Meet Marisel Perez
Perez, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, empowers graduate students to achieve in their personal and academic life
Marisel Perez, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, brings her engaging personality and heartfelt compassion to her job: advising graduate students. She meets with students to guide and support them through the many challenges they may face in their personal and academic life.
Perez’ entire career has been in higher education. For several years, she oversaw academic advising at Boston University, but always wanted to focus more on student life. Later, Perez had the wonderful opportunity to start the Office of Student Affairs at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Perez said, “That was a good opportunity to create a vision…to meet the growing needs of the students.”
Ultimately, she found her home at Tufts. Although she has been at Tufts for 15 years, she says “it doesn’t really seem like [it]. I like Tufts, I like the feel of the community. I really love the students.”
Graduate students are welcome to set up an appointment with Perez whenever they need guidance and coaching. Many cases begin with difficult conversations, but ultimately empower the students to be proactive and explore different ways to effectively manage their numerous priorities.
Many students have ever-increasing demands for their time coming from themselves, their program, and others. “Students have become more aware of what prevents them from fulfilling their goals. They are more open to seek support, particularly when they are in distress.” Perez finds her ongoing work with students rewarding and believes the main goal is, “to do what we can to ensure they have what they need so that they can thrive in their programs and their careers.”
Drawing upon her experience in higher education, Perez helps students to gain some insight into with the scope of their work or challenges, and to help them break down what seems overwhelming into smaller more manageable pieces. Perez finds that, “time management is not always intuitive” and she doesn’t hide that while helping the students become more intentional about developing the skills they need to have a more balanced life. She regularly reminds herself to do the same.
I think that of all the places I have been, this is one of the most caring communities.
Perez also encourages students to seek assistance from their peers, faculty, and other colleagues. When Perez worked at Boston University, the faculty encouraged her to pursue her interests in helping students, which guided her to own career path.
Over the years, new students have been more open to asking for help, and the services have improved as well. Perez says, “We do a better job reaching out to students and normalizing the idea that getting counseling support is important as you engage in a new venture, in a new place.”
When students are facing challenges, Perez has seen that the Tufts community is one where others can and do notice and reach out to offer help when someone is struggling. “I think that of all the places I have been, this is one of the most caring communities.”
Marisel Perez is available for advice and support. Please call the Office of Student Affairs at 617-627-3158 or email Marisel directly to make an appointment.