Dr. Lunsford provides leadership direction for the Division of Student Affairs. He oversees over 400 employees who serve more than 50,000 students. Additionally, Dr. Lunsford is responsible for Division publications, including service as the managing editor of Diversity Exchange magazine.Dr. Lunsford also serves as the University’s Ombudsman. In this role, Dr. Lunsford provides a forum for students to address and resolve student issues with faculty, staff, departments, or programs. Dr. Lunsford also teaches in the Higher Education program and is involved with the planning and teaching of the University’s First Year Experience course.
Dr. Cathy Akens came to FIU in 1993 and has held various roles in Housing and Residential Life before her appointment as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs on the Biscayne Bay Campus in 2006. In 2012, she was promoted to her current role as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. She oversees a number of departments that promote student retention and success and serves as the Division’s liaison to the Higher Education graduate program, which she has been teaching in for 9 years. As Dean of Students, Dr. Akens chairs FIU’s Behavioral Intervention team and works with students and their families when students are in distress.
Dr. Arneson is an FIU alum and has worked here since 2008. He has worked professionally in Student Affairs at several institutions including Florida State University, the University of Miami, and the University of Illinois. Dr. Arneson assumed his current position as Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs in September 2012. In this role he oversees Student Affairs on the Biscayne Bay Campus and also Campus Recreation, Student Media, Orientation, and Campus Life at the MMC Campus. He also teaches is the FIU Higher Education program.
E-Mail: earneson @fiu.edu
Cheryl Singleton Nowell, Ph.D. is currently the Interim Assistant Vice President for Counseling and Health Services and the Executive Director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). She joined FIU as a University Psychologist in 1994.Dr. Nowell is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology Program at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Dr. Nowell has been licensed as a psychologist in the state of Florida for over 20 years. The professional organization with which she is most actively involved is the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors where she served on the Elements of Excellence Task Force for 6 years; she is currently a member of the Board of Accreditation for the international Association of Counseling Services. Dr. Nowell has presented nationally on topics including crisis management and recovery, management skills and accountability.It is Dr. Nowell’s belief that the World Health Organization’s definition of health, i.e. “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” challenges us all to strive for a better world.
Responsible for the daily business associated with the Division’s budget, Matilde Gramling works closely with Directors and the budget managers in the Division to manage financial and personnel-related processes. Ms. Gramling also oversees the A&S office, working closely with SGA in the distribution of their allocated student fees budget.
Diana de Castro joined the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in November of 2012. She supports Matilde Gramling in managing financial and personnel-related processes, as well as the daily business associated with the Division’s Budget. Mrs. de Castro also provides administrative support to PI’s for Sponsored Research Grants within the Division.
Elizabeth Rizo joined the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in August 2011. Ms. Rizo supports Dr. Larry Lunsford, Associate Vice President – Student Affairs and University Ombudsman, and Dr. Cathy Akens, Assistant Vice President – Student Affairs, BBC.
Cathy Sanchez joined FIU and the Student Affairs office in 2002. Ms. Sanchez works most closely with Matilde Gramling, assisting with the daily oversight of departmental budgets.
Maria Juarez is the front line receptionist for the office. She greets visitors, answers the phones and assists students, staff and visitors to the office. Ms. Juarez joined the office in March, 2006.