UPDATED: May 14, 2022
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Mission College in Santa Clara has identified its finalists for President: Evergreen Valley College Vice President of Administrative Services Andrea Alexander and Los Angeles Southwest College President Dr. Seher Awan. College of the Siskiyous interim President Dr. Char Perlas dropped out.
The community is invited to three presidential forums either in-person in the TAV-130 building on campus or online at presidentsearch.missioncollege.edu on May 18, 19, and 20 at 11 a.m. each day.
Candidate Forum Schedules
May 18 • Dr. Seher Awan • 11 a.m.
May 20 • Andrea Alexander • 11 a.m.
Alexander spent 15 years in Chicago prior to becoming EVC's Vice President in 2016, Awan has spent the majority of her career in South California, becoming LASC's President in 2018, and Perlas, Mission College's former MESA Director and Counseling Department Chair has been at Siskiyou's as president and vice president since 2019.
Norma Ambriz-Galaviz has served as Interim President since February 2022 after President Daniel Peck resigned following eight years at Mission College to move closer to family on the East Coast.
She has been the Vice President of Administrative Services at nearby Evergreen Valley College in San Jose since 2016, directing business and fiscal services and overseeing a $50M operating budget and two bond campaigns totaling $550M. Under her leadership, she helped the District design a new Resource Allocation Model, brought several equity and internship programs to the college, and oversaw a campus transformation to include four new state-of-the-art buildings using the 2010 and 2016 (MeasureX) Community Bonds.
Alexander previously spent 15 years in Chicago in several financial roles, including as the CFO at a non-profit dedicated to Chicago's public schools for two years and as a leader at the City College of Chicago and the University of Chicago from 2009-14.
Previously she was at the non-profit Reading in Motion from 2014 to 2016 as their Chief Financial Officer, which served over 50 Chicago public schools. She set a goal and then secured $7M in fundraising. She served two years at City Colleges of Chicago's Kennedy King College (2012-14) as their Director of Auxillary Services, working with the Dean of Student Services on recruitment, registration, and graduation events for the 80,000-student multi-college District. As the University of Chicago's International House's Manager of Operations and Finance (2009-12) she oversaw the housing for 300 international students and 50 faculty.
She is expected to complete her doctorate from John Hopkins University in Higher Education Leadership/Entrepreneurship in Fall 2022. She received her Master's in High Education Administration with a focus in Social Justice and Strategic Planning from Loyola University in Chicago in 2015 and a Bachelor's in Political Science and Economics from the University of Chicago in 2001. She also spent four months as an international student in Italy.
Dr. Seher Awan
She has served as president of Los Angeles Southwest College, the smallest of Los Angeles Community College's District's campuses, since 2018. She has turned the campus around after 15 years of deficit spending, resulting in $17M in forgiven debt.
She is a first-generation community college student and when hired in 2018 was the youngest California Community College president.
She established a Family Resource Center with a $1.5M Congressional Earmark, a $1.7M grant to combat declining Black student enrollment, and a $2.1M grant to help with student homelessness. She also increased student efficiency from 60 to 90 percent, the highest in the LACCD. She established a HireLAX apprenticeship program focusing on under-served populations, partnering with LAX and the City of Los Angeles, among others.
From 2014 to 2018 she served as the Vice President of Administrative Services at San Diego City College, a Hispanic serving institute like Mission College. In 2017 the American Association of Women in Community Colleges named her part of its Class of 40 under 40.
She spent a year and a half at San Jose City College (2013-14) as the acting Vice President of Administrative Services and as its Business and Campus Technology Supervisors. She was the public information officer and coordinated the College's $270M bond campaign. She was previously at Valencia College in Florida (2011-13), and with EOPS at College of the Canyons (2008-10).
She has been an adjunct professor at Pepperdine (since 2019) and San Diego City College (2018) in its business and economics programs. The SDCC courses were at the juvenile hall.
She received her doctorate from Pepperdine in 2017 in organizational leadership with an international policy, with her dissertation on "Rebuilding Trust in Community Colleges." She earned a Masters's from CSUN in Business Administration and in Public Administration, both in 2010. She received her Bachelor's from CSUN in 2007 in Business Administration.