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LEMOORE — West Hills College Lemoore will start the New Year off with a new vice president of student services pending West Hills Community College District Board of Trustees approval on Dec. 12.

Val Martinez Garcia Jr. will step in replacing retiring Vice President of Student Services Sylvia Dorsey-Robinson and will start in his new position Jan. 3, 2018.

“I am delighted to welcome Mr. Garcia to West Hills College Lemoore,” WHCL President Kristin Clark said. “His experience in higher education administration coupled with his passion for students makes him a perfect fit for the vice president of student services. Mr. Garcia has assured me that he is prepared to contribute to our relentless pursuit of student success.”

WHCL representatives said Garcia was selected following a national search, which yielded 48 candidates. He was one of seven interviewed for the position and one of three finalists.

Garcia previously worked as the vice president of student services at Porterville College. He had also previously served as the dean of academic affairs for Porterville College, the associate dean of instruction for Taft College and the director of the Kern County Regional Campus for University of La Verne.

He has taught at Taft College, San Joaquin Valley College, University of La Verne and California State University, Bakersfield Extended Education.

Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s in school counseling, and is working toward a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. He is a first-generation college student with an interest in and love for the community college system.

“I came from a family of field workers and worked in the fields myself, so my first college class was a very new experience for me,” Garcia said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help I received from my local community college. Because of this, I am passionate about education and have a desire to give back. I am excited to be joining a team that is committed to innovation and student success.”

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