In Memoriam: Patricia Telles-Irvin, 1955-2019

Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, passed away on June 3, 2019. She was 63 years old and had suffered from cancer.

Dr. Telles-Irvin joined the Northwestern administration in 2011. She accomplished a great deal during her tenure including establishing the Office of Campus Inclusion and Community, expanding mental health programs, and renovating and constructing new residence halls.

Before coming to Northwestern, Dr. Telles-Irvin served as vice president for student affairs at the University of Florida for seven years. Earlier in her career, she served in various roles at Florida International University, including director of the Student Counseling and Psychological Services Center, assistant and associate vice president for student affairs, senior vice president for student affairs and human resources, and vice provost for academic affairs.

Before her passing, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) announced it would recognize Dr. Telles-Irvin with the Excellence in Community Service Award for providing outstanding leadership and service to the Latino community. The award was presented to her posthumously at the MALDEF Chicago awards ceremony on June 7.

“Patricia was a beautiful person,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro wrote in a message to the campus community. “From the day she arrived at Northwestern in 2011, she was deeply committed to improving the lives of all of our students, especially those who came from underrepresented communities. She worked tirelessly to create a Northwestern in which every single student, regardless of background, felt at home. This was not easy work as the world became increasingly stratified and uncivil. When I think of the finest of Northwestern values — humility, empathy and humanity — I picture Patricia. She gave us her heart, and we will always be in her debt. She never wavered in finding the best in all of us.”

Dr. Telles-Irvin was a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she majored in education. She held a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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