EVC President Search
Evergreen Valley College President FINALIST FORUM
Dear Evergreen Valley College Community, 
I am very excited to announce that the Evergreen Valley College President screening committee has identified four finalists in the search for your next President! 
The District has worked side-by-side with Community College Search Services in conducting this national search. We want to thank our EVC President Search Committee, comprised of eleven members appointed to represent a cross-section of stakeholders and constituencies from the entire college community. This has been an extensive process consisting of two complete rounds of candidate interviews and I am very pleased that we have four highly qualified finalists selected from a strong pool of applicants.
Due to our ongoing operational changes from the COVID-19 crisis, we will unfortunately not be offering in-person forums in a conventional manner in order for the campus community to meet the finalists. Instead, each finalist will have a scheduled time to appear via a Zoom town hall to address the campus and respond to questions that were previously submitted by constituency group leadership and the campus community.

In addition to the live-stream forums, each candidate will participate in interviews with the Cabinet leadership team and myself as well.
The finalist interviews and town halls are set for Thursday, May 28, and Friday, May 29, and the successful candidate will be presented to the Board for appointment at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on June 9. 
I want to thank everyone that participated in the search process and I hope many of you will take part in the town halls. Thank you all for your continued commitment to our students and all you do each day in pursuit of our values of Opportunity, Equity, and Social Justice. 

The four candidates are as follows:

  • Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson

  • Dr. Denise Whisenhunt

  • Dr. Christopher Villa

  • Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza

Public forums to meet the candidates will be live-streamed via Zoom on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29.  
To participate via phone call 1-669-900-6833 or 1-253-215-8782 and enter the ID number for the candidate.

The forum schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

  • 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM - Dr. Christopher Villa
    Dr. Villa's Zoom Webinar ID 982 4613 7658 or by phone enter ID 982 4613 7658

  • Dr. Taylor-Mendoza is a finalist in good-standing from the first round of interviews and her public forum was held previously throughout the district on April 2, 2020, at 11:30 AM


Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson

Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson is currently the president of Laney College in Oakland, California.  Prior to her current role, she served as vice president of academic and student affairs at Contra Costa College and as the first diversity, inclusion and innovation officer for the Contra Costa Community College District..  Dr. Gilkerson has also served as the vice president of academic affairs at San José City College and dean of counseling and matriculation at Evergreen Valley College.  She began her community college career as a faculty member in psychology-counseling at Chabot College, serving as the coordinator for the TRIO Student Support Services program.  In addition to her work in community colleges, Dr. Gilkerson served as the Academy and Education Policy Director at The Greenlining Institute and in positions at UC Berkeley in the Office of Student Life and the Early Academic Outreach Program. 
One of seven children, Dr. Gilkerson, grew up in Hayward, CA.  The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy and pupil personnel services, and a doctorate in organizational leadership with an emphasis in higher education. Dr. Gilkerson lives with her family in Oakland, CA.

Dr. Denise Whisenhunt

Denise Whisenhunt, J.D., has dedicated her career to creating conditions which have led to increased student achievement.  Her passion for fostering equity- based practices have transformed the lives of students. Whisenhunt is an innovative leader with nearly 19 years of progressive administrative and leadership experience in the community college system.

She currently serves as the Vice President of Student Services at San Diego City College, providing vision and support to implement recognized and award winning programs.  Whisenhunt has successfully lead teams which have secured grants, totaling more than $7million dollars. Among those include managing two Title V Hispanic Serving Institution, and Suicide Prevention grants.  She has secured more than $600,000 in private funding for students.

Her reputation for bridging relationships to achieve successful outcomes, is evidenced by her work as the Interim President of San Diego City College.  Working closely with all stakeholders, she successfully led the college’s efforts to accreditation, receiving recognition for transparency. She has served on multiple community boards, including the Monarch School for homeless.

Prior to these roles, she has served as the Interim Vice President of Student Services at San Diego Mesa College, Dean of Student Affairs at San Diego City College, and the Associate Dean of Outreach at San Diego Community District.  She also worked for the University of California.    Whisenhunt earned a political science degree from UC San Diego and is a graduate of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. She is a Lakin Institute and Aspen fellow. 

Dr. Christopher Villa

Dr. Christopher Villa is the Portland Community College (PCC) - Rock Creek Campus President.  As President, he has championed the PCC Yes to Equitable Student Success (YESS) Initiative while advocating for social justice and equity.  Dr. Villa is an engaged community partner as he currently serves on the board of directors for the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Vision Action Network, and the Five Oaks Museum. 
Dr. Villa has served as Vice President of Student Services at Los Angeles Mission College (LAMC), Fresno City College and Long Beach City College. At LAMC, he led equitable student success efforts in developing and implementing its Guided Pathways Program as well as the revitalization of the Student Success Center.

He has served as a Board Member for the State of California Community College Chief Student Services Administration Association and was a member of the State of California Chancellor’s Office Advisory Group on Student Mental Health.  In addition, he is a mentor with the National Hispanic Community College Hispanic Council, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).   

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah. As a part-time faculty, he has taught doctoral and masters level courses to practicing community college administrators, faculty, and staff in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at California State University, Northridge. 

Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza

Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza is the Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College. An educator with over twenty years of higher education experience, eighteen years in the community college system—as a classified professional, tenured faculty leader, director, dean and vice president—she has continually been inspired by the brilliance, power and endless potential of community college students. 

Through collective action, she enjoys working closely with faculty, classified professionals, students, and administrators to lead initiatives—guided pathways, promise scholars, professional development, online-learning, workforce partnerships, global learning, enrollment management, and dual enrollment pathways. Her work integrates Student Services and Instruction dismantling structural inequities to create programs responsive to local economic and social needs.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the Human Investment Project (HIP) Housing. She is an Aspen Presidential Fellow and co-author of Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges. She serves on a range of Chancellor's Office committees and is an elected executive board member for the State's chief instructional officers.

Dr. Taylor-Mendoza is a proud alumna of El Camino College. She holds a B.A. in Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, an M.S. in Counseling, California State University, Northridge, and
a Ph.D. in Education, Claremont Graduate University. 
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