Multicultural Student Services hires Rodrigo Gonzalez-Juarez as its new Latine Student Retention Specialist

The Centers for Student Access, Community, and Intercultural Engagement are excited to announce that Rodrigo Gonzalez-Juarez is the new Latine Student Retention Specialist in the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

This position is charged with the development of a Latine Center for WWU. Rodrigo’s work will largely involve community development through the Ethnic Student Center and taking the time to thoughtfully develop the programming for Latine students. The need of the campus community to develop a Latine Center has long been known, but now is the time to engage in Western’s community and build the signature events of this new program. 

Rodrigo Gonzalez-Juarez is the new Latine Student Retention Specialist in the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Rodrigo studied social work at Sacramento State University and earned a master’s degree in social work from California State University at Long Beach. Before starting at Western, Rodrigo was an Academic Counselor and Peer Mentor Program Coordinator for TRIO Support Services at Oregon State University-Cascades. His work was primarily with first-generation students at the intersections of class and ability. He is a passionate student advocate and eager to develop student affairs programming within the WWU Multicultural Center.  

His supervisor at WWU, Simone Staley, said she is excited to support the development of the new center.

“When I walk past his desk there are always 2-3 students using his office hours. Rodrigo has jumped into a busy spring quarter and worked to champion events such as the Low Rider Show and the LSU Heritage Dinner. Rodrigo has only been on campus for eight weeks and he has already become an integral member of the community,” Staley said. 

Rodrigo has been jumping into campus activities and meeting students on campus through the Ethnic Student Center clubs. Throughout this spring quarter he has visited and supported the Latine Student Union, Baile de Folklorico, Latin Men in Higher Education (LMHE), WWU Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the WWU Blue Group.

Rodrigo’s welcomes all students to his office to talk about soccer, music, or just chill.

Rodrigo has a charismatic passion for this work and has started at WWU with enthusiasm.

“I am excited and grateful to serve as the inaugural Latine Student Retention Specialist at WWU! I look forward to supporting Latine students through building bridges between students and resources, creating Latine community and spaces, and forming relationships. I am passionate about supporting Latine students in obtaining upward social mobility through higher education," Gonzalez-Juarez said.

Over the last month, Rodrigo has organized focus groups for Latine students to gather feedback on campus climate and identify needs for the upcoming Latine center. Latine students expressed the desire to "focus on community, prevent isolation, promote resources, and honor cultural values while building our campus 'family'."