Interim Student Multicultural Center Staff Announced
Narce Rodriguez, M.A., interim associate vice president of Student Affairs, announces that Pete Erschen, M.S., will serve as interim coordinator for the Student Multicultural Center (SMC). Erschen assumes this role in addition to his duties as assistant director of Student Activities for the spring semester.
"Pete has a solid record of doing equity and inclusion work at Pacific that uniquely qualifies him to help us set a course for the SMC at this time," Rodriguez said. Student leaders initiated the SMC in the spring of 2017 in close collaboration with the undergraduate student senate. Funding for professional staff for the center was established in fall of 2018. "Students may not know this is still a very new effort for Pacific," Rodriguez said, "and we need to develop its model for staffing and role at Pacific in a way that advances our mission to have an inclusive university community." Erschen added, "We will continue to engage students in the development of this student-centered program. There’s no shortage of good ideas among students, faculty, and staff."
Erschen's prior experience includes serving as a co-adviser to Nā Haumāna O Hawaiʻi for three years and being part of the founding facilitation team of the university’s social justice retreat program for students, which has occurred for five years. Erschen served as interim co-director of Diversity for a year and led the search committee that recommended Narce Rodriguez to serve as executive director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in 2017.
Erschen was honored by the National Association of Campus Activities in 2018 with their Legacy award for his work in the student activities profession and service to the profession, which included recognition for his work as Diversity Intiatives coordinator at the NACA West Regional Convention in 2015. Erschen received his master’s degree in student counseling and personnel services from Kansas State University in 2000. His commitment to professional development in this area includes earning a two-year certificate in mindfulness facilitation in 2018, under the study of nationally-recognized diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah.