posted May 5, 2009

GLCA Honors Alfredo Gonzales for Service

Alfredo Gonzales, who is associate provost and dean for international and multicultural education at Hope College, has been honored for his role as a founding member 20 years ago of the Great Lakes Colleges Association's Committee on Institutional Commitment to Educational Equity (CICEE).

The GLCA celebrated the 20th anniversary with a dinner during the committee's spring meeting, held at DePauw University on Friday and Saturday, March 27-28.  Gonzales, who is also a past chair of the committee, and the other founding members were honored not only for helping establish the committee but for their "continued commitment to the well-being of people of color on GLCA member campuses."

The GLCA is a consortium of 13 private liberal arts colleges located in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  In addition to Hope, the member colleges are Albion College, Allegheny College, Antioch College, Denison University, DePauw University, Earlham College, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College and The College of Wooster.

The CICEE informs and addresses the GLCA community on issues regarding diversity and educational equity, and also sponsors the annual GLCA "Students of Color Leadership Conference" and bi-annual "Black Studies Conference."  Each member campus sends one faculty representative and its director of multicultural/minority affairs (or the campus equivalent) to serve on the committee.  Hope's representatives currently are Vanessa Greene, who is director of multicultural education, and Dr. Fred L. Johnson III, associate professor of history.

Gonzales has been involved in multicultural education at Hope for nearly 30 years. He joined the staff in 1979 as director of the college's Upward Bound program, a position that continued with his appointment as director of minority student affairs in 1984. In 1986 he was named assistant dean of multicultural life, working in the Office of Student Development to strengthen the multicultural life at the college, assisting the admissions office in recruiting minority students, and developing contacts with area high schools and other organizations.

He was named assistant provost in 1990, with continuing emphasis on multicultural matters, particularly in conjunction with the academic program. He acquired administrative responsibility for international education as well when he was named associate provost in 2001, and was appointed to his current position as associate provost and dean in 2006.

Gonzales is also responsible for administration of the Phelps Scholars Program, a residential program through which first-year students explore issues related to diversity; the college's participation in the Preparing Future Fellows Program between HowardUniversity and Hope; the Women's Studies Program; the Ethnic Studies Program; and the Critical Issues Symposium.

In addition to his work at Hope, he has been active in enhancing international and multicultural understanding locally and regionally as well. He is a long-time member and is currently chair of the City of Holland's International Relations Commission. He is a founding member of the Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival, and is past chair of the Michigan Commission for Spanish Speaking Affairs and LAUP Inc. Among other community activities, he is also past chair of the Holland Community Hospital Board of Directors and has also served on the boards of Western Theological Seminary, First of America Bank Corporation and the Holland Area Arts Council.

Gonzales has been honored multiple times for his work in international and multicultural education. In July 2006, the city of Santiago de Queretaro presented him with its "Germán Patiño Díaz" Medal for his involvement in the creation and flourishing of the sister-city relationship between Holland and Queretaro as well as the on-going exchange relationship between the Autonomous University of Queretaro and Hope, both of which have recently marked 10 years. In 1998, he received the "Michigan Outstanding Hispanic of the Year" "Honorable Mention" award from the Michigan Educational Opportunity Fund Inc. In 1997, through one of only 24 fellowships awarded worldwide by the Ford Foundation, he participated in the "International Seminar on Diversity Issues in Higher Education" in New Delhi, India. In April 2004 he received the fifth annual "Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund" award, given for strong, positive impact on students.