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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.

Tricia Johnson, VP Academic Affairs, Community College of Aurora, located in Aurora Colorado Tricia Johnson
Vice President, Academic Affairs
In her role, Dr. Tricia Johnson provides leadership for planning, development, implementation, assessment, and administration of instructional programs and services offered by the college. Prior to joining the college in early 2017, Johnson led programs at the Colorado Department of Education and in postsecondary education and training institutions, focusing on high quality teaching and learning and connection with workforce. Over the last two decades, Johnson has worked in education teaching, promoting, designing, and administering programs in secondary, postsecondary, and career and technical education. During her tenure, Johnson has served as a classroom teacher, community college department chair, research analyst, and marketing manager. She is committed to issues of social justice and removing barriers for adult learners. Johnson earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver, a Master of Education in Secondary Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Paulette DalpesPaulette Dalpes
Vice President, Student Affairs
As Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Dalpes will provide leadership for several departments in the Student Affairs Division at CCA, including student life, advising, recruitment, and student success and retention. She has 30 years of experience as a Student Affairs professional, including 18 years working at community colleges. Her career in student affairs includes senior level and systems administration; facilitating federally funded TRiO grant programs; training and development on issues of diversity and inclusion; and work in residential life at large universities. She is the co-editor of The Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges and a forthcoming Special Issue of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice titled Current Initiatives and Trends in Higher Education: The Role of Student Affairs in Advancing Community College Student Success. She has served as the Community College Division Director on the Board of Directors for NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators). Dr. Dalpes attended Colorado State University as a first-generation college student, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in college student personnel administration. She earned her doctorate in education at the University of Massachusetts.

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.

Victor Vialpando, Dean, Professional Studies and Sciences Victor Vialpando
Dean, School of 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. 

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.


Derrick Haynes, Executive Director of Advising Services Derrick E. Haynes
Dean of Retention and Student Success
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.


Chris TombariChris Tombari
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
School of Liberal Arts (SLA)
Chris Tombari joined CCA in August of 2009 as the Chair for the English as a Second Language (ESL) Department. In March of 2016, Chris changed positions to become the Associate Dean, where he oversees such student achievement and success initiatives as SLA Concurrent Enrollment courses, the Achievement Coach’s Gatekeeper Course Interventions, and SLA Program Advising. His other responsibilities include serving as a member of the SLA leadership team, working with academic misconduct reports, and working with department chairs, faculty, and personnel across the college to support the pursuit of strategic objectives. Prior to working at CCA, Tombari worked for almost 12 years as an instructor and program director in the non-profit education and consulting organization, Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning in Denver. He started his career in education in 1993 with the Peace Corps in Mongolia. Tombari holds a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University, an M.A. in English (with a focus on Applied Linguistics) from the University of Colorado Denver, and is currently working on his doctorate in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership through the University of Northern Colorado.

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.

Quill PhillipsQuill Phillips
Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusive Excellence
Quill Phillips joined CCA in September 2015 to support the college’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She chairs the CCA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, which was revamped to work with college leaders to create an equitable and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Phillips is also responsible for implementing and overseeing CCA’s Inclusive Excellence initiative. This initiative includes educational awareness of implementing inclusive curriculum development and pedagogy, and assessing campus climate, policies, and services to address closing the opportunity gap between students of color and white students. Through training, best practices, and feedback loops, Quill is creating an inclusive campus for everyone. Prior to joining CCA, Phillips was a Career Counselor at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) where she was responsible for the career development of students and focused specifically on working with students from marginalized populations, helping them to navigate the job search process. In addition to her role as a Career Counselor at UNC, she also served as a Social Justice Educator and trained staff and students on how to incorporate social justice competencies into their everyday lives that would impact their experiences and the experiences of others on the campus. She earned a Bachelor's of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and her Master of Arts degree from Michigan State University.  

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