Executive Office Staff

VP Dr. Larry Lunsford Picture Dr. Larry Lunsford
Vice President for Student Affairs
Dr. Lunsford provides leadership direction for the Division of Student Affairs, overseeing more than 400 employees who serve 54,000+ students. Additionally, Dr. Lunsford is responsible for Division publications, including service as the managing editor of Diversity Exchange magazine. 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.
DrAkens Dr. Cathy Akens
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
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 more than 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.
Anthony-DeSantis-Headshot1.jpg Dr. Anthony DeSantis
Assistant Vice President, BBC
Dr. Anthony DeSantis was appointed to the role of Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, BBC in October 2017. He has over 18 Years of higher education experience in various student affairs functional areas including career and counseling, residential life and housing, student affairs graduate programs marketing and disability resources. In his current role, he provides divisional leadership to the Biscayne Bay Campus, the Wellness and Recreation Centers, Wolfe University Center, Student Media, Campus Life, and Orientation & Parent Programs. Dr. DeSantis received his Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution and Analysis from Nova SouthEastern University, Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration, and Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from Barry University. He currently serves as the 2016-2018 NASPA Region III Director and Served as the Florida State Director for NASPA from 2010-2014 and is a recipient of the 2012 NASPA mid-level Student Affairs Professional Award.
VP Dr. Cheryl Nowell picture Dr. Cheryl Nowell
Assistant Vice President
Cheryl Singleton Nowell, Ph.D., is currently the 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 more than 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, which states "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.

Delgado-2013 Dr. Tony Delgado
University Ombudsman and Associate Dean of Students
Dr. Delgado is an FIU alumnus and joined the university as a staff member in 2012. His professional experience in Student Affairs spans several institutions including the University of Georgia, University of Maryland – College Park, and Miami Dade College. Dr. Delgado assumed his current position as Ombudsman and Assistant Dean of Students in December 2013. As the Ombudsman, he provides confidential assistance to students who are experiencing problems or concerns with faculty, staff, departments, or programs. As the Associate Dean of Students, he works with the Behavioral Intervention Team to support students in distress and serves on-call in emergency and crisis situations. Dr. Delgado also teaches in the FIU Adult Education and Human Resource Development program.
Executive Director Matilde Gramling picture Matilde Gramling
Executive Director
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 Activity and Service Business office, working closely with Student Government Association in the distribution of their allocated student fees budget.
Nathalia Nathalia Kunzle
Financial Analyst
Ms. Kunzle supports Matilde Gramling in managing financial and personnel-related processes, as well as the daily business associated with the Division's Budget.
Picture of Jake Burns
Jake R. Burns

Coordinator of Administrative Services
Jake is a two-time FIU alumnus who has been at the university since 2011. He has supported the growth and development of students and alumni in his past roles within the Offices of Residential Life, Campus Life BBC, and Alumni Relations. In July 2017, Jake assumed his current role as the Administrative Services Coordinator. He is responsible for the coordination of the university’s mandatory sexual assault training program, co-chairing the It’s On Us committee, and supporting the Dean of Students Office with Panthers Care, case management and special events.

Elizabeth Rizo picture Elizabeth M. Rizo
Senior Administrative Assistant
Elizabeth Rizo joined the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in August 2011. Ms. Rizo supports Dr. Cathy Akens, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students.
Sofia_Trelles.jpg Sofia Trelles
Senior Executive Assistant
Sofia is a two-time FIU alum and has worked at the institution since 2011. She has held various roles within the Division of Student Affairs before she assumed her current position as Senior Executive Assistant to Vice President Lunsford in March 2017. In her position, she provides executive administrative assistance to Dr. Lunsford and in the overall daily operations of the office. She serves as a liaison between the Vice President and administrative units within the Division and the University.
Carla Iraheta photo Carla Iraheta
Office Associate
Carla Iraheta joined FIU in September 2016. Ms. Iraheta supports daily operations of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs as the first point of contact for students and visitors. She directly supports Dr. Tony Delgado, University Ombudsman and Associate Dean of Students.
Lessie Reid
Office Manager
Lessie Reid joined FIU in September 2002. Ms. Reid supports the Assistant Vice-President with the oversight of Student Affairs daily operations on the Biscayne Bay Campus.


Division of Student Affairs
11200 SW 8th Street
GC 219
Miami, FL 33199

Fax 305-348-1957


Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm