MCCCD Invites Community to South Mountain Community College President Finalist Forums

Sep, 15 2022

Image of SMCC Ryan Wilson Library with white text that reads SMCC Announces Presidential Search Finalists

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has selected four finalists for the next President of South Mountain Community College (SMCC). The search committee, comprised of college, student, and community representatives, has conducted a thorough screening and preliminary interviews with applicants in order to identify those best suited to lead SMCC with long-term success.

Public forums with finalists will take place on Monday, September 19, 2022, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The forums are open to students, employees, and the general public. Each forum allows the audience to ask questions and provide feedback that goes to the Chancellor for further consideration as part of a comprehensive and inclusive evaluation of each candidate. The links to access the live-streamed events can be found on the SMCC President Search webpage. Participants may also attend the public forums in person at South Mountain Community College:

South Mountain Community College - Main Campus
Student Union 101
7050 South 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042
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In alphabetical order, the finalists are:

Dr. Richard Daniel
Dr. Richard Daniel currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Education Forward Arizona, where he works to identify partnerships and fundraising opportunities for the organization’s growth and impact. He previously served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at College Success Arizona, where he worked to bring transformative opportunities to students from underserved and underrepresented communities in Arizona. Additionally, Dr. Daniel has served in senior leadership positions at public research universities and community colleges, including Arizona State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and South Mountain Community College. Dr. Daniel holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Arizona State University.

Ms. Veronica Hipolito
Veronica Hipolito currently serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. An innovative leader with over twenty years of experience in higher education, Hipolito recently served as the Interim President of Scottsdale Community College. Prior to joining Maricopa, Ms. Hipolitio served as the Chief Student Affairs Officer for Coconino Community College. She began her career at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in the division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Ms. Hipolito holds a Master of Arts in Community Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from NAU. She is currently completing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership with Gwynedd Mercy University.

Dr. Tanisha Maxwell
Dr. Tanisha M.J. Maxwell has over twenty years of experience in higher education. As the inaugural Vice President of Student Services at Los Medanos College, Dr. Maxwell provides executive leadership, supervision, and management as the Chief Student Services Officer. A first-generation college student, Dr. Maxwell is committed to fostering equitable student access and success both in and out of the classroom. Dr. Maxwell holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Arizona State University, an M.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Counseling Psychology, and a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Arizona State University. 

Dr. Janet Ortega
Dr. Jannet Ortega has been part of the Maricopa Community Colleges for the past thirty-one years, and currently serves as the Interim President of South Mountain Community College (SMCC). For the past twelve years, Dr. Ortega has served as the Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness & Technology at SMCC. Dr. Ortega is a graduate of a number of leadership programs, including the NCCHC Fellows Leadership Program, the Arizona Leadership Academy, and the NAU Trust Leadership Academy. As a strong believer in “minding the dream,” Dr. Ortega understands the importance of maintaining and sustaining strong foundations for students to attain their aspirations in higher education. Dr. Ortega earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Arizona State University, and is a graduate of ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College. She received her Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University and a Doctor of Educational Leadership with Distinction from Northern Arizona University.

You can learn more about each candidate and read their full bios here.


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