What Happens to a Dream Deferred
Every student who walks through our colleges' doors has a dream. Their dreams may be as simple as having a better life, or as specific as being an aeronautical engineer. As every new student becomes a data point in our system, so often their dreams become that too. While we celebrate positive momentum around matriculation and completion, we seldom look to see who we lost and who we left behind. We seldom see the dreams deferred. Today's session will shed some light on whose dreams are being deferred in order to spark difficult conversations around how we can truly support every student on their academic path to success.
Dr. Steven R. Gonzales
Effective Jan. 25, 2020, Dr. Steven R. Gonzales assumed the role of Interim Chancellor for the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) – one of the largest community college systems in the nation, serving nearly 200,000 students with the support of 10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges. He has nearly 25 years of instructional and administrative experience in higher education.
Dr. Gonzales has been serving as the eighth president of GateWay Community College, one of 10 MCCCD community colleges that serves more than 10,000 annually across four locations and one extended site. The college employs more than 400 faculty and staff members and is the only college in the district to boast a Children’s Learning Center, an Early College High School, more than 150 post-secondary and higher education options, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation.
Prior to GateWay, he served as the acting associate vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer, for the Pinal County Community College District that operates as Central Arizona College, a multi-campus college serving more than 15,000 students, employing 350 faculty and staff, and annually contracts with an estimated 600 adjunct faculty. At CAC, he also served as dean of communications, math, and learning support, associate dean of academic services, and math professor during his 15-year period with the college.
Most recently, he has published an article in the New Directions for Community Colleges journal and has been invited to join the Expanding Community College Apprenticeship initiative, a task force through the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
Additional past and present professional memberships, committees and affiliations include the AACC Board of Directors, AACC Executive Board, AACC Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Engagement; National Community College Hispanic Council Executive Board Member; Community College Survey of Student Engagement Board of Directors, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development; AZ Post-Secondary Education Board of Commissioners.
His community involvement includes previously or currently serving on the Terro’s Health Board of Directors, Phoenix Forward Healthcare Leadership Council, City of Phoenix Workforce Development Board of Directors, Degree Phoenix Advisory Committee, Phoenix Community Alliance-Education Advisory Committee as well as Health and Bioscience, AZ Town Hall, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s Transit Oriented Development Council, Van Buren Civic Association, Mountain Park Health Centers’ Stakeholders’ Committee, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Coolidge Rotary, and the Pinal County Town Hall Executive Planning Committee and the Resolution Copper Education Advisory Committee.
He is an adjunct faculty member for Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College graduate program and the Roueche Graduate Center’s Community College Leadership Program, Kansas State University doctoral program. Additional scholarly work includes articles in the New Directions for Community Colleges journal and a chapter in Generation X Presidents Leading Community Colleges: New Challenges, New Leaders.
Dr. Gonzales earned his doctorate in educational administration in the top-ranked Community College Leadership Program from the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral research focused primarily on the improvement of developmental education. He was awarded a University Preemptive Fellowship, as well as the John and Suanne Roueche Fellowship. He holds a master of arts in teaching mathematics and Bachelor of Science in secondary education – mathematics from Northern Arizona University.
Dr. Felicia Ganther
Felicia Lorraine Ganther hails from Los Angeles, California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Norfolk State University in Virginia. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois and a Ph. D. in Community Resources and Development from Arizona State University. Felicia has over 25 years of work experience in Student Affairs, College Auxiliary Services, and College Retention Services. Felicia has previously served in various capacities at both the university and community college levels; currently serving as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for the Maricopa County Community College District. In addition to her work in Student Affairs, Felicia is an adjunct instructor for Speech, Interpersonal/ Group communication, and Higher Educational law courses.
Felicia has extensive experience in Student Life, Crisis Management, Retention initiatives, Strategic Planning, Academic Quality Improvement and first-year student programs. Crafting meaningful and intentional programs in her current role has resulted in the development of Minority Male and Female programs, Foster Youth Outreach, expansion of Early College, Basic Needs/Food Insecurity Support, and Veteran Services. All of these programs were developed to support the recruitment and retention of African American, Latino, Native, and underserved students in the District. Her work has been highlighted by national and local organizations for developing and scaling best practices.