New dean helps students navigate life at Pacific

As a first-generation college student, new Dean of Students Jose Leon knows the transformative impact of higher education. He also understands the challenges some students face along the way.

“I understand what it’s like to have to put two pennies together and make that work,” Leon said. “I also know the successes and the feelings you have when you’re achieving these things.”

It’s a unique perspective he brings in his role. Leon works with students and families to provide support and guidance at critical moments in their educational journey.

He oversees the Care Team, which helps students with personal and educational challenges; Services for Students with Disabilities; Career Services and the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office.

Leon comes to Pacific after four years at University of Nevada, Reno. He also previously worked at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and University of California, Los Angeles. He joined Pacific in January.

“The thing I love about being here is the community feel,” Leon said. “I grew up in a really small community in Southern California in Santa Paula and Pacific feels that same way. People genuinely care about each other, whether it's staff or faculty or administration.”

Watch the video to learn more about Leon and his role supporting students at Pacific.

Jose’s Favorites:

Book: “Native Sun” by Richard Wright

TV show: “Finding Your Roots” on PBS

Movie: “The Milagro Beanfield War”

Food: Pozole Rojo (stew made with hominy and pork)

Hobby: Gardening