On Tuesday, June 14, the NOCCCD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Gilbert Contreras, Jr. to serve Fullerton College as the vice president of student services. He joins Fullerton College after serving as the dean of student services at Cerritos College.
Prior to Cerritos College, Contreras worked at Cypress College as the manager for Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and the special projects director of the Learning Resource Center.
“Dr. Contreras has demonstrated outstanding leadership in participatory governance, community partnerships and developing data-driven programs that emphasize student success and student equity,” said Fullerton College President Greg Schulz. “I am pleased to have him join our leadership team at Fullerton College.”
Under the direction of the college president, the vice president of student services is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the operations and activities of the college’s student services programs. The position oversees Admissions and Records, Counseling, outreach, articulation, matriculation, EOPS, Disability Support Services, Veterans Resource Center, Career & Life Planning Center, Cadena/Transfer Center, Student Health Services, Student Activities, International Students, Financial Aid, CalWORKs, student conduct/discipline, and athletic program eligibility, among others.
Contreras replaces Dr. Savannah Jones, who served as the interim president of student services for over a year, following the retirement and passing of Dr. Toni DuBois-Walker.
“Dr. Jones has left a wonderful mark on Fullerton College,” Schulz said. “I want to thank her for her leadership and service to the college and for the positive impact she’s had on our students, faculty and staff.”
Contreras will begin July 5. He brings extensive leadership experience in the community college system fostering collaboration between instruction and student services, implementing student life initiatives, and advancing diversity objectives. He continues to research and present about community college Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) as part of the solution to California’s economic future.
“I am honored to serve Fullerton College as the vice president of student services,” Contreras said. “I look forward to working alongside the talented team of faculty members, educational leaders, classified staff and students. Thank you for the warm welcome to the Hornet family and for the rich tradition of transforming lives in the communities we serve.”
Contreras earned a Ph.D. in Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an emphasis in Housing, Community, and Economic Development. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in City Planning.
Prior to working in the community college system, Contreras applied his expertise in housing, community, and economic development in various capacities for municipal, non-profit, and research stakeholders.
Contreras enjoys community activities with his wife, Kathleen, three children, and German Shepherd dog. He serves as an Executive Board member for the Lupe Contreras Scholarship Fund raising awareness about ovarian cancer and providing scholarships for civically-engaged women pursuing higher education.