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.

Hung Dang

Hung D. Dang, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, joined CSU Channel Islands in May 2014. Mr. Dang is a veteran administrator with over two decades of experience leading admissions and enrollment services. As Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Mr. Dang is responsible for leading student recruitment and undergraduate admissions, the registrar’s office, financial aid and scholarships, and systems and data management. Prior to joining CI, Mr. Dang served in leadership roles with the University of Hawaii Manoa, University of Washington Bothell, and University of Washington Tacoma. He holds a Master’s degree in Leadership & Organization from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Washington Seattle.

Dennis Downey

Dennis Downey currently serves as Interim AVP for Academic Programs and Continuous Improvement. His permanent role at CSUCI is Professor in the Sociology Department, having joined the university in 2007. During that time, he has served in a variety of leadership roles – most recently as Chair of Sociology & Anthropology (2014-20) and as Faculty Director of the Center for Community Engagement (2013-18, and 2019-20). In each of those roles, he has worked to build structures that serve students and support faculty. He has also served on the Senate Executive Committee, the University Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee, and as Chair of the CSUCI Institutional Review Board, as well as many other committees and initiatives. Beyond CSUCI, he has been very active in the Pacific Sociological Association, serving as PSA President in 2020. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Human Relations Organizations (2008-2014).

Downey earned his doctorate from University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on politics, social movements, and issues of diversity in contemporary American society. As a committed teacher-scholar, he is very engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and is a practitioner and advocate of community-based research.

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.

Sheila Grant

Dr. Sheila Grant joined CSUCI in May 2019. Prior to her arrival, Dr. Grant served 25 years at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Dr. Grant was extremely active in faculty governance serving numerous years on multiple standing committees of the faculty senate, often as chair, as well as on the Senate Executive Committee. Among her contributions to the university, Dr. Grant has spearheaded the assessment of Campus Climate, during the Fall 2007 (pilot on faculty only), Spring 2011 (faculty & staff only), and Fall 2015 (faculty, staff & students) semesters.

She served three years as Special Assistant to the Dean and Administrative Fellow in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSUN (from 2017-2019). She first joined CSUN as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology in 1994. Her contributions to teaching excellence earned the prestigious Outstanding Faculty of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Award in 2014 and the Jeanette Mann Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equity and Diversity within the University Community, from the Presidential Advisory Board on Equity and Diversity in 2002. Dr. Grant served as an advisor to the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs and provided recommendations on initiatives and changes to improve quality and services regarding all faculty and ASE related areas. Moreover, she supported the oversight of policies and procedures related to retention, tenure, and promotion and advised colleges and departments on "order of assignment" and Lecturer entitlement

Dr. Grant earned her B.A. (with summa cum laude honors) in Psychology in 1987, as well as her M.A. in Community-Clinical Psychology in 1989 from CSUN. She then went on to earn her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Her research focuses on academic achievement, racial/ethnic identity development, persons with disabilities, personality, and cross-cultural counseling. She was awarded, as co-PI, a training grant for high school students (COR-HS) from the National Institutes of Mental Health.

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.

Jill Leafstedt

Jill Leafstedt currently serves as the Associate Vice Provost for Innovation & Faculty Development at CSU Channel Islands. In this role, she strives to help faculty explore and develop innovative methods of improving student learning and draws on her background and experiences as an educator. Jill joined the CSUCI community in 2002 as a faculty member in the School of Education, helping to found the special education program. She maintains a passion for student learning and the applied role of innovative technology and digital tools in learning. Jill currently oversees Faculty Development, Academic Technology, openCI, and our online/blended teaching preparation programs.

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.

Jennifer Perry

Jennifer Perry was appointed in 2019 to serve as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Academic Programs and Planning. Prior to arriving at CSU Channel Islands in 2012 she was a tenured faculty member at Pomona College. Her university service has been broad, touching many facets of academic programs, such as serving as a program chair at both institutions. She holds an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis on archaeology. As an archaeologist working in academic and cultural resource management settings, she brings to the position experience in project management, regulatory compliance, and leadership.

At her academic core is a commitment to experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, indigenous California, as well as a profound love of the Channel Islands and their cultural history. Beginning when she was an undergraduate she has been engaged with projects on the islands that have resulted in numerous publications and presentations, many of which have involved students. At Pomona College she was a core member of the interdisciplinary Environmental Analysis Program and was involved with the facilitation of other experiential learning opportunities such as the creation of the Outdoor Education Center. She has maintained a long-standing partnership with Channel Islands National Park for educational, research, and compliance purposes. As one important facet of this relationship, at CI she has been engaged with the development and support of the Santa Rosa Island Research Station.

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.

W. Charles Weis

Dr. Charles Weis is an associate professor of educational leadership in the School of Education at CSU Channel Islands and has served as coordinator of the education leadership programs and co-director of the CODEL online doctorate program. He is an elected Board member in the Hueneme Elementary School District. Dr. Weis also serves as an occasional governance facilitator for the California School Boards Association, educating school board members statewide.

Chuck has over 48 years of experience in P-12 education serving as a school psychologist, Elementary and Secondary Principal, Director of Special Education, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Fillmore Unified School District, Ventura County Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, with 19 years as Ventura County and Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. Chuck also serves on the Ventura County Committee on School District Organization and served as Vice-President of the Ventura County School Boards Association. He recently served as part-time interim superintendent of the Fillmore Unified School District.

Dr. Weis’ statewide leadership includes serving on the CSBA Superintendents Council, President of the Association of California School Administrators, and President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. In addition, Chuck was appointed by several Governors and Superintendents of Public Instruction to lead or serve on multiple statewide educational reform efforts over his career

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