SBCC calls on new Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs | School zone
Posted on June 18, 2022
Maria L. Villagomez
The Santa Barbara Community College District Board of Trustees announced on June 16 that María L. Villagómez would be the new vice president of academic affairs and Paloma Arnold the new vice president of student affairs at the SBCC.
“As we transition from an Executive Vice President structure to two Vice Presidents – one for Academic Affairs and the other for Student Affairs – we are thrilled that María, a recognized leader and innovator with more than 28 years of leadership experience, and Paloma, who has worked at CCSC for over 20 years and has led various student services over the years, will work closely together to better serve our students,” said Superintendent /Acting President Kindred Murillo.
Villagómez most recently served as Senior Dean of Library, Language Arts, Social Sciences, and Distance Education at Napa Valley College. She also taught Spanish language and literature classes at Napa Valley College for approximately 19 years, for which she won the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015.
As a faculty member, she served as president, first vice president and grievance officer of the Faculty Association, and secretary and first vice president of the Academic Senate.
For nearly six years, Villagómez served as academic dean in the California community college system. In 2017, she completed the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA) Great Deans Program and the Enrollment Management Academy hosted by Claremont University in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Office.
Both are prestigious programs designed for California community college administrators. Last year, she was named Administrative Employee of the Year by her colleagues in Napa Valley. She was also part of the first cohort to complete ALIVE Deans Academy, organized by California Community College Directors of Education (CCCCIO), which prepares deans of color for CIO roles.
“I am thrilled and honored to join Santa Barbara City College, and look forward to continuing SBCC’s tradition of excellence,” said Villagómez. “I am passionate about student success and ensuring that administrative decisions serve them fairly, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Villagómez holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Spanish linguistics and literature, as well as a second master’s degree in curriculum, teaching and learning with a specialization in instructional leadership. Her doctorate in education in instructional leadership is expected to be completed this year.
Arnold worked in student services at SBCC for approximately 20 years, most recently as Dean of Student Affairs, providing oversight to various student services departments and programs, including EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Guardian Scholars, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, School Counseling, University Transfer Center, Transfer Success Program, Articulation, Foster Care and Foster Care Education, Enrollment and Retention Services, Dual Enrollment, and Federal Student Program work.
In 2019, Arnold was recognized as Outstanding Director of the Year by the SBCC Advancing Leadership Association.
“I feel extremely honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as Vice President of Student Affairs at Santa Barbara City College,” Arnold said. “For the past 21 years, I have had the privilege of being part of the Student Services team at SBCC and I have a deep commitment, loyalty and love for our college and the students we serve. “
Arnold is a third-generation native of Santa Barbara and an alumnus of Santa Barbara High School. In the greater Santa Barbara community, she serves on the Board of Trustees of Riviera Ridge School (formerly Marymount School of Santa Barbara), the CalSOAP Board of Trustees, the Channel Youth and Family Services Board Islands YMCA and Cottage Hospital Community Health Advisory Committee.
She previously served on the Santa Barbara High School MAD Academy Board of Trustees. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Antioch, Santa Barbara, and a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA.
Villagómez and Arnold are scheduled to begin serving in their new roles on July 1.