AVP Spotlight: Meet Sofia Pertuz of Hofstra University!

naspa avp steering committee

September 11, 2017

This edition of the AVP Spotlight features Sofia Pertuz, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Hofstra University.

AVP Steering Committee:  For how long have you served in your current role and as a student affairs professional?

Sofia Pertuz:  I’m going into my fourth year in my current role as an AVP at Hofstra and my twenty-fourth year as a student affairs professional (including two years as a grad hall director - that counts!).

AVPSC:  Please describe the units within your portfolio and if you have any specific duties in addition to providing supervision to those units.

SP:  The units in my portfolio include Campus Recreation, Community Outreach, Community Standards, Commuting Student Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Hofstra Card Services, the Interfaith Center, Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion, New Student Programs, Residence Life, Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness and Student Leadership and Engagement. I also coordinate assessment and critical incident management for the Division of Student Affairs and teach a Student Affairs Leadership course as an adjunct in Hofstra’s Higher Education Leadership Program.

AVPSC:  What do you enjoy doing most in your current role?

SP:  I enjoy spending time with students, meeting them as they arrive and seeing them grow and learn as they encounter new experiences.  I also really enjoy working at an open and welcoming institution and Division of Student Affairs where I can truly be myself and work with a wonderful group of caring and student-centered colleagues. There is a reason why Hofstra has been voted a Great Colleges to Work For and one of the Most Promising Places to Work for many years!

AVPSC:  How have you been involved in NASPA and do you currently serve NASPA?

SP:  I have found my professional home in NASPA and therefore, I am very involved.  I serve on the NASPA AVP Steering Committee, as Sponsorship Chair for NASPA Region II, and as co-chair for Leadership Development in the NASPA Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community.  I have also served in several special programs including on the faculty for the NASPA Mid-Level Administrators Conference in June 2017, delivered a keynote at NASPA Chile’s annual conference in Viña Del Mar in July 2017, and I will be serving as a faculty member for the NASPA Escaleras Institute in October 2018.

AVPSC:  What is the best advice you would give to yourself as a new professional knowing what you know now?

SP:  The best advice I would give myself is to remember that you can learn from anyone at any level and from any background.  If I waited to only find mentors who looked like me, I would never have made many of the connections, close colleagues and friends I have made along my student affairs professional journey.  Some of my best professional lessons also came from students who are always quick to let us know that we don’t know everything and that we need to listen to them to really know how to best serve them.

AVPSC:  What is something you are most proud of as an AVP?

SP:  Something that I am most proud of as an AVP is that I am finally taking my own advice that I have been giving to students over the years:

  1. You have everything you need inside you to be successful.
  2. You cannot do anything alone – you need others to support you and help you along the way, so don’t be afraid to ask.
  3. Have fun! Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life. My father had a great Spanish expression that helps me get through some of the toughest days, “no me gusta el bochinche, pero me entretiene!” Translation: “I don’t like drama, but it entertains me!” There is always plenty of drama in Student Affairs, so I am constantly entertained.

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