Pitzer’s New Associate Dean Aims to Increase Support Access and Diversity

Gabriella Tempestoso, Pitzer’s new Associate Dean, during her community interview on Oct. 19. (Liam Brooks • The Student Life)

Gabriella Tempestoso will be joining Pitzer College on Dec. 1 as the new Associate Dean of Students and Director of Academic Support Services, according to an email sent by Brian Carlisle, Pitzer’s vice president for student affairs, to the Pitzer community on Oct. 27.

According to the email, Tempestoso quickly became the frontrunner of the candidate pool during an extensive national selection process conducted by an eight-member search committee.

Tempestoso, who has 17 years of experience in higher education, previously served as Associate Dean of Students and Director of Access and Support Services at Mills College in Oakland, Calif.

She was in charge of disability services, wellness, and academic support as well as the division of student life, playing a significant role in reorganizing the bias response team.

Prior to her time at Mills College, Tempesto served as Acting Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Diversity Programs at Claremont Graduate University. She oversaw peer mentoring and academic success programs, and worked toward creating a more inclusive campus culture.

Tempestoso wrote in an email to TSL that she is thrilled to be joining Pitzer and was drawn to the college because of its core mission of social justice.

“In my most recent position at Mills College, I worked closely with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that we were living up to our mission of social justice particularly in the arena of access and support services,” she wrote in an email to TSL. “At Pitzer, I am looking forward to hearing from the community to find out what the most pressing needs are in this area, and then begin to find ways to collaborate and build upon the excellent work that already exists.”

Tempestoso also anticipates transitioning from the medical model of disability services towards a broader social justice model that focuses on access and diversity rather than deficiency.

“My career has been founded on the commitment to increase student success at every level, particularly for traditionally underrepresented populations. I am a hands-on leader and find a great deal of satisfaction in providing a holistic approach to student support, including academic advising, coaching and advocacy so that students may reach their educational goals,” she wrote in the email from Carlisle to the Pitzer community.

Tempestoso, a first-generation college student, received her bachelor’s degree from University of La Verne and her master’s from Claremont Graduate University. She is fluent in Spanish and an active member of various professional student affairs organizations.

“With her unique combination of professional experience, relevant training, and demonstrated commitment to Pitzer’s core values, we could not be more pleased that Gabriella Tempestoso will be joining us in December,” said Brad Tharpe, former chair of the search committee.

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