Student Affairs welcomes new VPs

by Nicole Menges, Contributor

The Aztec family welcomed two new members into campus leadership in July.

Antionette Jones Marbray and Vitaliano Figueroa are the two new associate vice presidents of student affairs. The two bring with them 20 years of experience in higher education.

They joined a team of three other associate vice presidents in Tony Chung, Linda Lewiston and Christy Samarkos.

The experience and unique skills of the new leaders reflect the San Diego State strategic plan: Building on Excellence.

According to the SDSU website, this initiative is meant to help the university build upon its strengths, meet upcoming challenges and seize emerging opportunities to continue its development as a leading public research university.

Marbray is one of the new associate vice presidents of the Division of Student Affairs.

She will oversee Career Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Promotion, Student Disability Services, Student Health Services and the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

“I love the work of universities,” Marbray said. “It truly can be such a transformative experience for anybody who comes into it. We have the privilege of helping people focus in on what their passions are going to be, and how they’re going to operationalize that in their lives.”

Marbray first came to SDSU in the early 2000s more than 10 years ago to work for Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, and she’s now returning to be a part of Student Affairs.

“There are a lot of institutions where the hallmark of collaboration really isn’t there,” she said. “But San Diego State is there in being a leader in our campus cultural collaboration across divisions, across job functions. That’s what makes San Diego State a really unique place.”

Figueroa is the second of the new associate vice presidents to the Division of Student Affairs.

Figueroa has been in the field of student affairs for more than 20 years.

As a generalist in his field, he’s bringing his personal experiences in multiple areas of higher education to the table as he begins working at SDSU.

“I really saw an ability and an opportunity to bring into practice all the experience that I have and an opportunity to connect with different areas and hopefully help (the department) move forward,” he said.

He will oversee the Student Athlete Academic Support Services, Compact for Success and Collaborative Programs, Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs, the International Student Center, the Office of the Ombudsman and Testing Services.

“I like to incorporate students into some of the discussions that I have, especially if they’re directly impacting students,” Figueroa said. “I got into the profession of higher education to connect with students, and so whenever I have an opportunity to connect with students I really thrive on those moments.”

Marbray and Vitaliano said they both look forward to working with their colleagues to create more opportunities for students.