Dean, Allied Health & Workforce Education, Wenatchee Valley College
Yuritzi Lozano is the first Latina dean at Wenatchee Valley College, hired in early 2021 to oversee allied health and workforce education, which includes the career and technical programs. It’s the latest accomplishment in her academic career.
In some ways, she said, she’s never really left college.
A 2005 graduate of Eastmont High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Spanish, with a minor in diversity, in 2010 from the University of Washington. In 2013, she earned a master’s degree from the UW in educational leadership and policy studies. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Oregon State University in adult and higher education, with a focus on community college leadership.
After completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked as an adviser and guidance counselor for Latino high school students at the UW’s El Centro de La Raza’s College Readiness Program, then transitioned into the role of outreach coordinator, working with Seattle Latino communities.
She also created and implemented college access workshops, which led to her decision to pursue a master’s degree.
After graduating from the UW, she worked at Highline College as the program manager for the federal TRIO programs, providing support and services to first-generation, low-income and disabled students. In 2014, she returned to the Wenatchee area, accepting a position as the director of the College Assistant Migrant Program at Wenatchee Valley College. The program provides support, guidance and advocacy for students from agricultural backgrounds.
Her work there led to her moving into the dean position early this year, continuing her goal of improving policies and practice to be more inclusive of underserved students.
What challenges do you see ahead, and what do you believe needs to be done to get prepared?
The Wenatchee Valley continues to grow in so many ways that are challenging us to adapt and shift. One thing is for certain — we have to continue to work collaboratively to address the needs of all our constituents for our community to thrive.
From a professional standpoint, Wenatchee Valley College will continue to work collaboratively with our business and industry partners to ensure we are providing a service to keep talent and work accessible to those who are from the area. Through our work with students, faculty and the community we can call for action of our constituents to continue to be catalysts for change.