“It’s an honor to be the campus diversity officer for Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University,” Rojas said. “As a bilingual, first-generation Latinx immigrant in academia, I believe that higher education should be committed to improving the lives of all its members. My work will help create and foster a thriving and inclusive climate and culture for all the university’s historically underserved and underrepresented students, staff, and faculty in partnership with other constituents across campuses. I will strive to be an innovator and change agent who will capture the hearts and minds of the university community and get everyone excited about the possibilities of this historical moment in our nation and on our campuses.”
Rojas joins NTC and BSU from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he served as chief diversity officer since 2018, a new position to the university. In this role, Rojas oversaw the implementation of OWU’s diversity, equity and inclusion policy and served as a resource for educational, facilities and human resources-related issues.
“We are fortunate to find someone with Dr. Rojas’s background and experience joining us in this crucial position,” President Faith C. Hensrud said. “During this process, his strong background as a campus diversity officer, his Title IX experience and his involvement in and connections with national organizations related to campus diversity helped him stand apart from our other candidates. He is data-driven and focused on the well-being and success of students. I’m excited to welcome him into our community.”
Prior to his appointment as CDO at OWU, Rojas served as a professor of modern foreign languages and served as associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the same institution.
At Northwest Tech and Bemidji State, Rojas succeeds Dr. Debra Peterson, professor of sociology and communication studies, who served in an interim role as the campus diversity officer from 2016 until June 2020 before returning to her position on the BSU faculty.
Rojas earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso and his doctorate from the University of Arizona. His appointment begins Nov. 9.
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