Board of Trustees introduces new management team

The Cerritos College Board of Trustees has appointed five new members to management positions.

The new members are made up of both incoming faculty as well as faculty who held other positions at Cerritos College.

The new members are as follows:

  • Dr. Mary Anne Gularte (Vice President of Human Resources)
  • Dr. JoAnna Schilling (Vice President of Academic Affairs)
  • Sandy Marks (Dean of Health Occupations)
  • Mark Logan (Director of Purchasing)
  • Dr. Gary Pritchard (Interim Dean of Fine Arts/Communications)

Gularte was previously the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Services as well as Organizational Development at Chabot- Las Positas Community College District.

The transition to Cerritos College has been a fast one according to Gularte.

“I have worked at colleges my entire career, so coming here it was more of a matter of learning who was where and who does what [the different departments and administrators].”

Even though Gularte started in the summer, she said she was excited to see some students come by the Human Resources Office.

“There were a lot of students coming in here for counseling and for financial aid so it was great to see so many students outside my door and I enjoyed that.”

Now that the fall semester has begun, Gularte said the past few weeks have been just as exciting with seeing more students and experiencing more meetings and activities on campus.

Gularte has been setting goals for the Human Resources Office.

One of the goals, according to Gularte, is to structure its office so that it can provide professional expertise and high quality service in an integrated and proactive manner for Cerritos College.

Although Gularte has spent her career working at various colleges, during the past five years, she worked in a district office and wasn’t placed directly on a college campus which caused her to miss being at a college campus.

“I really missed being around students and having the vibrancy that you get when you are on a college campus and getting to be around the people we are here to serve. I really wanted to get back on a campus and being around students again and feeling the rhythms of campus life and activities,” Gularte said.

After having worked at previous colleges, Gularte said she has brought over a lot of experience and knowledge about how colleges operate as well as her experience in developing new procedures and processes.

“It’s very exciting it’s a great place to be, I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Her new position at Cerritos College became effective on June 30.

The second and last Vice President that was named was Schilling, whose position became effective July 1.

Schilling was previously the Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at Rio Hondo College.

Schilling stated that her recent arrival to Cerritos College has been a positive one, and that the campus community has been patient, supportive and welcoming.

According to Schilling, her time since starting at Cerritos College has been spent adjusting.

“I have spent much of my time since July listening, learning, and gathering information. The faculty and staff who have been here at Cerritos [College] are the experts in their respective areas and my first priority is to listen to their ideas, needs, and concerns before decisions are made.”

Even though there are budget cuts happening on campus, Schilling said the Academic Affairs Office is focused on helping students continue with their education.

“We would like to look at scheduling across campus in order to maximize students’ time and curricular needs.

“This means implementing a schedule that looks across programs and divisions to ensure students can get the classes they need to transfer or complete a certificate, and schedule these classes at times that allow a student to take more than one class per day or night, if needed.”

Schilling also added that although scheduling classes for a campus that offers over 3,000 class sections per semester it is an important goal.

Schilling describes her transition from Rio Hondo College to Cerritos College as similar to the link Gularte has with students.

She said that what she has brought over from Rio Hondo College is her passion for helping community college students.

“I think community college students are the hardest working students in higher education and I want to make sure we don’t let you down in providing the best education possible at Cerritos College.”

She also mentioned that there are some things that were implicated at Rio Hondo College that could also work at Cerritos College.

Schilling has also noticed some similarities and differences between Cerritos College and Rio Hondo College.

One similarity that Schilling has seen is a dedicated staff that serves students, as well as even seeing a few familiar faces from Rio Hondo College.

The difference being the programs offered to students.

“Along with the strong liberal arts, business, science, math, and humanities courses, which both colleges offer, I am extremely impressed with the many programs that Rio Hondo does not have such as woodworking, cosmetology, dental assisting, pharmacy technology, and culinary arts,” Schilling said.

Logan, who was appointed as the Director of Purchasing, has also said he has experienced a positive transition to Cerritos College, noticing the aspects of the team he is working with.

“The Purchasing staff [has] all very hard workers and [is] enjoying serving the needs of the college.

“When you have a good team, anything is possible. And I have not just a good team, but a great team. This will make my transition that much more enjoyable and rewarding,” Logan said.

According to Logan he has also put together a transition plan that will add value to Cerritos College and provide a seamless transition.

Logan says one aspect of this plan is to assess the Purchasing Department and then define and prioritize any needs for improvement.

Since working at community colleges prior to coming to Cerritos College, Logan has noticed that his previous work place of Chaffey College is somewhat similar when faced with this hard economic time.

“We all seem to be doing a lot more with a lot less. Cerritos College, like Chaffey College, is in a better financial position than many other community colleges in California.

“I think this is due to the leadership at Cerritos College and the foresight to plan ahead and make hard decisions. Decisions that might not always be popular, but decisions that are needed in order to ensure the financial stability of the college.”

Two other positions were also filled by Sandy Marks and Dr. Gary Pritchard.

Marks was previously a full time worker for Cerritos College since 1995.

She served as the Medical Assisting Department chair, as well as represented faculty on multiple shared governance committees.

Pritchard became Interim Dean of Fine Arts/Communications after Connie Mayfield requested a return to being a faculty member.

He started employment at Cerritos College in 1999 serving as the music department chair and director of the entertainment technology program.

He is also the president of the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees.