FDU Appoints Inaugural Executive Director for the Hispanic Center

June 15, 2022 — After a rigorous search process, Fairleigh Dickinson University has appointed Irene Oujo as the inaugural Executive Director of the Hispanic Center, effective July 1, 2022.

Irene Oujo

“We look forward to seeing the growth and expansion of the Hispanic Center under Irene’s leadership,” said Michael J. Avaltroni, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Please join me in congratulating Irene and welcoming her to this new role!”

Irene has worked as a faculty member at FDU for more than 15 years, specifically with the Puerta Al Futuro, Latino Promise, HACER, and Avanza at FDU programs, which have been part of the Hispanic Center for nearly two decades. In these programs, she has taught Latinx students across all age ranges, including adult learners, traditional age college students, and dually enrolled high school students across all diverse linguistic backgrounds, including English only, Spanish only, and emergent bilinguals. In her work outside the classroom, Irene has strived to increase the college entrance, persistence, and graduation rates of Latinx college students from urban areas in New Jersey. She has also given bilingual presentations on the college admissions and financial aid processes to high school students and their families, emphasizing the importance of attending college, particularly for Latinx students. Irene used these experiences to serve her community as a member of the Board of Trustees at Bergen Community College for more than four years.  

Furthermore, Irene has delivered diversity and inclusion training to educators at the high school and university levels to improve the student experience. Her education and experience have informed her role as the chairperson of the Becton College Diversity & Inclusion Committee where she has worked alongside committee members to plan and provide diverse, inclusive, and equitable programming at the college. She will continue to serve as an asset in this capacity as FDU transitions its focus on these efforts with the newly reconstituted Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Council, chaired by Dale Caldwell.  

Irene successfully defended her dissertation, and in October she will earn her Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Teachers College with a focus on English Education, particularly the ways in which the incorporation of digital storytelling may impact Latino students in the college English classroom for a more dynamic academic experience. She is looking forward to drawing from her experiences as she takes a leadership role in the Hispanic Center to highlight, enhance, and expand FDU’s efforts in bringing educational opportunities to the Latinx community.  

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