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Four finalists chosen for Diablo Valley College president

College to hold public forums for each candidate this week

The Contra Costa Community College District announced last week that four finalists have been selected for the position of president of Diablo Valley College.

This week, each candidate will be the focus of four separate public forums, beginning at 2 p.m. and lasting 45 minutes. During each forum, the featured candidate will make statements and answer questions.

All forums are open to the broad community, students, faculty and staff, and will take place in the Diablo Room at the college, located at 321 Golf Club Road in Pleasant Hill.

The forums will start on Monday and end on Thursday:

Monday, Nov. 13 -- Joanne Russell

Currently, Russell serves as vice president for academic affairs and provost at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y., which is part of the City University of New York system.

Before that, she was provost fellow for community college access programs and workforce development for the State University of New York system, responsible for initiatives to increase access, success, completion and workforce development within SUNY's community colleges.

Russell has worked in higher education for over 25 years in a variety of roles, including as vice president for academic affairs at Westchester Community College in New York and dean of academic affairs at Manchester Community College in Connecticut.

She holds a bachelor of science in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Connecticut.

Tuesday, Nov. 14 -- Kimberlee Messina

Messina is presently the interim vice chancellor of educational services and planning for the San Mateo County Community College District.

Prior to that position, she served as the vice president of instruction and institutional research and interim president at Foothill College from 2011-2016.

Messina has worked in California community colleges for over 26 years, in positions such as a tenured Spanish instructor, a two-term academic senate president and an instructional dean of STEM at Santa Rosa Junior College.

She holds a bacehlor'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.

Wednesday, Nov. 15 -- Susan Lamb

Most recently, Lamb served as the interim chancellor of City College of San Francisco for two years.

Before City College, she worked within the Contra Costa Community College District at both Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College, including serving as vice president of instruction at DVC for six years.

Lamb has been in higher education for 30 years and in the California community college system for over 25. Under her leadership at City College, the college moved from "restoration status" to having its accreditation reaffirmed.

As interim chancellor, she collaborated with state legislators, the San Francisco mayor's office, members of the board of supervisors, and faculty and classified union leadership.

Thursday, Nov. 16 -- Christopher Reber

Reber is currently president of Community College of Beaver County near Pittsburgh, Pa.

Before that, he served for 12 years as executive dean of Venango College of Clarion University, leading the development and approval of Clarion's first doctoral degree in nursing practice.

Reber has worked in postsecondary education for 36 years, also serving on the senior management team at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, and leading continuing and cooperative education programs at Lakeland Community College near Cleveland, Ohio.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Dickinson College, a master's degree from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information on the candidates, visit the Contra Costa Community College District's website. Live streaming of the forums will also be available online.

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