Stanford Student Affairs adds three new staff members

Three staff positions that serve Stanford students were recently filled. Two are newly appointed associate deans of students who will also oversee the Black Community Services Center and El Centro Chicano y Latino. The third is an associate vice provost position, which was newly created to promote inclusion, community and integrative learning.

Emelyn dela Pena
Emelyn dela Peña

Emelyn dela Peña has been appointed the first associate vice provost for inclusion, community and integrative learning. In this role, she will provide leadership for Student Affairs’ efforts to support students’ sense of community and belonging. Student Affairs organizations reporting through her will include Equity, Community and Leadership; Student Activities and Leadership; Fraternity and Sorority Life; BEAM Career Education; the diversity education office; the Diversity and First-Gen Office; and the Stanford Band.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole said that dela Peña has a reputation for trusting relationships with students, advocacy for the needs of underrepresented and minority students, a commitment to fostering learning everywhere students interact and a command of the current scholarship on equity and inclusion.

“Many who met her during her campus interviews commented on her warmth, candor, approachability, sense of humor and humility,” Brubaker-Cole said.

Dela Peña holds a Doctor of Education degree from a joint program through the University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University; and California State University, San Marcos. She earned a master’s degree in postsecondary educational leadership from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies from UC San Diego.

Rosalind Conerly was recently appointed associate dean of students and director of the Black Community Services Center. She is a scholar/practitioner with 15 years of experience in higher education, including roles in cultural centers and departments focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Rosalind Conerly
Rosalind Conerly

Conerly’s research is focused on the experiences of scholar/practitioners who oversee cultural centers and the role these centers play in helping students navigate predominantly white institutions. She also examines mentorship of black women administrators in academia.

Prior to joining Stanford, Conerly was the director of the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs at the University of Southern California, where she was also an adjunct assistant professor in the Rossier School of Education. She earned a BA and a master’s degree in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.

The Black Community Services Center at Stanford is celebrating its 50th anniversary and Conerly said she’s looking to leverage this milestone to reimagine and rebrand the center, as well as the look and feel of the Black House.

As she settles into her new role, Conerly said she’s approaching the job through a non-deficit focused lens.

“There are many challenges that black students face at predominantly white institutions,” she said. “But it is also vital to emphasize what strategies our black students are using to thrive on campus as well.”

Elvira Prieto has been appointed associate dean of students and director of El Centro Chicano y Latino. (Image credit: Courtesy Stanford Student Affairs)
Elvira Prieto, BA ’96, has been appointed associate dean of students and director of El Centro Chicano y Latino. She has worked in higher education, student affairs, academic advising, policy analysis and implementation, and community-based education for more than 20 years.

Elvira Prieto
Elvira Prieto

Prieto is also an accomplished writer who self-published a memoir-style manuscript about her life, titled An (Im)possible Life. She began writing poetry and prose 18 years ago, due in large part to the encouragement and mentorship of her friend and teacher, Renato Rosaldo, the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Emeritus, at Stanford.

Born and raised in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley to Mexican immigrants, Prieto is the first woman in her family to attend college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford and an EdM in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“As director of El Centro, I feel honored to lead what is not only a labor of love, but a life’s passion,” Prieto said. “I give my best to provide our students with the support they need not only to survive, but to thrive and excel at Stanford and to know that through their own achievement they can be of service to the most vulnerable in our local, national and global communities.”