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Anna Peña

Director, First-Year Experience and Community Engagement
As a part of Student Development at Simpson College, I welcome incoming students by helping navigate the registration, orientation and advising process by leading SOAR and Welcome Week and I connect current students to community engagement opportunities.


I have over 13 years professional experience in the for profit and not for profit sectors in Central Iowa. This has included developing inclusive strategies for access to higher education and the financial resources to make higher education a reality and consulting credit unions to develop and implement successful Hispanic outreach strategies. I am fully proficient in Spanish with more than ten years of language development through immersion experiences and educational opportunities and I am a certified medical interpreter. I graduated with honors from Luther College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, Communication and International Studies and I completed my Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in Executive Leadership Development at Drake University. I am 2011-2012 Leadership Iowa graduate and have served on the Lutheran Church of Hope Mission and Latino Resources Boards. I currently serve on the Capacity Committee for Iowa Campus Compact and live in Des Moines with my family. Fun Fact: I love salsa dancing, trying new hole-in-the-wall restaurants and traveling.



  • Luther College BA Spanish/ Minors: International Students and Communication
  • Drake University Masters of Public Administration – Executive Leadership Development
  • Iowa Campus Compact – Capacity Committee
  • NODA (Association for Orientation, Transition, Retention)- Member