EMCC narrows presidential search to two finalists

Dr. Lamata Mitchell is a finalist for EMCC president. Dr. Rey Rivera is a finalist for EMCC president. (Photo courtesy EMCC)

The Maricopa County Community College District has selected two finalists in the nationwide search for the next president for Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC).

The finalists visited the EMCC campus earlier this month for public forums — the next step in the selection process. The forums allowed students, employees and the general public to learn more about the finalists and provide feedback.

The finalists being considered for the position of EMCC president are:

Dr. Lamata Mitchell

Mitchell currently serves as the vice president of instruction and academic operations at Pima Community College in Tucson, a position she has held since 2016. She has over two decades of experience working at the community college level. She also serves on local, state and national committees focused on college readiness. Among them are The College to Success Arizona Advisory Council, The Achieve 60 Arizona Committee and the Global Education Commission of the American Association of Community Colleges. She is also a member on the Tucson NAACP scholarship committee, the NAACP board and the Scholarship Committee of the Rockford Association of Minority Management, of which she serves as the co-chairwoman.

She was recently a fellow of the Thomas Lakin Institute, a national organization focused on preparing senior executives for presidency. Other leadership institutes she has completed include the John Rouche’s Leadership Institute, the American Association of Women in Community College Leaders Institute, Loyola University’s Strategic Leadership, Hampton University’s Executive Leadership and the Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute.

Mitchell earned her Ph.D. in English from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Arts in English from Andrews University in Massachusetts, a Master of Arts in publishing and journalism from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from Trent University in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Rey Rivera

Rivera has over 23 years of higher education experience and currently serves as vice president of learning at EMCC. He also serves as the EMCC representative to Western Maricopa Coalition’s education and workforce development team and was recently elected to the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. Additionally, he serves as one of the EMCC HLC tri-chairmen for re-accreditation and is part of HLC’s Peer Reviewer Corps.

Rivera previously served on the full-time mathematics faculty at EMCC for over 15 years. He held several leadership positions at EMCC by serving as the division chairman of science and mathematics, faculty senate president, principal investigator for two National Science Foundation grants, and interim dean of occupational education. Rivera was recently selected as a 2019 Aspen Presidential Fellow and continues to serve as adjunct faculty in mathematics to maintain a strong connection to the classroom, students and faculty.

Rivera earned his Ed.D. in higher and post-secondary education at Arizona State University, his Master of Science degree in mathematics at Purdue University, and his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about the EMCC president search, visit maricopa.edu/about/careers/emcc-president/public-forums.