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JC Lopez appointed full-time Vice President of Student Affairs

Contributed by the Grinnell College website
Following a national search, Grinnell College has announced that JC Lopez, current interim Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs, will fill his role permanently.

JC Lopez, current interim Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs (VPDSA) at Grinnell College, will fill the role permanently after being selected following a national search, Grinnell College announced in a press release on Monday, April 15. 

Lopez first became interim on July 26, 2023, replacing the outgoing Sarah Moschenross, who left her post at Grinnell for the role of vice president of student life at Lafayette College. 

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. I think it’s been a great interim experience and connecting with Grinnellians and Grinnell. I’m super grateful,” Lopez told The S&B. 

“In this role, Lopez is charged with demonstrating purposeful leadership motivated by a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and student engagement to advance the strategic vision of Grinnell as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges,” reads the College press release.

Lopez said he aims to continue the work he has done as interim. “I think one of the things that I’m really excited to do as ongoing vice president is really to take a lot of the work that we’ve done this year as an interim, and really use a lot of the data points that we’ve collected to really establish an ongoing kind of process for the division moving forward,” he said.

Lopez’s path to Grinnell involved numerous prior leadership positions at various universities.

He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in applied media arts, graphic design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and then a Master of Arts in student affairs and higher education at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. 

Lopez worked at Carnegie Mellon University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa., followed by stints at the University of South Florida and eventually DePauw University, where he held positions including director of campus living and community development and dean of student success.

Lopez’s first semester as interim VPDSA at Grinnell saw a restructuring of the College’s budget allocations and a decrease in funding for student initiatives and clubs. “One of the pieces that I really want to work towards is more collaboration with students, student groups, student organizations through government,” Lopez said.  

In addition to budgeting concerns, Lopez’s first two semesters were marked by several key events, including widespread student discourse and protest surrounding Israel’s war with Gaza and landmark unionization of all campus student workers. 

Lopez stressed to The S&B that reinforcing the community is one of his biggest responsibilities. 

“I’m really excited to really build community and belonging. And I think that one of the pieces that I really have appreciated is connecting with students individually and in groups to really understand their experience and create a sense of community,” he said.

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Henry Horn
Henry Horn, Staff Writer
Henry Horn is a second-year history major from Pasadena, California. He likes riding his bike, listening to songs that don't belong together, and watching soccer. He can easily be bribed with Hot Tamales or a bloody mary sandwich with no tomato but with jalapeños from Jay's Deli.
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