2019 Fellows

2019 Wheelhouse Fellows


Wheelhouse welcomed these community college leaders as members of the third cohort of the Institute on Leadership in 2019.


Awan Seher Awan, President, Los Angeles Southwest
Dr. Awan began her tenure at Los Angeles Southwest College in 2018, when she became the youngest California Community College President at age 32. In her more than 12 years of service to several community colleges she has worked with some of the most disadvantaged and underrepresented populations. Dr. Awan holds a doctorate in organizational leadership, a master’s in business administration, a master’s in public administration, and Bachelor of Science in business administration.


BaggEva Bagg, Superintendent/President, Barstow Community College
Dr. Bagg was appointed as the Superintendent/President of Barstow Community College in 2017. She brought with her over 30 years of experience working with several community colleges in California as an educator, researcher, and administrator. Superintendent/President Bagg holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Pomona College and became a Fulbright scholar while earning her doctorate in anthropology from UC San Diego.


BandyopadhyaySantanu Bandyopadhyay, President, Columbia College
Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay became the President of Columbia College in July 2018. He has over 21 years of experience in higher education including 13 years as a leader in community colleges where he was involved in national initiatives such as Achieving the Dream, Foundations of Excellence, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement. Dr. Bandyopadhyay has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Ohio University, an MBA from Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Kolkata University.


BulgerStephanie R. Bulger, Vice Chancellor, Instructional Services, San Diego Community College District
Dr. Bulger is the Chief Instructional Officer of the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD), which serves more than 100,000 students. Since 2015, Dr. Bulger has facilitated the institution’s districtwide initiatives on curricular reform and open educational resources, strategic planning and accreditation, business/industry engagement and workforce development. She holds a doctorate in higher education administration, master’s in British and American literature, and bachelor’s in English.


BurkeKathleen F. Burke, Chancellor, South Orange County Community College District
Dr. Burke became Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District in 2018. Previously, she served as Vice President of Academic Affairs in several community colleges. Dr. Burke earned a Doctorate of Education in institutional management from Pepperdine; a Master of Arts in art from CSU Northridge; a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of California, Irvine; a Bachelor of Arts in studio art from UC Irvine; and an Associate of Arts in humanities from Glendale Community College.


DeFrancoJeff DeFranco, Superintendent/President, Lake Tahoe Community College
President DeFranco became Lake Tahoe Community College’s fifth Superintendent/President in 2017. His leadership experience spans K-12, community college, and four-year institutions. He holds a master’s in educational leadership and a bachelor’s in psychology. and is pursuing a doctorate in global leadership and change.


EndrijonasErika Endrijonas, Superintendent/President, Pasadena City College
Dr. Endrijonas was appointed the Superintendent/President of Pasadena City College in January 2019. Previously, she served as the President of Los Angeles Valley College and the Accreditation Liaison Officer at Oxnard College. Dr. Endrijonas is currently the co-chair of the national LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education Board. She earned her doctorate and master’s in history from the USC and her bachelor’s in history from CSU Northridge.


GillespieGreg Gillespie, Chancellor, Ventura County Community College District
Dr. Gillespie was appointed Chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District in 2017. Previously, he has served in faculty, director, dean, vice president, and president positions at four different community colleges in Arizona, California and Washington, including as President of Ventura College.  He holds a master’s and doctorate in agronomy from North Dakota State University and a bachelor’s in agronomy from Washington State University.


GribbonsBarry Gribbons, Deputy Chancellor, College of the Canyons
Gribbons is Deputy Chancellor for the Santa Clarita Community College District and of College of the Canyons, where he has served for 19 years in capacities including Assistant Superintendent, Vice President of Institutional Development, Technology and Online Services.  Dr. Gribbons has a doctorate in educational psycology, master’s in educational psychology and instructional technology, and a bachelor’s in psychology.


HallMarlon Hall, Superintendent/President, Lassen Community College District
Dr. Hall is in his sixth year as Superintendent/President of Lassen Community College. Dr. Hall began his career as a teacher in K-12 schools and colleges. He has also served as a Vice President of Student Services and recently served as the convener of the President’s Round Table. He holds six degrees including a Doctorate of Education in educational leadership and change and a master’s in education, reading, and ESL.


KarasTimothy Karas, President, College of Alameda/Peralta Community College District
Dr. Karas was appointed the College of Alameda’s President in 2017 after having served as vice president for three years. Dr. Karas has previously held leadership positions in other two- and four-year colleges, has a prior background in library sciences and served as the Executive Board President of the Council of Chief Librarians.  He holds a Doctorate of Education in higher education and administration, a master’s of library and information science, and a bachelor’s in geography.


KraftRonald Kraft, Superintendent/President, Napa Valley College
Dr. Kraft became the ninth Superintendent/President of Napa Valley College in 2012. He has more than 25 years of experience working in California community colleges and universities in positions related to research, workforce development and instruction. Dr. Kraft is an author and speaks to corporations, universities and colleges about organizational change and innovation strategies. He holds a doctorate in leadership, a master’s in education, and a bachelor’s in business.


Li BuggW. Cherry Li-Bugg, Vice Chancellor for Educational Services and Technology, North Orange County Community College District
Dr. Li-Bugg is Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Technology for the North Orange County Community College District.  Previously, Dr. Bugg served as the Dean of Learning Resources and Educational Technology for Santa Rosa Junior College, Director of Academic Computing for Santa Monica College, and Dean of Information Technology and Services for Los Medanos College. She holds a doctorate in education and human resource studies and master’s in library and information science.


MayoSandra Mayo, Former Vice Chancellor, Education and Planning, Yuba Community College District
Dr. Mayo began her tenure in 2017 as the Vice Chancellor of Education and Planning for the Yuba Community College District. She is an experienced educator, administrator, and leader for California community colleges and the K-12 schools, having previously served as a Dean, Vice President, Director and teacher. She currently serves as a Board Chair for the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council. Dr. Mayo earned a doctorate in education, master’s in applied mathematics, and bachelor’s in mathematics.


McGrathTim McGrath, President, Golden West College
President McGrath brings 20 years record of experience in California Community College administration to his new role as President of Golden West College. Previously, he served as Vice President of Instruction at San Diego Mesa College where he oversaw six schools and all college instructional programs. Dr. McGrath holds a juris doctorate, a master’s in administration, and a bachelor’s in law.


StearnsJill Stearns, Superintendent/President, Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo County Community College District
Dr. Stearns was appointed the seventh Superintendent/ President of Cuesta College in 2018. Previously, she served in multiple administrative positions, including President of Modesto Junior College. Under her leadership, Modesto JC regained its full accreditation, launched a baccalaureate degree program, and was selected to apply for the Aspen Prize. Dr. Stearns holds a doctorate in education/community college leadership and a master’s in instructional technology.


YamamuraWhitney Yamamura, President, Folsom Lake College
Whitney Yamamura was appointed President of Folsom Lake College in 2017. In his 28 years in the Los Rios Community College District he has served as an intern, part-time faculty, full-time tenured faculty, dean, vice president and interim president. President Yamamura has a master’s in economics, a bachelor’s in business administration, and is working to complete his doctorate in educational leadership.

Wheelhouse is grateful to the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (California Community College Chancellor’s Office), the James Irvine Foundation, and the College Futures Foundation for supporting the participation of these distinguished Fellows in the 2019 Institute on Leadership.

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