Announcing the new assistant vice chancellor for student health and wellness

Dear UIC students, faculty and staff,

I am pleased to announce that Raphael Florestal-Kevelier has accepted the inaugural position of assistant vice chancellor for student health and wellness and executive director of the UIC Counseling Center, effective July 1, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Florestal-Kevelier currently serves as executive director for Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University in New York City.

Florestal-Kevelier, a 2021 recipient of the Hannibal E. Howell, Jr. Award for Promoting Diversity in College Health, brings with him over 10 years of broad and progressive experience across higher education, including residence life, student conduct, sorority and fraternity life and college health functional areas. His previous positions include associate director of community well-being at Emory University and interim director of residence life and housing operations at Oglethorpe University, both located in Atlanta.

Throughout Florestal-Kevelier’s career, he has prioritized advancing equity and advocating for social justice, while centering on the academic and social experiences of historically marginalized students. He centers these priorities in his work because he believes that institutions of higher education have the potential to be vessels for liberation, in the sense that gaining access to education can have significant positive implications for social mobility.

Originally from Georgia, Florestal-Kevelier studied neuroscience, and early on as a campus life fellow for the Office of Health Promotion at Emory University, he was introduced to higher education, which solidified his desire to pursue a career in public health and focusing on areas such as HIV prevention. His early professional experiences and academic training afforded him opportunities to partner with students in cultivating health-promoting campus environments. Florestal-Kevelier believes that well-being is inextricably linked to student success, which is why he ultimately chose to focus his career on college health.

Florestal-Kevelier’s work in college health extends beyond Columbia University, through his role at York College of the City University of New York, where he teaches students about the U.S. health care system, and through his active leadership in the American College Health Association, where he serves on the Board of Directors and as chair-elect of the Health Promotion Section.

Florestal-Kevelier looks forward to joining our campus community in a familiar urban setting to advance well-being with a diverse student body. He appreciates the emphasis on collaboration highlighted in his new role, as he has found that bringing diverse constituents together to address complex health and well-being issues facing college students has led to robust and innovative solutions.

We are excited to have Florestal-Kevelier join the University of Illinois Chicago and welcome him and his family in their transition to Chicago.


J. Rex Tolliver
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

For more information, please contact:
UIC Student Affairs

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