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ARC Inside Home Inside Your ARC Community Inside ARC News Lisa Cardoza Named New President of American River College

Lisa Cardoza Named New President of American River College

April 28, 2023

photo of Lisa Cardoza

Dr. Lisa Cardoza has been named as the new President of American River College. Her appointment will go to the Los Rios Board of Trustees at the May 10, 2023 meeting.

“Dr. Cardoza is exceptionally qualified for this position, and brings a wealth of experience in a variety of different capacities within higher education,” said Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brian King. “Extraordinarily thoughtful and strategic, Lisa understands the vital role that community colleges play in our communities, and is deeply committed to seeing our students be successful.”

Most recently, Cardoza served as the Vice President for University Advancement at California State University, Sacramento and Executive Officer for The University Foundation at Sacramento State, where she led record-setting fundraising efforts for the University. Prior to her current role, Cardoza was Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen’s Chief of Staff, and also as the University’s Interim Vice President of Human Resources.

“Dr. Lisa Cardoza has been preparing to be the President of American River College since the first day I interviewed her to be my Chief of Staff at the University of Texas Pan American. I knew then that she would someday be a president; I just didn’t know where,” said Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen. “I am so pleased that it will be in Sacramento and in the Los Rios Community College District. She is an amazing force with a brilliant mind and a huge heart.”

Before arriving in Sacramento, Cardoza worked at The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) in the areas of outreach and college access, enrollment and student services, governmental relations and as Chief of Staff.

“My life’s work and passion is to help individuals achieve their highest potential, whether it’s students, faculty, staff, or administrators. I want to ensure more students, especially students of color and those who come from underserved communities, have the resources and ability to attend and successfully graduate from college,” said Dr. Lisa Cardoza. “I am really looking forward to working with the exceptional team of faculty, staff, and administrators at ARC to support our students in reaching their educational and career goals.”

Cardoza is a proud graduate of Edcouch-Elsa High School in Texas, and graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Arts in Social Sciences of Education. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is also the very proud mother of two boys—Gabriel, a recent graduate of the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), and Diego, a junior in the San Juan Unified School District.

She will succeed Melanie Dixon who departed American River College in December 2022 to be closer to family in the Pacific Northwest. American River College Vice President of Instruction Dr. Frank Kobayashi has been serving as Interim President while the college and district conducted a comprehensive nationwide search.