Henry Amaya becomes Interim Director of Multicultural Services

As of Friday Sept. 22, Mr. Henry Amaya was appointed as the new Interim Director of Multicultural Services at Bellevue College. He began at Bellevue College working as the front desk assistant of the Admissions Department in 2005 and has since served as a faculty advisor of such clubs as the Black Student Union and El Centro Latino. On top of that, his work in involving students of color in science through the BC SACNAS Club won him a national award. As the new director his goals are to ensure that the office stays operational as well as welcoming and supporting students. In doing this he also wishes to develop working relationships between different offices at the college, including the counseling department as well as Student Programs. His virtue stems from a desire to form and maintain a community at Bellevue College, citing the name Bellevue Community College from a few years ago before the college transitioned to having Bachelor’s degrees as well.
Amaya stated that many people still refer to the college as a community college and that his goals include making sure the community stays alive in all of us. He also believes that as a community we need to create avenues for people who come from all different backgrounds. A specific example is that in working with the homeless and less financially stable students he could point them in the direction of Hopelink, a local nonprofit agency that serves to assist in that aspect.
While Amaya’s job mainly is to, in his words, “work together with the Multicultural Services team to help achieve the mission of MCS,” he considers himself a visionary and wants to create opportunities for students on campuses. One of his ideas included creating workshops with other faculty members to get various subjects across to students that might assist them in some fashion.
Amaya has numerous qualifications and Dr. Ata Karim, the vice president of Student Affairs, cites several of his degrees and certificates that he has received. These include a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison, a Youth Development Certificate from U.W. Extension and both an MPA and MBA from the University of Phoenix. As of right now, Amaya is one class away from finishing an online Certificate in Change and Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Karim goes on to say that “Henry is well known and respected in the local community,” before listing the agencies he volunteers with. These include Jubilee Reach, Youth East Side Services, The Latino Community Fund and the Bellevue School District.
Amaya said that he is honored to receive this position and that he has a humble heart in doing so. He believes that his many years of experience in social services and education, as well as an emphasis on understanding and commitment are key to his success in this role. In parting words, he stated that Bellevue College is a great place with great programs and a strong ability to innovate as well as including that Karim does a great job as well. He also mentioned that he and the rest of the staff wouldn’t be here if it were not for the students because that is what they are all about.