A generous grant from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation will allow Harvey Mudd College to bolster its engagement with local and global communities.
The $150,000, two-year grant will fund the creation of a director of community engagement position in the College’s Dean of Students office. The director will develop community partnerships, support student-led, community-outreach efforts and assist faculty whose courses have a community-based learning component.
“Our students and faculty have an interest in and are already doing a lot of community outreach, but they have a real need for logistical support and someone to establish and maintain relationships with community partners,” said Dean of Students Maggie Browning. “The idea is to pull together all the existing efforts under one rubric and provide that support. The key was getting dedicated staff.”
The College has selected HMC Homework Hotline Administrator Gabriela Gamiz-Gomez to fill the new position. The hotline will continue to provide free, over-the-phone tutoring under her leadership. By combining funds from Parsons and the grant that established the Homework Hotline, Gamiz-Gomez will be able to hire an assistant director to help her with all community engagement programs.
“Gabriela has done an amazing job with Homework Hotline. The students and the faculty adore her, and she has such great ties with the wider community,” said Browning. “She doesn’t put herself out front and wave the flag; she works in the background and makes everything that we’re doing better.”
Gamiz-Gomez brings to the position a wealth of experience working with area K-12 schools, an understanding of the HMC community and much creativity and energy. She served as the first administrator of the HMC Homework Hotline, a free, over-the-phone, tutoring service for fourth through 12th graders. She previously served as the associate director and then director of the HMC Upward Bound program’s Math and Science Center. Prior to HMC, Gamiz-Gomez was the project director for a Title V grant to develop Hispanic-serving institutions in the Riverside Community College District, where she also served as an adjunct professor of education. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Pomona College and her master’s in education from Claremont Graduate University.
“My main aspiration is to work closely with the HMC community to align our efforts and direction with the College’s mission statement and our local and global communities’ needs,” said Gamiz-Gomez.
In her new role, she will advise and support engagement activities such as Science Bus, on-campus tutoring, Homework Hotline and the Don and Dorothy Strauss Internship for Social Understanding. She will also support faculty programs such as MyCS, Games Network and Pathway to Computer Science with the Pomona Unified School District.
Her strategic goals include providing support to existing student and faculty community engagement, developing new opportunities for engagement and working with the other undergraduate Claremont colleges and HMC’s institutional research staff to design, initiate and evaluate engagement efforts and assess their impact on faculty, students, community and the College.