Yale appointed Rosalinda Garcia as Assistant Dean of Yale College and Director of the Latino and Native American Cultural Centers Wednesday.

Garcia, 30, is currently the assistant residence coordinator in Columbia University’s Office of Residential Life and an Ed.D candidate in Columbia’s Teachers College. She will begin work at Yale in January.

“She’s quite young, but she has lots of relevant experience,” Brodhead said. “The committee was quite unanimous about who they thought I should offer the job to.”

Assistant Dean Richard Chavolla announced he would be leaving Yale last March after his wife took a job in Washington, D.C. A committee searched for his successor throughout the summer.

Search Committee Chair Stuart Schwartz, who is a history professor and editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review, said the committee interviewed four finalists for the position and that Garcia distinguished herself with her ability to interact with students.

“She was in tune to students’ interests,” Schwartz said. “She listens very well, and she will take her direction from students who are presently here. She does not have a pre-formed program, but she is very anxious to meet the needs [the students] see.”

In her current position as a Residence Coordinator at Columbia, Garcia advises students and monitors other residential advisors. Previously, she worked at the Hispanic Research Center in San Antonio.

Francisco Lopez ’02, who was also a member of the committee, said he was impressed with Garcia’s outstanding administrative abilities, which will help her in managing the responsibilities of both La Casa, the Latino cultural center, and the Native American Cultural Center. Lopez added that Garcia is also closely studying issues that are important to the Yale Latino community.

“Her focus on Latino students and Native American students, especially in terms of retainment, was the key issue,” Lopez said. “She’s writing her [thesis] on things that help Latino student stay in college.”

Lopez added that, often, the first years of college life are tough for Latino students.

Garcia could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Last year, the Mexican cultural center merged with the Puerto Rican center to form the new Latino cultural center, La Casa. Chavolla received much of the credit for the smooth consolidation of the groups.

Chavolla’s spring announcement of his departure delayed the search for his replacement.

The committee had one major advantage in its search, Schwartz said.

“The candidates were all very qualified,” he said. “Ultimately, it was a decision of selecting the best person among a good pool. Everyone liked her very much. She’s going to work very well with the students, faculty and administration.”