CCA is an accredited community college with campuses in Aurora and Denver Colorado

Our Leadership

Betsy Oudenhoven, President Community College of Aurora, located in Aurora Colorado Betsy Oudenhoven
Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven assumed duties as president in December 2013 after a lengthy list of accomplishments as VP of Student Affairs. Student Affairs under her guidance worked closely with Academic Affairs to support CCA’s academic mission and explore creative ways to foster student achievement. Her main tasks in her Student Affairs post included providing vision, innovation, direction, coordination, supervision, evaluation, and analysis in such areas as admissions, registration and records, advising, retention, financial aid, recruiting, student life, accessibility services and student success. Within two years, Oudenhoven helped implement numerous new policies, including: mandatory new student orientation for all first-time college students; on-campus counseling to serve students in need of short-term help or crisis intervention; new SARS software added to advising to increase access, customer service, departmental efficiency, and better management of the advising caseload; reinstitution of a Career Center to provide individual services, internships, employer relations, and career fairs on campus; and reorganization of the student conduct function, including a more proactive approach to behavioral intervention to address campus safety and student retention. Prior to joining CCA, Oudenhoven served in higher education in varied roles such as assistant director, manager, director, dean, and vice president, dating back to 1979. Oudenhoven earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Loyola University in Chicago, a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a BS in Psychology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.
Janet Brandau, VP Academic Affairs, Community College of Aurora, located in Aurora Colorado Janet Brandau
Vice President, Academic Affairs
It may be the Rubik’s Cube of job descriptions, given all the seemingly disparate elements Brandau is charged with transforming into a seamless batch of projects with the help of her staff. With the help of the deans and chairs, she writes and then administers the Perkins grant to secure funds for career and technical programs at CCA. She is the credentialing officer for the school, ensuring that all faculty meet the academic and experience criteria set by the state’s community-college governing body. Brandau handles all academic dishonesty cases, coordinating with faculty, informing the students of alleged missteps and aiding in any due process and/or appeals. All of CCA’s course schedules for fall, spring and summer, as well as the yearly academic catalog, come through her office, then are transferred into print and electronic catalogs and schedules. Each of those classes must be confirmed as academically sound and meet process and protocol; while, at the same time, co-requisites and pre-requisites need to be properly aligned within the degree and certificate stepladder. The academic catalog is also produced each year as an electric document. Brandau also has her hand in concurrent enrollment, tasked with making sure that program details align with Higher Learning Commission guidelines. She began this busy process of assimilation upon her hire at CCA in May 2008. She came to the school after a tenure as director of testing and assessment at Johnson County (Kansas) Community College.
Elena Sandoval, VP, Student Affairs at CCA Elena Sandoval-Lucero
Vice President, Student Affairs
Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero is the Vice President of Student Affairs. As the chief student affairs officer, she oversees all aspects of the offices that provide services and programming to support enrollment, student success, and student life at the college. Sandoval-Lucero has served the college since 2011 in the Division of Student Affairs. In her previous role as Dean of Student Success, a large array of student affairs offices reported to her, all with the overriding mission of helping students enroll and successfully graduate. Coordination between the Center for Outreach and Recruitment, the Student Success Center, and the Accessibility Services Office all focus on strategies related to student enrollment, retention, success, and completion. Sandoval-Lucero was instrumental in reorganizing all the cohort-based student retention programs into one Student Success Center that offers intrusive advising, tutoring and transfer programming to students with a focus on retention, graduation and transfer. Sandoval-Lucero joined CCA in January 2011 but has worked in higher education for over 20 years in several student affairs areas including recruitment, admissions, financial aid, academic advising, continuing education, and TRiO programs. She has also been a faculty member in education. Elena came to CCA from the Auraria campus where she worked for 18 years at both Metropolitan State University of Denver and University of Colorado-Denver.
Richard Maestas, VP of Administrative Services at CCA in Colorado Richard Maestas
Vice President, Administration
Compliance, budgeting and accounting are at the heart of Richard Maestas’ financial duties at CCA, an institution he joined in July 2009. In short, Maestas’ main charge is protecting the assets of the college. He does so by ensuring that local, state and federal rules and State of Colorado fiscal and purchasing regulations are followed. He also makes certain that financial reporting accurately reflects the operations of the college by employing generally accepted accounting principles to withstand any auditing processes. Maestas oversees the administrative services, too, an area that encompasses information technology, facilities, security, grants, financial reporting, accounts payable, purchasing, payroll, cashiering and student accounts. Prior to his appointment to CCA, Maestas was controller for the Community College of Denver. He brings extensive experience in higher education, including serving as field controller for the Colorado Community College System, controller and director of fiscal and purchasing services for Pikes Peak Community College and associate controller for Colorado College. Additionally, he has extensive experience in business and in the military. He holds an MBA and a BS in business administration with an emphasis in accounting.
Chris Ward, VP of Institutional Effectiveness at CCA Chris Ward
Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness
Ward is responsible for oversight of the executive leadership in Institutional Research, the Center for Workforce Development, Strategic Partnerships and Resource Development, Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, and College Communications. The VP of Institutional Effectiveness supports the mission of the college by overseeing institutional planning, research, grant development and reporting, external partnerships, communications and marketing, and contract-based workforce programs. The position also serves as the college's Accreditation Liaison Officer to the Higher Learning Commission, coordinates institution-level strategic planning, and serves as a member of the Cabinet. Since arriving at CCA in 2000 as director of grants and adjunct instructor of cultural anthropology, Chris Ward has worn many hats. He’s worked to bridge any gaps between CCA and the community by overseeing the workforce development staff while establishing strategic partnerships through his grants and resource development work with various community and state organizations. Ward’s also maintained a passion for the globalization of CCA and its curriculum that best serve the diverse community it serves, including providing entry and support for immigrants and refugees. He’s served on the globalization committee and the self-study group, chaired the emergency plan steering committee and assessment-working group and taken on various other tasks. Prior to coming to CCA, Ward earned his PhD in International and Development Education from the University of Pittsburgh and in 1985, did field work in China. He’s also authored several books and taught previously at Community College of Denver, the University of Pittsburgh, LaRoche College (Pittsburgh), Portland State University and National Taiwan University.
Ted Snow, Dean, Liberal Arts at CCA Ted Snow
Dean, Liberal Arts
Numerous areas of study fall under Snow’s purview, including Academic Enrichment, Education and Early Childhood, English, ESL, Performing Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences. His primary role as dean is to provide faculty resources while lowering administrative barriers and providing faculty support in to maximize the teaching and learning experience. Snow currently is playing a key role, along with the Liberal Arts Division department chairs, in the implementation of statewide transfer degrees approved by the state legislature in 2011. His focus is to ensure that the programs offered at CCA prepare students effectively for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Snow also has been instrumental the last several years, in lockstep with faculty and staff, in the development of an innovative Academic Enrichment program. That laser focus on improving student achievement has contributed to success rates in pre-collegiate academic preparation that matches those at the most successful community college programs nationwide. Snow's educational background includes a B.A. in Communication from University of Northern Colorado, a M.A. in English and Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University.
Victor Vialpando, Dean, Professional Studies and Sciences Victor Vialpando
Dean, Professional Studies and Sciences
Combining possible connective areas between departments, identifying collaborative projects and morphing them into a streamlined vision has been one of Victor Vialpando¹s primary goals since joining CCA in August 2009. Under his organizational leadership, his division has managed to better integrate between departments through identification of crossover areas, then streamlined the coursework to better suit student needs. Narrower course offerings and a focus on a stair-step system that imbeds certificates throughout the degree process has allowed for programs to align more successfully with industry demand while also increasing graduation rates and retention. Computer Science, Mathematics and School of Business are more synchronized through that cross-collaborative process by targeting the development of core skill sets housed in those separate areas. Vialpando and staff are now intent on better assimilating the multimedia curriculum in the Art and Design department. Business applications are interspersed liberally throughout the programs in which he has oversight, as well. Attempting to build from solid foundational ground is familiar to Vialpando, given his undergraduate background in civil engineering. His career path eventually led to the higher-education route after earning his master's degree in business from the University of Colorado in 2005.
Renie del Ponte, Dean, Health and Public Service at CCA Renie Del Ponte
Dean, Health and Public Service
Del Ponte joined CCA in August 2012 after serving about five years as Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Jefferson County Public Schools, the largest district in Colorado. At CCA, she is responsible for providing organizational leadership and management in the development and maintenance of all assigned programs housed on the Lowry campus, including Criminal Justice, Diesel Mechanics, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Health Wellness Education, Law Enforcement Academy, Paralegal, Public Security Management and the Nursing Pathway Program. She also serves as Lowry Campus dean. It¹s Del Ponte¹s third major position within the Colorado Community College System. She worked from 1997 until 2007 in Lakewood at Red Rocks Community College, first as its Health Careers Programs Coordinator, and then as Dean of Instruction. Among her primary areas of expertise have been the creation and implementation of innovative CTE programs; building strategic community and industry partnerships; and executing budget planning and fiscal accountability for multiple academic units and a branch campus. Del Ponte has master's degrees in Education Leadership and Administration from Jones International University in Centennial and Exercise Science from Slippery Rock (Pa.) University. She also has a doctorate in Public Health/Preventative Care from Loma Linda (Calif.) University. She studied at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins as an Undergraduate.
Tamara White, Dean of Students Tamara D. White
Dean of Students
White’s primary responsibilities in her dean’s role include supervision of all offices provide student advocacy, including Student Life, Student Conduct, Accessibility Services, and Counseling. She also serves as a member of the Student Affairs leadership team White prior to joining CCA served as the Director of Admission and Access Policy for the Colorado Department of Higher Education, where she worked on statewide policies for admission standards and remedial education.  Before joining the Department of Higher Education, White was the K-12 Education Policy Advisor to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. A CCA employee since 2014, White has spent most of her professional career in higher education, serving in roles such as Director of Student Life at the Community College of Denver. She is a Colorado native, graduating from the Cherry Creek School District near Denver and earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver. She earned her master’s degree in higher education from Western Illinois University and currently is working on her doctorate in higher education, specifically diversity and higher education, at the University of Denver.
Alex Girard, Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Sciences Alex Girard
Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Sciences
Girard took over the newly created position of associate dean in July 2014. His area encompasses Art and Design, Colorado Film School, Mathematics, Computer Science, Science, and Business. Girard also oversees the academic affairs functions of concurrent enrollment.  Girard was the lead for both graphic design and web design for three years prior to taking on his new position. He previously taught a full spectrum of classes, including beginning and advanced graphic design, typography, history of design, technology courses, and painting. He joined CCA in Fall 2011 after nearly a decade as a professional graphic designer in Rochester, N.Y.; Cedar Falls, Iowa; and Santa Barbara, Calif. Girard contributed four featured works to the major design publication “Design Fundamentals of Color.” He has a BA in painting and graphic design from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and a MFA in graphic design from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
Christina Murray, Associate Dean at the Community College of Aurora, located in Aurora Colorado Christina Murray
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, School of Liberal Arts
New to the college in July 2014, Murray brings over 10 years of progressive experience in higher education to CCA. Her role in Academic Affairs includes: streamlining the processes and procedures and ensuring academic rigor for concurrent enrollment; working with the dean of Liberal Arts on aligning strategic vision and mission with the college’s overall plan; and working with data in order to make informed decisions regarding scheduling, enrollment projections, grade appeals, and more. Prior to joining CCA, Murray worked at the University of Denver and Colorado School of Mines, with responsibilities that touched student services, advising, admissions, registration, enrollment services, teaching/training, and information technology. Her educational background includes a doctorate in Philosophy from DU, as well as a master’s in Educational Psychology and bachelor’s in English Literature from Widener University in Chester, PA.
Derrick Haynes, Executive Director of Advising Services Derrick E. Haynes
Executive Director of Advising Services
Haynes joined CCA in the summer of 2014 and brings with him more than 16 years of progressively responsible higher education experience. Key responsibilities in Haynes’ current position include ensuring students have access to the best possible services specific to Advising, Career Services, and Veteran Services, as well as providing staff with access to necessary resources to support students.  Haynes’ experience prior to joining CCA included work in student retention, diversity, training, organizational development, and program assessment.  He has received a number of honors and awards, including the Alpha Kappa Alpha MODEL Man Community Leadership Award, TRiO Achiever Award, Denver Public Schools Outstanding Alumni Award, and the United States Army Achievement Medal. He earned a Doctorate of Philosophy and Master of Education in Organizational Performance and Change from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Metropolitan State University of Denver.  
Cindy Hesse, Director of Human Resources at Community College of Aurora in CO Cindy Hesse
Director, Human Resources
Hesse has been integral in numerous recruitment and hiring processes tied to presidential searches within the Colorado Community College System. Her part in facilitating those hires speaks to her deep roots within the statewide system, beginning in 1994 at Northeastern Junior College, continuing for a decade with the CCCS and, now, with CCA. Hesse and her staff currently handle thousands of applications annually for open positions. Her CCA tenure has involved the hiring of vice presidents, deans and a plethora of faculty to fill what has been an increase in hiring allowances. But Hesse not only has been deeply involved in finding and placing talent over the years but participated in duties that run the gamut of HR responsibilities. Those tasks have included benefits and employee relations, training, payroll support, and policy and compliance. Her overriding goal is to create a beneficial working culture while supplying managers, directors and deans with the necessary resources to efficiently handle their jobs. To that end, Hesse also gets directly involved in mediation when problems arise and regularly consults with staff to discuss personnel issues. Consulting and listening to people’s concerns and fixing pressing issues are arguably the most fundamental facets of her position.
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