
She obtained a bachelor's degree in government and philosophy from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn. While there, she sharpened her leadership skills by becoming an active member of Kappa Delta Sorority, president of the Gray Scholars Board, manager at the Steinman College Center and serving as an English as a second language tutor for community members.
Her passion for education further developed when she taught as a servant leader intern to middle school students in South Los Angeles with the Children Defense Funds Freedom Schools in 2012.
Most recently, Gonzalez graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with a master of arts in higher and postsecondary education and administration.
The community will have the opportunity to meet Gonzalez and tour the Inclusion & Dialogue Center at an open house scheduled for Friday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.