Seado Vasquez tapped for prestigious fellowship program
Christina Seado Vasquez, assistant dean of student services at the Palm Beach State College Loxahatchee Groves campus, is one of 24 community college administrators nationwide selected as a 2018 Hispanic Leadership Program Fellow.
The prestigious National Community College Hispanic Council program works to develop a pool of highly qualified Latinas and Latinos whose career interest focuses on assuming increasingly responsible administrative positions with the ultimate goal of becoming a community college president. The University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences hosts the program.
“I’m so honored to be a part of the program. It’s such an amazing experience to work with professionals around the country and really be exposed to all levels of leadership in the community colleges,” said Seado Vasquez, who joined the administration in February 2017, days before the College opened its fifth campus.
Since the program’s inception, more than 250 community college administrators have participated as Leadership Fellows. Of the original 72 Fellows, more than 15 became community college presidents and many others have moved to positions of increased responsibility as executive level administrators, according to NCCHC. Today, 12 of the 65 Latino community college CEOs nationwide are former NCCHC Fellows.
“Preparing strong leaders for the future is the primary purpose of the National Community College Hispanic Council’s Leadership Fellows Program,” said NCCHC President Maria Harper Marinick. “A demographic shift is occurring in the United States, and we are preparing new leaders who can model the way for the growing Hispanic population our community colleges serve. Through this program, Fellows gain the necessary knowledge and skills they need to lead higher education into the future and positively impact the economic and civic success of their respective communities.”
Components of the Leadership Fellows Program include two residential training seminars, the first of which was held June 6-9 at the University of San Diego. Each Fellow will prepare an individualized professional development plan and engage in a mentoring relationship with a Hispanic community college leader. During the second seminar in September, Fellows will present a case study as a group project, and they will work online with their group to prepare.
Prior to PBSC, Seado Vasquez worked for five years as an assistant director of a rural center at Florida Southwestern State College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa and a master’s degree from Jones International University. She said she is pleased that Dr. Maria Vallejo, vice president for growth and expansion and provost of the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves campuses, recommended her to become a Hispanic Leadership Program Fellow.
Vallejo, who has recommended other Fellows in the past, said it’s important to help groom leaders for success and advancement.
“As a past president of NCCHC and a product of the Leadership Fellows Program, I know what qualities our board looks for in our NCCHC Fellows cohort: ambition, critical thinking, problem solving and a passion for the community college sector,’’ Vallejo said. “Christina has all those qualities and more. I’m proud of what she has done in her short tenure to get the Loxahatchee campus up and running with minimal staff. She has the potential to be an awesome leader with a heart. We need to mentor more leaders to be successful at this very critical time in higher education. I’m honored to play a part in the process.”
NCCHC is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, a national organization that has provided leadership to the community college movement for the past half-century. The Council, which was established 30 years ago, works to promote the educational interests and success of the Hispanic community and emphasizes access, equity and excellence for students and staff in community colleges. One of the first ventures was to offer a leadership development program, with support from the Ford Foundation.