August 22, 2022
Contact: Melissa Villarin
Office: 916-327-5365
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (Aspen) announced today that Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Equity and Success Siria Martinez, Ph.D., is one of 31 leaders nationwide selected for the 2022-23 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.

The program prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. Also selected to participate from California were Catherine E. Webb, vice president of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges; Frank Kobayashi, vice president of instruction at American River College; Omar Murillo, vice president of student services at Mission College; and Tanisha M.J. Maxwell, vice president of student services at Los Medanos College.

“The Aspen Institute’s work to build the next generation of community college presidents helps us bridge the gap in student success, and the California leaders selected bring exceptional talent and expertise. Our congratulations go to Catherine E. Webb, Frank Kobayashi, Omar Murillo, Tanisha M.J. Maxwell, and our very own Assistant Vice Chancellor Siria Martinez. Dr. Martinez is committed to advancing equity and student success throughout our 116-college system, and we are honored she has been selected for this prestigious program,” said Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, Ph.D. “Her expertise is key in helping to further the Vision for Success and designing ecosystems of belonging for California’s 1.8 million students.”

Siria S. Martinez, Ph.D Martinez leads the Chancellor’s Office Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI) in deploying professional development and technical assistance aimed at advancing equity and success strategies.

Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office in 2020, Martinez served as dean of student success and institutional effectiveness and interim dean of student services at Woodland Community College. She also served as assistant director in the Office of Admissions and associate director of academic affairs in the computer science department at the University of Southern California; the graduate student affairs manager for U.C. Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering; the Title V/Hispanic Serving Institution Project Supervisor at Palomar College; and the director of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program at U.C. Davis.

Martinez holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication from U.C. Davis; a master’s degree in education, postsecondary administration and student affairs from University of Southern California; and a Ph.D. in higher education from Claremont Graduate University.

The Rising Presidents Fellows, selected through a competitive process, will work closely with highly accomplished community college presidents, Aspen leaders, and Stanford University faculty over ten months to learn from field-leading research, define and assess student success at their colleges, and clarify their visions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.

The incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is 70 percent female, and 54 percent are people of color. The institutions they represent are also diverse, located in 16 states, from small rural colleges to large urban campuses.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.