The Office of Multicultural Affairs has appointed Vanessa Gonzalez-Siegel, TC ’17, to serve as the associate director of multicultural affairs and LGBTQ outreach, and Alison Jackson to serve as associate director of multicultural affairs and international student support following several months without permanent representatives for either position.
Coming from Sarah Lawrence College, where she served as the assistant director of diversity and campus engagement, Gonzales-Siegel will fill the position left open after Chris Woods departed in August 2018. As the sole LGBTQ-specific staffer for undergraduates, Gonzales-Siegal will be a key figure for LGBTQ groups at Columbia when she takes the role on March 18. In her position, Gonzales-Siegal will provide students with LGBTQ student group advising, education, and advocacy.
Before joining Multicultural Affairs, Gonzalez-Siegel served as the graduate program coordinator for Columbia in 2016, and as a senior office manager at the Rutgers University Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities. She received her Master of Arts in higher and postsecondary education from Columbia in 2017, and is a member of both the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.
As the Columbia College director responsible for international student support, Jackson will take on the role of providing general resources, education, and advocacy for international students, which includes oversight of the week-long International Student Orientation Program. She will take on the role following Chia-Ying Pan’s departure last September.
Jackson previously worked as the international student advisor and programs coordinator at New York University before leaving for Columbia, where she will begin working on February 4. Some of her prior work included helping students acquire travel authorization signatures, coaching students through applying for and obtaining U.S. Social Security Numbers, and understanding changes to students’ immigration status.
In the interim, OMA Dean Melinda Aquino will continue to serve in both roles.