Hernandez Friedman named vice president for student affairs at CCU
In her new role, Hernandez Friedman will oversee the Dean of Students Office: student conduct, student advocacy and intervention, off-campus student services; Student Wellness: counseling services, LiveWell, student health services; and Student Life: fraternity and sorority life, military and veteran services, student activities and leadership, and student transitions and family programs.
“Dr. Hernandez Friedman brings a deep understanding of student affairs operations to our campus, and her concern for student welfare and development is evident in her impressive record of experience,” said Benson. “That she has a heart for students – not simply expertise in her discipline – was made clear during her campus interview. I am proud and pleased she is joining the leadership of Coastal Carolina University.”
A first-generation college graduate, Hernandez Friedman currently serves as the inaugural assistant vice president of student engagement at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Among her responsibilities has been implementing a student engagement program that promotes equity/inclusion, leadership, and involvement across four areas: scholarship and academic achievement; social responsibility; community engagement; and career development.
“I feel incredibly honored to become a part of an amazing, diverse team of committed student affairs professionals at Coastal,” said Hernandez Friedman. “During my visit, I felt the passion for students and the commitment to a diverse, inclusive environment with an emphasis on creating global citizenship. As the next VPSA, my goal is to contribute to the academic mission of Coastal through supporting a comprehensive co-curricular experience for all our students. I am excited to meet our students and to find out how we, in student affairs, can continue to provide an enriching experience during their time on campus. Student success is multi-layered and needs have changed as we come out of this pandemic. My priority is to innovate our services in a way that will help all students meet their goal of attaining a degree while feeling supported to explore and integrate their interests outside of the classroom. Specifically, it’s exciting to continue to provide and expand support for first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible, and students from underrepresented groups.
“This position is particularly appealing to me because I’m excited about the direction Dr. Benson is taking the University. His energy is engaging, and it makes me very excited to be a part of an atmosphere that is thoughtful and moves at a fast pace. CCU feels like my next professional home because I am an entrepreneurial campus leader, and I’m excited to encourage innovative approaches to our work. Every person I met on campus seemed flexible, plugged in, and open to progress, and that is incredibly appealing. These are the springboards to innovation, and I’m so excited to roll up my sleeves and to continue the great work of student success at Coastal Carolina University.”
Hernandez Friedman’s background includes working at the University of California-San Diego from 2014-2021, including six years as the associate director of residential success and community development. From 2005-2014, she was employed in student affairs at San Diego State University, where she served as assistant director of student life, assistant director for student and staff development, academic coordinator, and residence hall coordinator.
A formally trained life and career coach, Hernandez Friedman earned both a bachelor’s degree in political science and an M.Ed. in higher and postsecondary education from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in educational equity and social justice from Claremont Graduate University in California.