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EMCC Names New Vice President of Academic Affairs

Image of Dr. Kimberley Harrell, Incoming VPAA at EMCC

Dr. Kimberley Harrell steps into role in July

Following a comprehensive nationwide search, Dr. Kimberley Harrell has been named the new Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC). Dr. Harrell has more than seven years of administrative experience and is currently serving as the Associate Vice President of Instruction at Cosumnes River College, one of four colleges in the Los Rios Community College District.

“Although I made the final decision, our entire campus was involved with hiring Dr. Harrell,” said Dr. Rey Rivera, EMCC President. “Starting with a diverse hiring committee, to whom I am immensely grateful for their time and discernment. The process ended with public forums and surveys in which the entire community was invited to participate. I am deeply appreciative of our campus community’s robust and passionate engagement, as they provided important, enlightening, and timely feedback. I am very excited about the vast array of skills and experiences Dr. Harrell brings to the table and how her disposition and approach will complement the senior leadership team and the entire campus.”

Dr. Harrell will begin her tenure at EMCC in July. She brings 27 years of experience to the position, with six years as an adjunct faculty member and 13 years as a full-time faculty member, including leadership roles as department chair, college Academic Senate President, and elected member of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. Dr. Harrell is committed to equitable student access to and persistence in higher education programs that promote economic mobility into living-wage careers. She is a proponent of interdisciplinary servant learning in which students can solve real-world problems. 

“I am drawn to EMCC by the demonstrated innovation in education where learning transcends space, place, and time,” Dr. Harrell said. “I am excited to see servant learning opportunities embedded in courses, which allows students to bring their lived experiences to their education and shift from being students to community leaders and creative problem solvers. I am so honored and humbled to be part of the EMCC team!”

Dr. Harrell has garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding during her time in administration to support interdisciplinary servant learning projects. Her favorite team project was developing a workforce development site where students took the lead in designing and building sustainable solar tiny homes for those in need.

Dr. Harrell holds a Doctoral Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Health and Behavioral Medicine from Northcentral University in Arizona. She and her husband of 33 years, Vince, have two adult children, Courtney and Alec.

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