Santa Fe Community College Announces Public Forums for President Candidates

Santa Fe Community College announces five public candidate forums for the position of president. The SFCC Governing Board voted in support of the finalists recommended by the SFCC Presidential Search Advisory Committee. Here are the candidates and the times that they will participate in forums at the college:

Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D., 2 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in the Jemez Rooms
Kim E. Armstrong, Ph.D., 2 p.m. on Monday, March 4 in the Jemez Rooms
Kimberlee S. Messina, Ph.D., 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 7 in the Board Room
Rebecca K. (Becky) Rowley, Ph.D., 2 p.m. on Monday, March 11 in the Jemez Rooms
Rey Rivera, Ed.D., 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 in the Jemez Rooms

The forums are open to the public. All sessions are in the Jemez Rooms, except the March 7 session, which will be in the Board Room.

The Governing Board launched a search for an interim president after President Randy W. Grissom announced his retirement in August 2017. Following a search for the interim president, the Board hired Cecilia Cervantes, Ph.D., that October. The Governing Board initiated the process for the presidential search soon thereafter through an RFP for a search firm and approval of the membership on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. Last September, the Governing Board and the committee invited the SFCC community to participate in four listening sessions, as well as through an online survey. Academic Search, the firm selected by the Board, led the sessions to gain input from the community.

The candidate forums give the college campus and local community members the opportunity to meet the finalists and to provide feedback to the Governing Board.

Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D. (2 p.m., March 1)
Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D. has served as the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District based in Santa Ana, California since August 2010. RSCCD has eight major facilities locations, including the main college campuses of Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College.

Rodríguez earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also holds a master’s degree in school and applied psychology from Fairfield University and a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.

Read Raúl Rodríguez’s submitted bio here.

Kim E. Armstrong, Ph.D. (2 p.m., March 4)
Kim E. Armstrong, Ph.D. serves as Vice President of Student Affairs at College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas. The college is a comprehensive, public, two-year institution in the Little Rock, Arkansas area.

Armstrong received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and doctorate from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in physiological/neuropsychology with an emphasis on learning and memory and a minor focus in child cognitive development. She has postdoctoral training in electrophysiology from Northwestern Medical School and neuroscience from the Beckman Institute for the Advancement of Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Read Kim E. Armstrong’s submitted bio here.

Kimberlee S. Messina, Ph.D. (2 p.m., March 7)
Kimberlee S. Messina, Ph.D. is currently assisting Clovis Community College in Clovis, California on enrollment management and guided pathways. Also in California, Messina has served as the Vice President of Instruction and Institutional Research and Interim President at Foothill College, from 2011 to 2016 before joining the San Mateo County Community College District as the Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning, where she served until July 2018.

Messina holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in Spanish from California State University-Sacramento and a doctorate in educational leadership from University of California-Davis.

Read Kimberlee S. Messina’s submitted bio here.

Rebecca K. (Becky) Rowley, Ph.D. (2 p.m., March 11)
Rebecca K. (Becky) Rowley, Ph.D., has been president of Clovis Community College in Clovis, New Mexico since 2011. Since 2015, Rowley has served as chair of the New Mexico Independent Community Colleges.

Rowley received her doctorate in English from the University of New Mexico in 1996 and a master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia in 1988. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and Latin with a minor in political science from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986.

Read Rebecca K. (Becky) Rowley’s submitted bio here.

Rey Rivera, Ph.D. (2 p.m., March 12)
Rey Rivera, Ph.D. serves as Vice President of Learning at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona. EMCC is the newest of 10 community colleges in the Maricopa Community College District.

Rivera completed his Bachelor of Science in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in mathematics at Purdue University, and a doctorate in higher and post-secondary education at Arizona State University.

Read Rey Rivera’s submitted bio here.

For more information about SFCC’s presidential search, please visit

Santa Fe Community College celebrates its 40th Anniversary as the pathway to success for individuals and the community. SFCC provides affordable, high-quality programs that serve the academic, cultural, and economic needs of the community. The college welcomes over 10,000 students per year in credit, noncredit, workforce training, personal enrichment, and adult programs.
A “Best for Vets” and a “Military Friendly” school.

Visit or call 505-428-1000.

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