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Four Finalists In Running For MJC President’s Post
Dr. Beatriz Espinoza
Dr. Phillip King
Dr. Rafe Trickey, Jr.
Christopher Breitmeyer

The search for a full-time president at Modesto Junior College has narrowed to four finalists, with selection possible in June.

The finalists are: Mr. Christopher Breitmeyer, President at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon, the past seven years; Dr. Beatriz Espinoza, Vice President of Julibea Small Business Consulting, Inc. in Texas and formerly president of Coastal Bend Community College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Also, Dr. Phillip King, Vice President for Student Learning, Equity and Success at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington; and Dr. Rafe Edward Trickey, Jr., President and CEO of the North San Diego County Promise, whose vision is for youth and adults to reach their fullest potential in college, career and life.

The finalists were selected by a 13-person committee composed of MJC administrators, faculty, staff and community members working in conjunction with Cizek Associates, a professional search firm based in Phoenix, specializing in executive recruitments.

The next president will succeed Interim President Chad Redwing, a longtime MJC instructor who took over in February and announced then he would not be a candidate for the full-time position. Redwing served as Chair of the search committee.

Christopher Breitmeyer began his career as a high school biology teacher in Illinois, then moved to Arizona, where he conducted field research in ecological genetics and worked with underserved Native Americans while a graduate student at Arizona State University. He became a biology instructor at Yavapai Community College in Clarkdale, Arizona, where he was active in efforts to involve the community with the college, especially working to promote STEAM to K-12 students and engage in outreach to the Hispanic population in the district. Breitmeyer became Dean of Math, Science & Health at Saint Charles Community College in Cottleville, Missouri, and later served as Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs there. As President at Clatsop Community College, he has been involved in many college and statewide efforts aimed at cultivating student success, improving workforce readiness and integrating technology into learning.

Dr. Beatriz Espinoza has more than 30 years of experience in higher education as an instructor, researcher, counselor, director, dean, vice president, vice chancellor and president/CEO across six states. Her college journey began as a first-generation college student with the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Scholarship. Espinoza completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at UT-Pan American, her master’s and doctor’s degrees in rehabilitation psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a post-doctorate in community college leadership at the University of Texas-Austin and served as a Kellogg Fellow with the Minority Serving Institutions higher education leadership program. She credits her success to the encouragement of family, the guidance and support of college professors and support staff, and the mentorship of supervisors and colleagues in higher education. In return, she has made a lifelong commitment to ensure that community students receive the benefits of attaining a college degree and having an exceptional higher education experience.

Dr. Phillip King has a 30-year history in community colleges in classified, administrative, teaching and service positions. His past roles have included administrative roles as vice president in both instruction and student services, dean of instruction and student services, and various director roles in enrollment and student services. He has worked in California, Washington and Oregon, and has experience in university positions in Florida and Washington, D.C. King has led major initiatives related to strategic enrollment management, guided pathways redesign, accreditation, developmental education redesign, governance and college organization, and strategic leadership and communication. His focus in work is about bringing staff and students together to share in problem-solving.

Dr. Rafe Edward Trickey, Jr.’s background includes roles in education, public-benefit corporations and public service. He has served as President of Comanche Nation College, a tribal college in Oklahoma; President and CEO of Sisseton Wahpeton College, a tribal college in South Dakota; Vice President of Student Services and Vice President of Planning and Institutional Development at the College of the Marshall Islands; Executive Director of Development and External Relations at Citrus College in California; President and CEO of the California-wide CHP 11-99 Foundation; and he has held the elected office of City Treasurer in Oceanside.

Following final candidate interviews, Yosemite Community College District Chancellor Dr. Henry Yong will make a recommendation to the governing Board of Trustees, who could consider approving and offering a contract to one of the finalists. The new president is expected to start in early July.