Higher-ed leaders who have been recently appointed or promoted
Maria V. Dela Cruz has been named associate dean of counseling at Santa Ana College (Calif.). In this role, Dela Cruz is responsible for the supervision of assigned staff and oversight of operations in student registration, orientation, educational planning, and followup. With more than 23 years of progressively responsible positions in higher education, Dela Cruz offers a breadth and depth of experience to the position. Dela Cruz earned a B.A. in in broadcasting with a minor in business administration from Pepperdine University, an M.A. in education from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Southern California.
Dusti Sluder has been named dean of Pensacola State College’s Warrington campus. Sluder had worked as a faculty member and served in various administrative positions on the campus. She took over as dean on Sept. 1. A longtime Pensacola resident, she also earned her licensed practical nursing (LPN) and registered nursing (ADN) degrees from Pensacola State. After Pensacola State, Sluder continued her education at the University of South Alabama where she received her bachelor of science in nursing. She earned her master of science in nursing from Walden University, and a doctorate of nursing practice degree from Duquesne University. She worked as a registered nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital and Santa Rosa Medical Center for several years before going back to Pensacola State as an adjunct professor from 2006 to 2008.
Lone Star College-Tomball announced Jackie C. Thomas, Jr., has been named chief strategist for the new LSC-Tomball Office of Strategic Initiatives. Thomas previously served as an assistant dean and oversaw the Center for Organizational and Teaching Excellence. The mission of OSI is to generate, evaluate and implement strategic initiatives that create sustainable long-term improvements for LSC- Tomball. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in 2004 and his master of science degree in higher education from Florida State in 2006. He earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology and individual differences in 2012 from the University of Houston.
Star Rivera-Lacey is serving her first semester as the first vice president of student services at San Diego Continuing Education, supporting and serving a student population of more than 44,000 students annually at six campuses and 200 offsite locations. Rivera-Lacey has more than 20 years of progressive administrative and leadership experience in student services programs. She received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from California State University, San Marcos, and earned a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in multicultural counseling from San Diego State University. She earned a Ph.D. in education from the San Diego State/Claremont Graduate University joint doctoral program.
Florida SouthWestern State has named Jeff Stewart as the college’s provost. He has served as interim provost since February. Stewart’s career spans more than 20 years in higher education. Prior to joining FSW, he served as the associate provost and then the interim vice president for student affairs and enrollment services at Georgia Middle State University. He joined FSW in 2012 as vice president of research, technology and accountability. His responsibilities include collaborating and providing leadership for all academic aspects. He also oversees the office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, IT, libraries, First Year Experience, the Writing and Math center and the registrar’s office.