Several new administrators were recently announced by Imperial Valley College.
"Imperial Valley College continues to be a leading institution of higher education and workforce training. IVC continues to make strategic decisions in hiring a diverse administration that understands the needs of our student population and helping our students achieve their educational goals," said Dr. Martha Garcia, superintendent/president.
The new team members are James Dalske, Alexis Villa, Guadalupe, "Lupita" Castro, Wendy Prewett, Javier Luna and Elizabeth Espinoza.
Alexis Villa is the Associate Dean of Student Equity and Achievement for Imperial Valley College.
She was a Student Success Specialist for the EOPS program and served as the CCC Foster Youth Success Initiative Region 10 representative. She earned a Master's in Education Counseling with a Mental Health focus at San Diego State University.
Guadalupe "Lupita" Castro is IVC's Student Health Services director, who also serves as vice president and president-elect at the Executive Board of the California Community Colleges Mental Health and Wellness Association.
Castro joined the IVC family in 2007. She has worked at the capacities of Admissions and Records technician, clinical mental health counselor, and interim director of Student Health Services. She also serves as the IVC Active Minds Chapter adviser, Student Wellness Ambassador adviser, chair of the IVC Behavioral Care Team, and clinical supervisor.
Castro graduated from Calexico High School, Imperial Valley College and San Diego State University Imperial Valley. She earned a Master's Degree in Counseling Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from the University of Phoenix.
During the past two years, Castro has established and solidified formal partnerships with Imperial County Behavioral Health Services and Pioneers Memorial Health Care District as part of services at the IVC Student Health Center.
Castro enjoys family time with her husband and 5-year-old daughter. She serves in the MANA of Imperial Valley Board as the coordinator of the Hermanitas Leadership Academy. In addition, she volunteers at a local radio station where she educates the audience on different mental health topics.
Wendy Prewett is director of Disability Support Program and Service. Prewett is an Imperial Valley native and IVC alumna. She holds a master's degree in marriage, family and child therapy and a bachelor's in psychology.
Prewett joins the IVC team with 21 years of leadership experience. Her previous position includes program manager at San Diego Regional Center, leading a team serving young children, individuals and families with special needs. Prior to SDRC, she successfully wrote and managed grants for IVROP that assisted underserved populations. Prewett has also worked directly with college students as a lead faculty member and Area Chair for University of Phoenix for the past 12 years.
Prewett said she is excited about joining the IVC team and is passionate about ensuring students receive the resources needed to reach their full potential.
Imperial Valley College has selected Javier Luna to serve in the newly formed role of director of Facilities, Planning, and Construction. In this new capacity, Luna will lead IVC in its purpose of improving, renovating, modernizing, replacing, and construction of District facilities. Luna will serve as liaison between the District, outside agencies and consultants, as it pertains to capital outlay, local bond projects, space inventory, scheduled maintenance, special repairs, and campus departmental projects.
Luna, an Imperial Valley native, was previously the senior engineer at the City of El Centro, where he spent the last three and a half years supervising the Engineering Department, and managing capital improvement projects and private development for the city.
Luna holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Cal State Northridge, and is a registered State of California Professional Engineer. His pride and joy is his family: wife Katie B. Luna and his three kids, Serina, Sebastian, and Dominic.
Elizabeth Espinoza, has been named Communications and Governmental Relations Officer at Imperial Valley College. She has been working in that position in an interim capacity since September 2019.
Espinoza, a graduate of San Diego State University, was in the first cohort of IVUP, a unique partnership program through which students start by taking courses concurrently at IVC and SDSU IV with a clear path to earn a bachelor's degree in four years.
Changing her major to political science resulted in Espinoza finishing her course work at the San Diego campus.
A 2012 Southwest High School graduate, Espinoza graduated from SDSU in 2016 with a B.A. in political science with an emphasis in foreign affairs and national security. As part of her program, she studied abroad at Oxford University in England.
She earned a Master of Science degree in homeland security with an emphasis on intelligence and emergency management from SDSU in 2018. A strong proponent in the value of higher education, Espinoza plans to start work on a Ph.D. in business.
At IVC she works closely with Superintendent/President Martha Garcia, another SDSU IV alumna, to develop the messaging and ways to communicate with the medium-size community college's diverse stakeholders.
Espinoza is a new professionals representative on the board of the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and earlier this year was named PRSA's "New Pro of the Year" for her work at IVC.