NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Gabriel Fonseca, who has served on Bethel College’s student life staff since 2014, has announced his resignation.
His last day at Bethel will be Jan. 9. He has taken a position at Wichita State University as assistant director of student involvement, where he will oversee student organizations, student government and Greek life, supervising two full-time coordinators, as well as work on assessment and development for the stude nt involvement office.
A 2013 graduate of Coker College, Hartsville, South Carolina, Fonseca earned a master of education degree in student development and leadership in higher education from Angelo University in 2016.
Fonseca began at Bethel as resident director of Voth Hall and coordinator of student activities, later moving into the position he currently holds, coordinator of student activities and engagement.
Two of his biggest accomplishments at Bethel, he said, were strengthening the student government structure and building the Student Activities Council (SAC) from almost nothing (i.e., one student plus himself).
Fonseca helped move the Student Government Association (SGA) into its current form, including a judicial council, and oversaw the creation within SGA of the Diversity Council.
“As an institution,” Fonseca said, “we needed the ability to think strategically about concepts of diversity, inclusion and intercultural relations.
“An outlet on campus was missing for underrepresented students to feel represented – to feel a part of the Bethel family and community.”
The Diversity Council is made up of students who represent the interests of LGBTQ+, international, ethnic minorities and other underrepresented groups within student government and on campus.
During Fonseca’s tenure, the Diversity Council began the annual Pride Week (LGBTQ+), now in its third year, and faculty, staff and students underwent Safe Zone training to equip them as supportive allies, work which Fonseca saw “solidified by Bethel College embracing our unique character of acceptance, front and center.”
Fonseca also expressed his personal pride in seeing SAC go from nearly nothing to winning four awards at the 2016 National Association of Campus Activities regional conference, including Outstanding Student Leader (2016 graduate Mareike Bergen) and Outstanding New Professional (Fonseca).
“As I look back at my journey in [student life] at Bethel College, and as I look to the future,” Fonseca said, “I feel prepared more than ever to serve truly as an ambassador and servant leader for wherever life takes me.
“These moments and memories [at Bethel] are what have made me a better student affairs professional and are what have prepared me for the next challenges ahead.”
Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.
Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to TitleIXCoordinator@bethelks.edu.