The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Zavaleta named Assistant Director of MED

Irving Zavaleta ‘08 became the new assistant director of the Multicultural Educational Department starting the Spring 2015 semester. The MED primarily works with people of color and the LGBTQA communities and provides students with educational, cultural and spiritual support.

Zavaleta expressed utmost gratitude and euphoria at being back and a part of the Guilford community.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Zavaleta.

Zavaleta was the founder of Hispanos Unidos de Guilford, as well as cofounder of the Soy un Lider Conference, an annual conference held at Guilford for underprivileged Latino high school students. Before departing from Guilford, Zavaleta was also vice president of Guilford’s anti-racism team and president of Community Senate.

Zavaleta wants students to be successful in the communities they serve after Guilford.

“Building community and reaching out to as many students as possible is a primary focus to the betterment of the multicultural education department,” said Zavaleta. “I have desire and compassion for (not only) working with people but improving access to higher education for individuals of all ethnicities.”

President of Community Senate and sophomore José Oliva expressed optimism for the MED and Guilford community.

“The MED being better staffed will be a positive asset for the Latino community on campus as well a better-equipped resource center for individuals of color,” said Oliva.

“I hope I can be a positive figure for my students,” said Zavaleta. “Students can persevere in life with large amounts of positivity.”

Director for Educational Initiatives and Partnerships Jada Drew ‘07 states that one of the MED’s goals is to serve the international student community better.

“I am exited that I get the opportunity to figure out how to make Guilford a better place when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” said Drew

In addition, Drew admires Zavaleta’s wealth of knowledge when it comes to professional development and making sure that students do what they need to do to think about being successful.

“I think Irving is the perfect fit because he is very intentional about student development, and that’s what made him stand out among the other candidates,” said Drew.

Sophomore and secretary of HUG Jennifer Urdaneta, remarked that the MED is a positive environment for her to express her identity at Guilford.

“I’ve always had a great time at the MED,” said Urdaneta. “I enjoy surrounding myself with likeminded individuals who are able to speak Spanish. I’m able to be myself. The MED is culturally understanding.”

One of Zavaleta’s long-term goals for the semester and years to come is working on the intersection of various issues and understanding individuals’ perspectives.

“Creating a safe space for dialogues and conversations is key for me, so I want to contribute to the MED’s development of making it a safe space for everyone on campus,” said  Zavaleta.
“I’m ready to reach out to as many students as possible.”

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