April 5, 2022

AHSIE announces Mesa College’s Dr. Paloma Vargas as Council President

By Office of Communications

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Casa Grande, AZ  --- The Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) has announced the election of Dr. Paloma Vargas as AHSIE Council President for the 2022-2025 term. Dr. Vargas’s leadership and expertise will be valuable in achieving AHSIE’s mission of supporting practitioners through sharing best practices, collaboration, engagement, and professional learning.


Dr. Paloma Vargas (she/they/ella) is currently the Dean of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at San Diego Mesa College, a 2-year public Hispanic-Serving (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). In her capacity as Dean, Dr. Vargas works with administration, faculty, and staff to determine best practices in serving a diverse student population. Dr. Vargas received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College (HSIs), and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Medical and Molecular Parasitology from The Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at New York University. Her graduate and post-doctoral work focused on host-pathogen interactions of both parasitic amoeba (E. histolytica) and Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire’s Disease. Dr. Vargas has previously served as a biology faculty member, researcher, HSI Director, Science Coordinator and STEM Advisor at private and public institutions.
Dr. Vargas has extensive experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work. Her focus has been on dismantling policies that negatively affect Black, Latinx, and NativeDr. Vargas American/Indigenous students in higher education. She has served as a facilitator and trainer for faculty in DEI work including work focusing on Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Dr. Vargas is an anti-racist in training and centers culturally relevant pedagogy in her work. Dr. Vargas is an active member of both the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and of the Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institute Educators (AHSIE).


The Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) exists to support the work of the nation’s Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) as they seek to provide quality, relevant educational opportunities to large and growing numbers of underserved populations, particularly Hispanic students. All of the Alliance’s activities directly benefit practitioners and educators at HSIs through measures that involve cooperation, networking, partnerships, information-sharing, technical assistance and collaboration.


About San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college committed to access, success, and equity. We honor those commitments as a diverse community of students, faculty, professional staff, and administrators who collaborate to foster scholarship, leadership, innovation, and excellence in an inclusive learning environment. By promoting student learning and achievement that leads to degrees and certificates, transfer, workforce training, and lifelong learning, we empower our students to reach their educational goals and shape their future.  Among the largest community colleges in California, Mesa College serves 30,000 students per year, 25% of whom are full-time. Mesa offers nearly 200 associate degree and certificate programs and is one of 15 California community colleges offering a four-year baccalaureate degree. Mesa ranks as San Diego’s top transfer institution, is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution and a Military Friendly School, serving more than 3,500 veterans and their families.


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Tags: Professor, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Paloma Vargas, Press Release, Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators