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College of HEST inaugural dean works to promote unity among stakeholders

Yoshi Iwasaki has taken a calm, unifying approach as inaugural dean of a college that consists of two former NMSU colleges plus a department once housed in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new College of Health, Education and Social Transformation consists of the former colleges of Education and Health and Social Services, and the Department of Sociology. When he started his new role at NMSU in July 2022, Iwasaki met in person with several stakeholder groups, as well as faculty and staff, to begin conversations about a prosperous, thriving future for the College of HEST.

“I envision the College of HEST as a distinctive, truly interdisciplinary solution-oriented college that integrates both human and health dimensions across clinical and community contexts, with its emphasis on holistic health, well-being and human development, guided by our genuine, fierce commitment to addressing health, educational and socio-economic disparities that the Borderlands region and New Mexico face,” Iwasaki says.

Iwasaki works by the motto, “Putting people first,” promoting faculty and staff development, empowerment and success, which he calls the foundation to enhance the collective success of the college.  

“It is imperative for college stakeholders to come together and dig deep into the fundamental questions of who we are; why we are worth it and why we matter; who we serve, what we deliver; and how we showcase our strengths and value-added impacts that make NMSU and HEST profoundly special and distinctive,” he says.