Transitions in Student Affairs and Human Resources

To: The Campus Community
From: Joseph E. Shepherd, Vice President for Student Affairs
           Julia McCallin, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Date: July 27, 2018
Re: Transitions in Student Affairs and Human Resources


We are writing to share news about two important transitions in personnel that will take place next month.

Felicia Hunt, who is currently the assistant vice president for equity, accessibility, and inclusion initiatives within Student Affairs as well as Caltech's Title IX coordinator, will be taking on a new role as the leader of the newly established Office of Residential Experience. As the assistant vice president of student affairs and residential experience, Felicia will coordinate all of the activities related to our residential community under the new Office of Residential Experience. 

April White-Castañeda, the assistant director for human resources at JPL, will be returning to campus to become the assistant vice president for equity, equity investigations, and Title IX coordinator. In this role, April will have responsibilities for equity and equity investigations in addition to taking over as Caltech's Title IX coordinator. April will continue to build upon previous efforts to promote and reinforce Caltech's commitment to provide a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning, living, and working environment for students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and staff.

These changes are effective August 1, 2018.

Felicia has been a member of the Caltech community for nearly a decade, fostering relationships across campus and educating our community on issues of equity, inclusion, and Title IX compliance. She has served as the assistant vice president for equity, accessibility, and inclusion initiatives, and Title IX coordinator since 2015. Prior to that, she was the associate dean of graduate studies (2009-2015), and director of the Caltech women's center (2007-2009). Before joining Caltech, Felicia worked extensively with residential communities at Cornell University.  She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of San Diego and a Doctor of Education in educational leadership from the University of Southern California (USC).

As we mark this important transition in our leadership, and the relocation of the Title IX office from student affairs to human resources, we would like to acknowledge the challenges that Felicia and the deputy Title IX coordinators addressed together with our community. Felicia has worked proactively to build an inclusive approach to education and prevention, while also responding to sexual harassment and sexual violence. She has brought passion and professionalism to her work in the Title IX office and to the campus community overall. April will have an excellent foundation and resources to draw upon as Caltech takes the next steps in equity and inclusion.

April is very familiar with our JPL and campus community, serving in a number of capacities over her nearly two-decade career at Caltech. She has been the assistant director for human resources at JPL since 2016. Prior to that, she was the executive director of human resources (2011-2016), senior director for employee and organizational development (2007-2011), director of staff education and career development (2004-2007), and director of consulting services for the Faculty and Staff Consultation Center (1999-2004). April has also held an adjunct faculty appointment with the School of Social Work at USC and continues her engagement there as a guest lecturer and speaker. April earned a bachelor's degree in women's studies/cross-cultural studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master's degree in industrial/ organizational social work from USC.

April and Felicia are already working together to coordinate the transition of Title IX responsibilities and will continue to do so as April settles into her role. Felicia has also begun working and partnering with our residential life staff and their current leaders, as well as colleagues across student affairs who are involved in shaping the residential experience on campus.

Please join us in congratulating both these leaders on their new roles, as well as thanking them for their dedicated service to the Institute.