Leadership Transitions in Center for Health and Wellness
| by Laurie Patton
Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,
After 25 years at Middlebury College, Gus Jordan is retiring, to join his wife, former College Chaplain Laurie Jordan, and enjoy their family (especially the grandchildren!). During his tenure teaching in the Psychology Department, through his service in many administrative leadership positions within the division of Student Affairs—including serving as the dean of students—Gus contributed in innumerable ways to the College, our local community, the field of college health, and beyond. Some of Gus’s most recent contributions include bringing together all four of the student health-focused offices under the new umbrella of the Center for Health and Wellness, and launching MiddTelehealth services to increase student access and health equity. Gus will be stepping down from his role as executive director of the Center for Health and Wellness on June 30, and his last day on campus will be October 1. Gus has been a true pillar of our community for decades, and we will have a chance to celebrate him in the coming fall semester.
I am delighted to announce that Barbara McCall has been appointed as the next executive director of the Center for Health and Wellness, effective July 1. Barbara comes to her new position following eight years of service at the College overseeing health and wellness education, including a year as the associate executive director of the center, working to integrate health education with the other student health-focused offices and support cross-discipline work. Barbara brings expertise in community health approaches as well as a deep understanding of student affairs after almost two decades in various healthcare settings. Barbara became Middlebury’s director of health and wellness in 2013, after serving as the coordinator of campus wellness education at Castleton University. She holds a master’s in public health in community health education and certificates in LGBTQ health and healthcare leadership. Her experiences as a queer woman with disabilities and as a first-generation college student inform her work in public health and student life. Under Barbara’s leadership, the Center for Health and Wellness moves forward with a renewed emphasis on inclusive, collaborative, and integrated care for all Middlebury students. We are currently searching for the next director of health and wellness education.
I am also pleased to share with the broader Middlebury community that Alberto Soto will join the leadership team at the Center for Health and Wellness on July 1 as the new director of counseling. Alberto completed his undergraduate degree at The College of Idaho and received his PhD in counseling psychology from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He has most recently worked at Swarthmore College and was at Brown University prior to that. His areas of research and clinical interests include adapting psychotherapy to culture, advocating for diverse populations, and the intersection of social justice with mental health. Alberto’s experiences as a first-generation college graduate and a person of color influence how he navigates psychotherapy and student advocacy.
Finally, Dr. Mark Peluso will continue to serve in his role as chief health officer and College physician. We are so grateful for Mark’s tireless contributions to the College, especially during the pandemic. As many of you know, Mark was recognized this spring with a Middlebury Medal for his highly effective local and statewide leadership, and profound commitment to keeping our community safe. This coming year, he will lead us as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and, working with the Center for Health and Wellness, develop innovative approaches to healthcare at Middlebury.
Please join me in sharing our gratitude for everything Gus has given to Middlebury, especially its students, to Mark for his guidance this past year, and in welcoming Barbara and Alberto to their new roles.
Laurie L. Patton