By Alexi CohanSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
Hofstra University has recently welcomed a new Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students to the community. Sofia B. Pertuz will be taking over this position and she has already started her new job.
Pertuz was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in the Bronx, attending public school and private Catholic school. Through her schooling she was able to take interest in diversity and multicultural affairs, which she considers a passion of hers.
Pertuz is married with two children and takes pride in her family. She has a M.A. in education, administration and supervision, which she obtained at Seton Hall University after finding her passion for administration and student affairs during her previous undergraduate studies. Pertuz’s new position is trying to make students’ college experience a pleasurable one. She will create events that showcase the diverse talents that Hofstra students possess, so that students feel as though they have someone looking out for them and that there are plenty of outlets to express themselves.
“From what I can see in the student population here, there’s this openness. I have not seen this much spirit before,” Pertuz said.
As with any job, there can be several challenges involved in taking on a new job, “Balancing who’s already been here and making sure that I’m not overstepping [is a challenge]. Also, incidents: students making decisions that are really negatively impacting their community,” Pertuz said.
Pertuz is very enthusiastic and excited about working with Hofstra students and faculty. “[I’m] looking forward to going to games, Fall Fest and getting involved,” Pertuz said.
Similarly, Student Government Association (SGA) President Mark Atkinson, senior rhetoric major, said he was looking forward to her working with students on campus. “I know she was an incredible candidate and I know a little of her background… she’s extremely personable and loves students,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson also described the Dean of Students’s relationship with SGA as an important one that typically is comprised of aligning goals.
“Many times when we need support for initiatives… [her] voice will… provide clout with administration when we don’t have it,” Atkinson said.
Pertuz is planning on accomplishing many tasks in her new position. She is first working on getting to know everyone and finding out what is important to students – like school traditions.
She specifically would like to increase spectator attendance at upcoming sporting events.
“I’d love to figure out how to get people excited and to participate,” Pertuz said. She is also looking to keep up retention rates and graduation rates and even boost them higher, to motivate students to continue to return to campus and graduate.
Atkinson similarly described his hopes for the semester, “[I hope she will be] the force that is challenging everyone to be better…[SGA] is very excited to work with her,” he said.
Pertuz said she is looking forward to becoming a member of the Hofstra Community and doing the best she can to ensure that students are happy and taken care of. Pertuz also noted that fitness and well-being are important parts of her life and should be for students as well. She advises.
“You should always be healthy and you should always take care of yourself… I started being healthy myself and I saw how important it is to listen to my own advice,” Pertuz said.