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Welcoming Our New VP for Students

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Last night, the Board of Trustees made it official: Helen Castellanos Brewer is our new Vice President of Student Development.

Ms. Castellanos Brewer will join Union on Feb. 10 and manage the staff responsible for designing, maintaining, and improving the quality of professional support services for the College’s 12,000 students. The specific departments she will oversee are Counseling, the Educational Opportunity Fund, Financial Aid, Recruitment, and College Life, which includes athletics and student clubs.

Ms. Castellanos Brewer began her tenure in higher education 15 years ago and has worked in student affairs at both two-year and four-year colleges. Over the past decade, she has served at a community college—Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Her most recent role was as Montgomery’s Associate Dean of Students. 

President McMenamin says, “Our Student Development staff will benefit greatly from  her leadership. She has extensive experience in student affairs and has first-hand knowledge about how to deliver the full range of services our students need and deserve.”

In fact, Ms. Castellanos Brewer’s experience includes student affairs leadership, implementation of student success initiatives, program management and administration, community outreach and recruitment, academic advising, career and personal counseling, judicial affairs, grant writing, program assessment, strategic planning, and leading an emergency response team to address students of concern.

Equally important, according to President McMenamin, is that she has “a caring attitude toward students.”

Ms. Castellanos Brewer says, “I understand community colleges not only from my professional work but also from the perspective of once having been a community college student myself. I am committed to the community college mission and to ensuring the success of all students.”

Ms. Castellanos Brewer was selected as a National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) Fellow and Chair of the Maryland Behavioral Intervention Team Affinity Group.  She has also served on numerous boards to include the Latin American Advisory Board to the County Executive and the Board of Directors for the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C.

Originally from New Brunswick, NJ, and raised in Maryland, she earned a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education from Trinity University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Ms. Castellanos Brewer replaces Dr. Ralph Ford, who served at Union for eight years and left the College during the summer to become President of Central Texas College.

President McMenamin praised the Student Development staff for taking what she called “a team approach” toward managing the department throughout the Fall semester. “When Dr. Ford left, the staff really stepped up to make sure there was no interruption whatsoever in our services for students. Ms. Castellanos Brewer will be pleased with the caliber of people we have in the Student Development department.”

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