Mitch Avila

Dr. Mitch Avila joined CSUCI in January 2021 as Provost with over twenty-five years’ experience in the CSU system at four separate campuses. In prior roles he has served as Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at California State University Dominguez Hills, one of the most ethnically diverse universities on the West Coast. Avila oversaw 18 academic programs and has implemented budget models to increase support for faculty research and grow smaller programs, notably ethnic studies and Women’s Studies. As Dean, he established the Center for Sacred Music of the African Diaspora with $1.6M endowment, facilitated creation of College bylaws, developed College-level policy promoting diversity and inclusive hiring practices, advanced accreditation and reaccreditation in Music, Theatre, and Journalism, and built external partnerships with music organizations and city governments. He served on the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences Board of Directors, where he promoted advocacy efforts for federal funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences. Previously as Associate Dean and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Cal State Fullerton, Avila directed professional development for adjuncts, expanded study abroad programs, and developed innovative new degrees, including Vietnamese Studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara in 1993 and researches theories of human rights and global justice, along with the aesthetics of film and photography.

Susan Andrzejewski

Dr. Susan Andrzejewski was appointed Interim Dean of the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics in July 2018. Previously, she served as the Chair of the Business Program and Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship & Small Business Institute (ESBI) at CSU Channel Islands. As Executive Director of the ESBI, Dr. Andrzejewski expanded the Institute to support cross-disciplinary entrepreneurial initiatives across campus. Additionally, Dr. Andrzejewski has served on numerous university committees including the University Strategic Planning Committee, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), and the CSU Channel Islands Foundation Board.

Prior to joining CSU Channel Islands, Dr. Andrzejewski was an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Business, Organizations, and Society Department at Franklin & Marshall College. Dr. Andrzejewski received her doctorate in Social Psychology from Northeastern University in 2009 and completed pre-doctoral training in the Marketing Departments at Babson College and Northeastern University. Dr. Andrzejewski also holds a M.S. in Psychology from Northeastern University and a B.S. in Psychology from Bethany College.

William DeGraffenreid

Dr. William DeGraffenreid has 20 years at California State University, Sacramento where he began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Physics in 2002. In his time at Sacramento State, he won the Outstanding Teaching, Outstanding University Service, and Outstanding Community Service awards in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He served in a variety of leadership roles including: Department Chair (Physics and Astronomy, 2011-2018), Interim AVP for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (2017-2018), Special Assistant to the President (2018-2019), and Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Success (2019-2022). As Interim Vice Provost he helped create interim policies to address the impact of COVID, oversaw the hiring and onboarding of over 100 tenure-track faculty, and helped develop programs to help faculty pivot to online delivery of courses.

Dr. DeGraffenreid has been involved in the education programs of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) since his undergraduate days when he was a member of the Society of Physics Students and inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honor Society. In addition to serving at the chapter advisor at Sac State, he serviced on the National Council of SPS/Sigma Pi Sigma (2003-2009) and as President of Sigma Pi Sigma (2012-2014). He also served as Chair of the Planning Committee for the 2016 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Physics Congress, which remains the largest gathering ever of undergraduate physics majors in the world.

He is a proud alum of the CSU system, graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a BS in physics in 1995. His PhD comes from the University of Maryland (Chemical Physics, 2000). Prior to joining Sacramento State, he spent two years as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Outside of his academic and occupational pursuits, he coaches youth soccer, enjoys time on his bike, is a hack gardener and cook, and enjoys homebrewing and home winemaking.

Kirk England

Kirk England joined CSUCI in March 2018 as the AVP and Chief Academic Budget Officer for the Division of Academic Affairs. Mr. England is an experienced senior administrator with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Mr. England has served as a Senior Budget and Policy Analyst and most recently as the Assistant Director of the Budget Office at Western Washington University. He is a skilled professional in matters concerning financial analysis, planning and budget development, research, policy analysis, and data analysis.

Veronica Guerrero

Dr. Guerrero has over 20 years of experience in higher education program management and was most recently the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies within the School of Management (SoM), and a full-time, tenured Professor of Management and Marketing at California Lutheran University. As Associate Dean (AD), she has coordinated SoM undergraduate student participation in the Festival of Scholars (a week-long, campus-wide series of events to highlight the academic achievements and research endeavors of students across all programs at the University) and was responsible for the academic scheduling of all undergraduate team taught, fully online, hybrid, and/or face-to-face classes in the school, including faculty participation in the first-year seminar courses. Dr. Guerrero taught in CLU’s Executive MBA in Austria and was elected by the full faculty to serve a term as Faculty Executive Committee Chair for two years. In 2017, she was awarded the California Lutheran University School of Management Advisory Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in the area of Service. Dr. Guerrero chaired the Task Force that recently change university policies for the RTP process at the request of the Faculty Senate leadership. She was asked to serve on the HSI task force and played an active role in university-wide initiatives to recruit, hire and retain students, faculty and staff that mirror the demographics of the state of California. She was subsequently invited by the University President to serve on the Inclusion implementation committee for the University’s Strategic Plan as well as a past member of the Strategic Plan Leadership Team.

Dr. Guerrero served at Cal Lutheran for over 15 years and has held in a variety of roles on various faculty and university committees. Her research interests include women and leadership, digital storytelling and entrepreneurial education. Dr. Guerrero has over 20 years of Marketing Communications experience in the technology, non-profit and education industries. She has developed and implemented marketing programs and campaigns in support of strategic partnerships between both small and large organizations.

Dr. Guerrero attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She earned her MBA from San Jose State University while working in the Silicon Valley. She went on to attend Pepperdine University where she earned her doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Veronica was born in Oxnard, and raised in Ventura County. She is married and has two sons. Veronica enjoys spending her free time with friends and family and being outdoors exploring in the Eastern Sierras.

Michelle Hasendonckx

An education equity professional with 12 years of federal grant administration experience, Michelle has most recently served as the Director of Student Academic Success and Equity Initiatives (SASEI) in the Division of Academic Affairs. Within SASEI, she has held roles ranging from Activity Manager to Project Director on various Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution grant projects and has managed various CI peer mentor and faculty-led initiatives. Michelle’s career has been centered on working to better serve underrepresented, minoritized student populations. A first-generation college student herself, Michelle is committed to advancing the education and personal success of all students and recognizes the wealth of social and cultural capital they bring to the campus community. During her tenure at CSUCI, Michelle has also taught in Chicana/o Studies and University Experience programs, sat on the executive board of the Chicana/o Latina/o Faculty & Staff Association, and served on many institutional committees advancing CSUCI’s equity agenda. Michelle holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from CSU Channel Islands and Fresno State University, an M.A. in Education from Loyola Marymount University, and a B.A. from The Evergreen State College.

Vandana Kohli

Dr. Vandana Kohli was appointed as the Dean of Arts & Sciences at CSUCI in July 2018. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, an MA in Economics from Panjab University in India, and she earned her PhD in Demography from Michigan State University in 1990. Since receiving her PhD, Dr. Kohli has held leadership roles at two separate CSU campuses, CSU Los Angeles and CSU Bakersfield, and has served as a Department Chair, Chair of the Faculty and Academic Senate, Director of the Graduate Student Center, and Graduate Program Coordinator. Since 2014, Dr. Kohli has served at CSU Bakersfield as the Associate Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.

Dr. Kohli has demonstrated her commitment to access and community commitment both as a faculty member and as an administrator. She has engaged in extensive service to the local community and has
conducted many applied development projects including teenage pregnancy prevention, childhood immunization and valley fever risk assessment, and public transportation needs evaluation. Additionally, Dr. Kohli has developed professional networks with Hispanic Serving Institutions in Kern County as well as with the K -12 educational community.

At CSUB, she was part of a team involved with aligning the General Education Program with the institution’s mission of promoting deeper and more meaningful learning outcomes for underrepresented
students. This work led to the development of a new GE model, AIMS (Achieving Integration and Mastering Skills) that incorporates high impact practices, reinforces basic skills, promotes the integration of knowledge, and incorporates formal assessment to improve teaching effectiveness. Dr. Kohli also served as co-Principal Investigator on a successful grant for $2.6 million to improve undergraduate educational outcomes, and she has also obtained an additional $5.6 million in grants and contracts over the course of her career. She has also been engaged in the development of 4+1 programs that allow students to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree in five years, and she worked with Engineering Sciences faculty to develop a self-support, post-baccalaureate certificate in Petroleum Engineering.

Jessica Lavariega Monforti

Dr. Lavariega Monforti holds a PhD and MA in Political Science from The Ohio State University and a BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Florida State University. With more than two decades of experience in higher education, Dr. Lavariega Monforti is an award-winning teacher, leader, and scholar, having received the Midwest Political Science Association Latino Caucus Distinguished Career Award, UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Award for Exemplary Mentoring of Latino/a Undergraduate Students in Political Science, various best research paper awards from major political science associations, as well as institutional leadership awards. She is the founder and co-organizer of the biennial, national Women of Color in Political Science Workshop and Past-President of the Western Political Science Association. She was previously Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at California Lutheran University and served as Chair of the Department of Political Science at Pace University NYC, and Associate and Assistant Dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as Director for the Center for Survey Research, at the University of Texas - Pan American (now called UTRGV). Her accomplishments include nearly $9M in grant and award funding, 4 books and over 50 articles and book chapters, and contributions to several news articles and broadcasts including the New York Times, La Opinión, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She currently serves as the Vice President of kidSTREAM Children’s Museum in Camarillo, CA. She is a proud member of Alpha Psi Lambda Fraternity, Inc., the first co-ed Hispanic fraternity in the US and was a first-generation, pell-eligible undergraduate student. She is motivated by the belief that education can empower students and help them and our communities achieve their potential.

Francelina "Lina" Neto

Dr. Neto has a Ph.D. from the University of London and started her academic career in Europe, where she taught a wide range of areas bridging STEM subjects, including applied mathematics, computer science and engineering. She started her career in 3D modeling, animation and visualization with applications to engineering and sciences in European universities and industry. In the US, she worked briefly at JPL, and joined Cal Poly Pomona as an Associate Professor in 1998 where she obtained early promotion to Full Professor and tenure in 2002. She started her administrative career as Associate Chair, then Department Chair, and Director of Semester Conversion in 2014. As Director of Semester Conversion and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Neto was responsible for ensuring that all curriculum developed for the semester calendar followed all approval processes, policies, executive orders, memorandums and accreditation requirements, keeping the campus work (faculty and staff) on schedule for the 2018 transition. She served as a link between the different campus units, as well as the Senate and to the Chancellor’s Office, as needed. In 2018, she became the Founding Dean of the School of Engineering at Cal Maritime. She has over 30 years of faculty and progressive administrative experience, 20 years at Cal Poly Pomona and 4 years as Dean.

Dr. Neto started her academic career in European research institutions, in automation, and visualization from airborne and space born sensors. She worked in NASA’s MISR and AirMISR projects, and while at Pomona, she researched the impact of virtual spatial analysis in student learning of engineering and STEM curricula. Dr. Neto was the recipient of the Bentley “Be Inspired” Educator of the Year award, in London, in 2013. Dr. Neto served in CPP’s Academic Senate for many years in several capacities and was also a CSU Faculty Senator. She was involved in several CSU wide endeavors, including IT and Engineering Curriculum Transfer task forces. As Founding Dean of Engineering at Cal Maritime, she developed policies and procedures to ensure the organization effectiveness and academic entity of the new School, and strengthen the connections to the community, industry, alumni and sponsors. Dr. Neto co-lead Cal Maritime’s plans for curriculum delivery during COVID. She is an advocate for California engineering and STEAM education and policy in annual visits to Congress.

Dr. Neto has extensive training and experience in strategic planning, ABET accreditation and DEI matters regarding faculty, students and staff. She holds three Higher-Ed Leadership Program certificates, one being Harvard’s Management Development Program. Dr. Neto’s experience extends from Cal Poly Pomona as well as a Dean at Cal Maritime and as a consultant for other campus, in the CSU and other universities.

Jill Leafstedt

Dr. Jill Leafstedt is the Dean of Extended University and Digital Learning and Senior International Officer at CSUCI. Dr. Leafstedt received a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in 1992 followed by a doctorate in Disability and Risk studies with an emphasis in Cognitive Science in 2002. Jill was a bilingual fellow for the Linguistic Minority Research Institute throughout her graduate studies. Her research and publications focused on reading development for bilingual learners and the intersection of learning and technology. As faculty member in the early days of CSUCI Jill was instrumental in developing credential and masters programs in Education. In 2011 Dr. Leafstedt moved her focus to how technology can be used to increase student engagement and increase access to higher education. This work helped transform CSUCI’s academic technology infrastructure and develop a robust system for supporting faculty in teaching and learning. The development of the Teaching & Learning Innovations unit and the Faculty Innovations in Teaching studio is a result of this work. This team has been awarded a Center of Excellence award from the New Media Consortium and a prestigious NASPA Virtual Innovations Award. Jill’s current work as Dean is focused on developing high quality online learning experiences, increasing access to higher education for adult learners, and innovative approaches to workforce development.

Scott Perez

Scott Perez has over 25 years of experience in research administration. In March 2017 Scott joined the Channel Islands campus where he currently serve as Director of Research and Sponsored Programs. His role as Director is to provide leadership and administrative support in the initiation and conduct of all university sponsored project activities. The office provides both pre- and post-award support to campus. Prior to his arrival at CSUCI, Scott worked in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at CSU, Northridge from 1992 – 2017, serving as Director 2002 – 2017. During his tenure at CSUN, the award volume increased from $8 million to over $30 million annually.

Elizabeth Reilly

Dr. Elizabeth C. Orozco Reilly was appointed Dean of the School of Education in June of 2022. Previously, she was the Chair and Professor of Educational Leadership and Administration in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, California. She is a recognized international scholar investigating women in educational leadership, and with graduate students and fellow scholars, she presents and researches globally. She works with leaders of multinationals, government, non-governmental organizations, & education on five continents. Dr. Reilly has conducted investigations in numerous countries including Afghanistan, China, Costa Rica, India, Ireland, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, and Singapore with the goal of sharing stories of those that should be told. She is the recipient of many awards including American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) LSJ Bridge People Award and International Studies Special Group “Outstanding Paper Award.” In April 2022, AERA also honored her with it “Lifetime Achievement Award” for her international scholarship and service. While at LMU, Loyola se was honored as one of their notable professors.

Dr. Reilly earned her doctoral degree in organization and leadership from University of San Francisco and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching from University of the Pacific (UOP) in Stockton, CA. She holds a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing certification as an English-Language Arts teacher through UOP and an Administrative Services Credential through California State University, East Bay. Prior to her work in higher education, Dr. Reilly served as a teacher and school administrator in California public schools and school districts. She has extensive higher education teaching and leadership experience in California independent and public universities, including California State University, East Bay, San Francisco State University, and University of California, Berkeley.

Alicia Virtue

Dr. Alicia Virtue is the Dean of the Library and Writing and Multiliteracy Center (WMC). Prior to joining CSUCI, she most recently served as Senior Dean of Learning Resources and Educational Technology and as a tenured faculty member at Santa Rosa Junior College. Over the course of her professional career Alicia has held positions in the private sector, defense sector and U.S. Foreign Service, with focus on library administration and management of information systems. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University. Alicia’s current research interests are in the areas of equity access to information and data privacy protection in the digital age. She has published works on innovative applications of educational technology for use in information discovery and learning environments.

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