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Garrett Gilmer named executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services

Dedicated advocate for students and their well-being, he’ll begin Feb. 1

Northwestern University today named Garrett L. Gilmer, currently of Bowling Green State University, the new executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Garrett Gilmer
Garrett Gilmer

He will begin in his role on Feb. 1, 2021.

“I’m extremely honored to have been selected to lead CAPS at Northwestern,” Gilmer said. “From the beginning, I’ve been drawn to the commitments to student mental health, equity and social justice, embraced by the University and the Division of Student Affairs. And I’m eager to partner with students, faculty and staff across campus while working alongside the impressive CAPS team.”

CAPS serves as the primary mental health service at Northwestern with offices on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. CAPS provides a set of core services, including clinical services, educational workshops and consultation with faculty, staff and parents.

In 11 years as director of a comprehensive university counseling center, Gilmer has been a steadfast advocate for inclusion, equity and social justice frameworks relating to student mental health. His colleagues describe him as strategic, inclusive, kind and a dedicated advocate for students and their well-being. 

He embraces his identity as a gay man of both Mexican-American and European-American ancestry as he engages with students and campus partners.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Garrett,” said Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, vice president of Student Affairs. “His experience, social justice philosophy and student-focused approach, coupled with the expertise of the CAPS team, will help Northwestern plan for the needs of our students now and in the future. Given the impact of the pandemic and racial awakening we face as a community, Garrett’s leadership will make a significant difference for our team and our students.”

Gilmer has direct experience with supervision of accredited doctoral intern programs, outreach and community intervention programs, strategic planning, assessment, grant writing and fundraising.

At Bowling Green, he received several awards, including the divisional Diversity Award for Student Affairs. Gilmer also served in the Office of the Dean of Students at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne as a counselor.  

He earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University and a B.S. in psychology from the University of Florida.

Gilmer will succeed Fabiola Montiel, who serves as interim executive director of CAPS.