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Las Positas College held its Presidential forum on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in the Mertes Center for the Arts.

The five finalists for the position were each given 45 minutes to state their case to the campus at large. This included brief introductions to each candidate followed by a question and answer session with members of the LPC community.

According to Las Positas’ official website, “the finalists were selected from a large, highly competitive, and outstanding group of candidates from throughout the region, state and nation.” The candidates will replace interim President Roanna Bennie, who has held the position since 2017 after health issues led Barry A. Russell to retire from LPC.

The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) is planning on hiring a new President from the list of candidates by the end of the year, with the winning candidate taking the helm in January 2020.

To view full video of all five candidates, follow this link.

These are finalists for the position of the President of Las Positas College, in the order they presented.

Dr. Tina Vasconcellos

Background (source: “Tina Vasconcellos, Ph.D. is the Vice President of Student Services and Accreditation Liaison Officer at the College of Alameda in Alameda, Calif. Previously, she was Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Laney College and Merritt College in Oakland, Calif. Dr. Vasconcellos earned a Doctor of Philosophy focused on community college leadership from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. and a Master of Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in multicultural and holistic counseling from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, Calif.”

Favorite Movie: “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Notable quote from forum: “I really do believe that Las Positas College is really ripe for doing a baccalaureate degree … I would love to explore this with the community around opportunities – What are the ideas? What is a pathway? – my guess is in technology.”

Dr. Katrina VanderWoude

Background (source: “Katrina VanderWoude, Ed.D. has served as the President of Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Calif. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Academic Affairs at Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. Dr. VanderWoude earned a Doctor of Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education, Organizational Systems and Development and Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich.”

Favorite Movie: N/A.

Notable quote from forum: “Why am I interested in Las Positas College? My first question back would be: Why not? The campus is phenomenal … I think that I have the background, the temperament, the commitment to lifelong learning, I’ve been involved with that as well, and a fundraising background which I know is very important, and I’ve worked with foundations.”

Dr. Don Miller

Background (source: “Don Miller, Ph.D. is Vice President of Instruction at the College of Alameda and Vice President of the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers organization. Previously, he was the Interim Vice President of Academic Services and a Dean of Academic Services for the Division of Arts and Humanities and Dean of Learning Communities at Las Positas College. Dr. Miller earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Virginia and a Master and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah.”

Favorite Movie: “Love, Simon.”

Notable quote from forum: “I want to come back. I want to be a part of this great community and serve you into the future for many years to come.”

Dr. Marsha Gable

Background (source: “Marsha Gable, Ed.D. is the Vice President of Student Services at Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. Previously, she was Dean of Counseling Services at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, Calif. Dr. Gable earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from San Diego State University in San Diego and a Master and Bachelor of Social Sciences and Sociological Practice from California State University, San Marcos, Calif.”

Favorite Movie: “A Christmas Carol” (1938)

Notable quote from forum: “I’m a deep thinker. I don’t make decisions off the cuff. I don’t do that because we have too much at stake. We have our students’ experiences at stake, we have the college at stake, and it’s really key to think things through.”

Dr. Dyrell Foster

Background (source: “Dyrell Foster, Ed.D. is the Vice President of Student Services at Moreno Valley College in Moreno Valley, Calif. Previously, he served as an administrator at Rio Hondo College, Mt. San Antonio College, Evergreen Valley College, and San Jose State University. Dr. Foster earned a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California; a Master of Science in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach; and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavioral Science from University of California, Davis.”

Favorite Movie: The “Rocky” series.

Notable quote from forum: “My role would be to ensure that I’m sharing the story of this college. There’s a lot of great things happening at Las Positas and I believe and I’m assuming that there’s an opportunity to share that story more within the community. I would certainly want to take on that responsibility.”

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