University hires first director for Student Support Services

Rachel Choto will serve as the head of the new office that supports the University’s undocumented, low-income, and first generation students.

By Isaac Troncoso

Rachel Choto began work this quarter as the University’s first Director for Student Support Services, the head of an office charged with helping undocumented, first-generation, and low-income students.

The position was created last October as part of the launch of the Center for Identity and Inclusion, which also includes the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) and the Office of LGBTQ Student Life.

Choto was born in Athens, OH and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Before coming to UChicago, Choto worked at DePaul University’s TRIO Student Support Offices, and has experience in the fields of youth development, child welfare, and mental health services prior to entering the field of higher education. In these positions, her work included advising and designing programs that supported the successful intake, retention, and graduation of first-generation and low-income students.

“Choto will focus on supporting undocumented, first-generation, and low-income students in the graduate divisions and professional schools, as well as the College. We are excited about the passion Rachel brings to the vision of our Center and the mission of Student Support Services and are confident she will have an immensely positive impact on our campus community,” said Karlene Burrell-McRae, associate dean of students and director of UChicago’s Office and Multicultural Student Affairs.

Choto will be joining the Center along with four other new staff members this quarter: Kimberly Holliday as Administrative and Facilities Manager, Gaby Ortiz Flores as Program Coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Tobias Spears as Director of LGBTQ Student Life, and Brett Stachler as Program Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.