New Hires at San Diego Community College Come Ready with Ideas; Reflect Diversity of Students

African American Hires are:

With the recent hire of six new campus leaders, managers and administrators, San Diego Mesa College has received its largest infusion of diverse, new talent in many years. The new hires will lead academic and campus community initiatives, bring new leadership to the college’s Student Services division, offer quantitative research to drive enrollment management, and expand the diversity of the management team at San Diego’s largest community college. “The campus will benefit from having both outside hires and experienced college administrators in new posts,” said Dr. Rita M. Cepeda, President of San Diego Mesa College.

They include:

Damon A. Bell, who recently served as Mesa College’s Interim Dean of Student Affairs, continues his tenure at Mesa College as Acting Vice President of Student Services. Bell earned his B.A. in Philosophy from UCSD, and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Georgia. He is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership at the Claremont Graduate University.

Joi Lin Blake, who joins Mesa College as the new Dean of Student Development and Matriculation. Blake earned a B.A. in Health Education with an emphasis in Program Development from San Francisco State University, and an M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation from San Diego State University. She most recently served at Southwestern Community College, where had been the Interim Staff Development Coordinator, and the Academic Senate President. Prior appointments at Southwestern College include Interim Dean of Instructional Support, responsible for Americorps, Service Learning and ROP programs. At the statewide level, she served on the California Community College Faculty Senate.

Ting-Pi Joyce Carrigan has been named interim dean for the School of Humanities and Languages. She fills in for Dean Kit Foster, who is currently serving as the Interim Vice President of Instruction at Miramar College. Carrigan holds a B.A. degree in Spanish from the University of California San Diego and an M.A., also in Spanish, from the University of California Los Angeles, with her program of concentration being the Chinese/Mandarin language. During the 2005-06 academic year, Ms. Carrigan served as Interim Associate Dean, Humanities and Languages. She has been a faculty member at Mesa College since 1999, teaching all levels of Spanish.

Adela Jacobson has been named Mesa College’s Dean of Student Affairs. Jacobson holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Counselor Education, both from San Diego State University. Jacobson has held several positions at Mesa College including Director, EOPS and Student Tutorial and Academic Resources, a position she has held since 1992. Jacobsen has also served in leadership positions at San Diego State University and as a faculty member at SDSU, Palomar College, Miramar College and Grossmont College.. A Latina, Jacobson has been a successful advocate for low income, first generation and underrepresented students who experience numerous barriers that hinder academic progress and achievement. Jacobson lives in the Rolando area of San Diego.

Susan Mun has been named as San Diego Mesa College’s first Campus-Based Researcher. Mun is pursuing her doctorate in the Claremont Graduate University and SDSU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education. Since September 2001, she had been working for San Diego State University, College of Education program and, more recently, the Department of Student Testing, Assessment and Research. Mun lives in Mission Valley.

Patrick Pidgeon has come out of retirement to accept the appointment of Acting Vice President of Student Services, where he will be in charge of Admissions, EOPS/STAR, and Athletics. Pidgeon is a familiar face at Mesa, where he had served in many important roles and posts since 1970. He was an extremely popular professor of philosophy, and was voted Professor of the Year four times. Pidgeon is a resident of Chula Vista

“Our new administrators and campus researcher will certainly add to the diversity of Mesa College,” said Dr. Cepeda, but she emphasized, "these individuals also bring to Mesa impeccable credentials and the highest levels of expertise in their respective fields.”

Mesa College has a student population of 22,000. The ethnic student population consistently exceeds that of the college’s service area. The breakdown is as follows: White 55%, Asians 13%, Latino 12 percent, Filipino six percent, African Americans six percent, and other eight percent