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College Of The Canyons Welcomes New Vice President Of Instruction Introduces Dean Of Instructional Support

Longtime California Community College administrator Dr. Jerry Buckley has accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction at College of the Canyons, effective Aug. 1.

Buckley will assume the position vacated by Dr. Joe Gerda, who has served as Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction at COC on an interim basis since Jan. 2012.

In his new position, Buckley will provide administrative oversight to all instructional services at the college, in addition to numerous partnership programs with other agencies, institutions and organizations. Other primary responsibilities of the position include the oversight of program development and support, enrollment management, partnership initiatives, accreditation, administrative support for the college’s instructional division deans and maintenance of the college’s high academic standards.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Buckley to the team at College of the Canyons,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “His enthusiasm, leadership, past experiences, and focus on innovation will enable us to enhance our already outstanding instructional programs, responsiveness to our community, and yield exciting new opportunities for our students.”

For the past year and a half Dr. Buckley has served as the Vice President of Instruction and Accreditation Liaison Officer for San Diego Miramar College, having helped to develop 11 new transfer degrees during his brief tenure there.

Prior to serving at Miramar College Dr. Buckley worked for 21 years in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in San Diego. While at Grossmont, he served for 15 years as a full-time faculty member. He also served as the Interim Associate Dean of Instructional Computing Services for one semester and as the Dean, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Exercise Science and Wellness for five years. 

In his Dean position at Grossmont, Buckley helped to establish partnerships with University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University to increase the number of students graduating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

While at Grossmont, Buckley also served as both the Vice President of a faculty union, and Vice President of the administrators association, providing him with a unique perspective with regard to community college labor negotiations. 

He also received Grossmont College’s Distinguished Faculty award and Teaching Excellence award for Business and Professional Studies.

In addition, Dr. Buckley also held the position of Senior Dean, Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca district office for two years, restructuring the college’s research functions and reporting protocols and playing an instrumental role in guiding the development of the district’s educational master plan.

 “I look forward to joining the culture of innovation and creativity here at College of the Canyons that’s seen in the wide variety of high quality programs and services offered to students and the community,” said Buckley.

Prior to his career in higher education, Dr. Buckley worked for 14 years in the healthcare industry, working with clinical diagnostic procedures, medical electronics and coordinating clinical and statistical research. 

Dr. Buckley earned his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University. Along with the degree, his peers selected him to receive the William E. Piland Leadership Award from SDSU. 

He also holds a master’s degree in Biology from California State University, Fullerton, and a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California.

College Introduces New Dean of Instructional Support

College officials have also announced that longtime COC faculty member Denee Pescarmona has accepted the role of Dean, Instructional Support & Student Success, effective July 10.

In her new position, Pescarmona will provide administrative oversight to all instructional support and student support services at the college.

“Denee has played a critical role in building our network of student success initiatives at College of the Canyons,” said Dr. Van Hook. “In this new role, she will expand our efforts and ensure we are doing everything we can to help students achieve their educational goals.”

For the past year Pescarmona has served as the acting Dean of Instruction and Support Programs at the college’s Canyon Country campus. Prior to that, in the spring of 2012 she served as the Interim Division Dean, Humanities.

Pescarmona originally joined COC in August 2002 as a full-time English instructor. From 2004 to 2006 she served as the English 091 Coordinator and from February 2009 until December 2011 she served as the Faculty Basic Skills Coordinator and the Co-Chair of the Skills4Success Committee. 

Pescarmona has also played an instrumental role in launching the college’s First Year Experience (FYE) program, the Math and English SCV Learning Consortium and several other supplemental instruction and learning programs at the college.

Pescarmona earned her master’s degree in English from Arizona State University and her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of San Diego.