Bethaida “Bea” González, who had been Dean of University College of Syracuse University since 2004, was named Vice President for Community Engagement by Chancellor Kent Syverud in 2017 and is a FOCUS Wisdom Keeper.
González joined University College (UC) in 1984 as an academic advisor and quickly rose through the ranks. After serving as associate dean at UC, she was appointed interim dean in 2004 and dean in 2007. She was instrumental in the establishment of FOCUS Greater Syracuse’s signature community education outreach effort – Citizens Academy. Syracuse University’s Office of Community Engagement continues to partner with FOCUS on Citizens Academy.
As dean of University College, González has supervised quality programming for continuing education and summer programs, including credit and non-credit undergraduate and graduate studies, online and web courses, the English Language Institute, the Veterans Resource Center, and Summer@Syracuse programs.
González has served on and is a member of several professional organizations including the Association of University Summer Sessions, the Education Commission of the States, New York State Representative, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). As a long-standing member and past-president of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), González has been asked to present at many conferences/workshops. She is currently president of the board of trustees for Syracuse Stage.
González has been elected to public office three times. In 2001, she became the first Latina to be elected president of the City of Syracuse Common Council. She also served on the Syracuse City School District’s Board of Education.
González has received numerous awards and recognitions. She was named a Hispanic American of Distinction in New York State and an Unsung Heroine by the Central New York National Organization of Women. She has been the recipient of a Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation for Service and the SU Women of Influence Award, among others. In 2013, she was given the Latino American of Central New York award; and in 2014 she received the NAACP Community Service Award and the CNY American Institute of Architects Award. In 2015 she was given special recognition for her Multicultural Diversity Achievements by the Syracuse Business Women, and for her commitment and accomplishment in the CNY region by New York State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli. González was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, and is a resident of Syracuse. She earned a masters degree in public administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and her undergraduate degree in Political Science from State University of New York at Binghamton.