Jason Casares grew up in the inner city of Chicago in a single parent home as a product of food stamps, welfare, and he managed challenging circumstances to pursue something greater. "My hero is my mother, who I remember intentionally not eating, so that we could. It's a memory you carry with you for the rest of your life." So, college was just not an option. It was too expensive and not part of his family history. As a first generation college student, Jason was lucky to find amazing mentors through student affairs and found a home in the Office of Multicultural Affairs to support his journey in academia. "I was challenged by mentors who pushed me to do more and to think beyond myself. In fact, I read my first book in college and now I cannot stop reading books, articles, or anything else with words for that matter." Jason is passionate about equity, dedicated to student affairs, in love with his family and admittedly he is a bit of baseball addict (go White Sox).
Throughout his career, Jason's portfolio has included vast experience in student affairs with supervision in multicultural affairs, residence life, student leadership and organizations, fraternity and sorority life, student government, student conduct, Title IX, crisis management, and working with students of concern. He has worked in academia for over 15 years at various institutions.
His professional/administrative competencies and areas of expertise reside within Title IX, compliance, affirmative action, investigations, cultural competence, crisis management, threatening/disruptive student management, student learning/development, student conduct, managing threatening/disruptive students, assessment and evaluation, building partnerships with critical stakeholders, locating new revenue streams, and creating innovative strategies and/or practices that lead to institutional national and international recognition.
Under his leadership, IU’s Office of Student Ethics department has become recognized as a national leader for its service to domestic and international students through efforts with sexual misconduct, academic integrity, and assessment efforts. In 2014, ASCA (Association of Student Conduct Administration) selected IU as the university to represent best practices in student conduct and Title IX for their annual Institutional Award of Excellence. ASCA also selected IU as the recipient of the Innovation Award in 2016 for work in assessment, evaluation, and creating an action plan model to move away from traditional sanctions. In addition, IU was selected to receive the Campus of Integrity Award from ICAI (International Center for Academic Integrity) at both the 2014 and the 2015 national conventions. Personally, Jason has also been the recipient of the Individual Award of Excellence from ASCA and the Waldvogel Exemplar of Integrity Award from ICAI. Jason has also done consulting work locally, nationally, and internationally at nearly 100 institutions in higher education, conducting sexual misconduct training, teaching trauma informed practice, and conducting reviews of student conduct units.
However, time well spent can be found with his family and his much better half. "We spend time literally chasing two little boys around the house, at the park, on hiking trails, soccer fields and now the t-ball diamond." You can find Jason on social media often writing about the greatest experience in life... #beingdad - which has been an absolute honor filled with multiple humbling moments. Jason believes the journey has been filled with amazing opportunities and he remains loyal and forever grateful to higher education for creating a pathway that did not exist.