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Associate dean to leave Rollins for opportunity at Berry College

Search begins for permanent director of scholarship office

Dr. Gabriel Barreneche recently announced that he will be leaving Rollins to accept a new role as dean of the Evans School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. 

Barreneche, a Spanish professor, currently serves as the associate dean of Advising and interim director of the Office of External and Competitive Scholarship Advisement. He took over as interim director earlier this year, after Dr. Jayashree Shivamoggi left the position due to a lack of increase in the department’s budget.

When asked about his reasons for leaving, Barreneche cited the rotating nature of the associate dean position at Rollins. After three to four years, associate deans are cycled back into the faculty and resume their teaching and research.

 “I was set to return to the faculty at the end of this academic year and go on sabbatical, but I decided to throw my hat in the ring for a few dean positions at other colleges,” said Barreneche. “Over the years, many colleagues and administrators have encouraged me to seek out opportunities for professional growth, telling me that I have learned the skills necessary to be an effective academic dean.”

Barreneche is currently leading efforts to find his replacement as director of the scholarship office, and he is hopeful that the position will be filled by the beginning of the next school year. 

Barraneche will officially leave his current position in June, at which point Dr. Amy Armenia will take over as the new associate dean for Advising. According to Rollins Provost Susan Singer, if a new director has not been chosen by then, Armenia will also take over as acting director of the scholarship department, although Singer said she is “optimistic we’ll have a terrific individual in place by the start of fall semester, if not sooner.”

When asked about Barreneche’s departure, President Grant Cornwell provided the following statement: “Dr. Barreneche’s service to Rollins and our students was exemplary. He is a tenacious and creative problem solver who always kept our educational mission in the forefront of his work. Countless students benefited from Dr. Barreneche’s advocacy and guidance.”

Barreneche said he was most proud of helping students graduate and changing the culture of advising at Rollins. 

“Professors today take pride in their roles as advisors and do their work with professionalism and great skill,” said Barreneche. “I like to think that I was able to help bring about that culture change on our campus.”

As for the future, Barreneche is excited to take on new experiences and opportunities. 

“In Berry, I see an institution very similar to Rollins in its mission, size, and academic offerings,” said Barreneche. “I am excited by the chance to serve as their dean […] in the coming years. After that, who knows? I never dreamed of being a dean at Rollins nor leaving my position as a professor, but these opportunities have come my way. I am not sure what curveballs life will throw me next!”

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