Consuelo Gutierrez-Crosby named TRIO SSS director

Consuelo Gutierrez-Crosby has been named director of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at CEHD. She has been serving as interim director of the program since March.

Gutierrez-Crosby has worked with TRIO SSS since the fall of 2020, serving as assistant director and providing strong leadership for many of its signature initiatives. She has worked with TRIO SSS since the fall of 2020, serving as assistant director and providing strong leadership for many of its signature initiatives. For more than 20 years, she has built a career in program development, implementation, and management in non-profit, higher education, and philanthropic sectors. She is passionate about first-generation college success and is energized by opportunities to maximize and build on those strengths, whether by personally working with students or on projects that focus on leadership and capacity building embedded in social justice and social change.

CEHD Dean Michael Rodriguez recalled that as a graduate student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, he applied for and obtained a position as a TRIO SSS math instructor 33 years ago. Since then, he has been a full supporter of TRIO, because as he stated: “The evidence is clear—TRIO works. I know we are in good hands with Consuelo leading the legacy education opportunity and civil rights traditions of TRIO, having come from a similar background as many TRIO SSS students.”

Gutierrez-Crosby is first-generation herself, having graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul. She majored in international studies and sociology and minored in political science. She is also a Humphrey School of Public Affairs alum, with a master’s degree in public policy and a concentration in nonprofit management.

“I am honored to be taking on TRIO SSS leadership and to build upon the exceptional program that previous directors have created. We have a committed and amazing team of advisors, instructors, and staff that are dedicated to student success. I am grateful to be working with such a team,” she says. “As someone who shares similar identities as TRIO students, I would have strongly benefited from being part of a community of support like TRIO SSS. I have experienced many of the same challenges that TRIO students face and am passionate about engaging with students to navigate through the ups and downs they may encounter on their college journey. I look forward to being part of student journeys here in CEHD and the U in this new capacity.”

TRIO SSS strives to ensure access to equal opportunity education for U of M students who are first-generation in college, low-income, with disabilities, or for whom English is not their first language. Through inclusive and accessible services, including academic support, counseling, teaching and advocacy, TRIO SSS seeks to remove institutional and cultural barriers, foster a climate that values the social and cultural capital of students, and promote retention to graduation.