Trustee Timothy “Tim” Jemal currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees. He was elected to serve on the board through 2024.
Mr. Jemal said, “I care deeply about education and our economic future. My central priority is to ensure that our precious tax dollars provide world-class education at Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and the Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP). We must continue to improve college and career readiness.”
Mr. Jemal has been deeply involved in the south Orange County community volunteering with the PTA, Saddleback Valley YMCA, Junior Achievement of Orange County, business mentoring, community workshops, and coaching youth athletics including Little League, Pop Warner Football, AYSO, and the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).
Complementing his leadership in higher education, Mr. Jemal has substantial experience as a tech entrepreneur, small business owner and nonprofit executive. In 1998, he was the founder of one of the first companies to provide voice communications over the Internet between the U.S and the newly independent state of Armenia. Mr. Jemal has professionally represented nearly 20 nonprofit organizations and associations throughout his career and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NAIOP SoCal, the leading nonprofit association representing the commercial real estate industry in Southern California.
Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the American Electronics Association (AeA) of Orange County, representing all segments of the local technology industry. Mr. Jemal saw first-hand the critical role our community colleges play in providing students with technical and certificate programs that employers require to compete globally. At AeA, he launched the Innovation in Education Awards, an annual event recognizing students and educational leaders throughout Orange County for their innovative uses of science, math, and technology in the classroom and community. Mr. Jemal’s previous experience includes teaching Business Administration and Communications courses at the University of California-affiliated American University of Armenia. He formerly served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the University of California, Irvine Henry Samueli School of Engineering.
Mr. Jemal earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in International Business from The George Washington University. He also attended Lansing Community College in the state of Michigan.
Trustee Jemal added, “I will serve with integrity, honesty, and transparency and will make decisions based on the best interests of our community colleges. The community deserves nothing less.”
Mr. Jemal lives in Mission Viejo with his wife, Gassia Apkarian, and they have two children. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Dr. Terri Rydell is currently serving as the Vice President for the Board of Trustees. She was elected in 2018 and 2022 to serve a four-year term on the board of trustees for Area 4 representing San Clemente, Ladera Ranch, San Juan Capistrano, Coto de Caza, part of Rancho Santa Margarita, Las Flores and unincorporated areas.
Dr. Rydell brings a wealth of higher education experience to the board. She has been a Professor of Nursing at Saddleback College since 1976 and served as the Nursing Program Director, helping to build the program’s national reputation for excellence. Her nursing experience also includes work for the American Heart Association at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. She has extensive community service experience including work with the California Disaster Medical Assistant Team during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ivan, and Hurricane Rita; Rotary Club; International Service Learning Project in Nonkhai, Thailand; Project Concern International in Ethiopia; and nursing outreach in Belize.
Dr. Rydell earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Indiana University, a Master of Nursing from UCLA, and a Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University. You may contact Trustee Whitt Rydell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Inmon joined the SOCCCD Board of Trustees in 2020 and currently serves as the Clerk of the Board.
She has decades of experience in the community college arena — as a student, a professor, and a former California Community College Association President.
Carolyn attended El Camino College and soon after earned a BA in Speech and English and a Lifetime Teaching Credential (K-14) from UCLA, as well as an MA in Speech from CSU Northridge.
Carolyn served as an Irvine public-school teacher, before becoming a professor at Cerritos College and Mt. San Antonio College where she served as Communication Department Chair, Director of the Honors Program, and Director of Forensics.
Carolyn maintains a passion for public speaking and communications and is revered by former students across the State for her coaching of a national community college championship team and advisor of Phi Theta Kappa—the international academic honorary society for two-year colleges.
In 2008, Carolyn was named “Teacher of the Year” by Mt. San Antonio College and served in several leadership roles, including, President of the Honors Transfer Council of California, President of the Southern California Debate League, President of the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association, and Secretary of the Academic Senate at Mt. San Antonio College.
Carolyn remains active in her local community, serving as past president of the Irvine Children, Youth & Families Advisory Board, and past president of the Exchange Club of Irvine. Carolyn resides in Irvine with her husband John. Carolyn’s daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren also reside in Irvine. You may contact Trustee Inmon at email@example.com
Trustee Ryan Dack was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2022 for a two-year term through 2024.
Mr. Dack has taught history since 2018 in both Irvine and Laguna Beach Unified School Districts. Mr. Dack has also served as a lead educator with Laguna Beach Unified's Distance Learner Intervention Program at Thurston Middle School through the 2020-2021 school year.
An Orange County native, Mr. Dack grew up in San Clemente before graduating from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science as a member of the Political Science Honor Society. He returned to Orange County to attend the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, where it ranks number 10 among graduate schools of education in the nation and number four among public schools of education. Mr. Dack graduated from the school's graduate program with a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Social Science teaching credential in 2018.
Mr. Dack's family still resides in San Clemente, whereas his brother and sister reside in Boston and Chicago.
Mr. Dack resides in Irvine. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Barbara J. Jay was elected to serve on the board of trustees for area 3 representing Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Dana Point and parts of Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, San Clemente and unincorporated areas until 2024.
Dr. Jay is a retired dentist. She was also a business owner and brings experience in payroll, contracts, marketing and working with public agencies.
She has been actively involved in the college community for many years, attending performing arts functions and supporting the college foundations and scholarship fundraising efforts. She is an active volunteer in the community and her church ministry.
"Quality education requires outstanding professors and motivated students," Dr. Jay said. "We must protect educational quality. This will be my top priority as a trustee of the district. The community colleges are a bridge to success, education and hiring. They provide pathways to four-year colleges and universities but also offer critical basic skills and lifelong learning opportunities that lead to employment and personal enrichment."
Dr. Jay attended Los Angeles City College, University of California, Davis, University of California, Berkeley and completed her D.D.S. from University of Southern California.
She resides in Dana Point and has two children and five grandchildren. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Trustee Marcia Milchiker is currently serving as President of the Board of Trustees. She was elected to serve on the board through 2022. Ms. Milchiker is one of the founders of the Orange County Community Colleges Legislative Task Force and wrote the initial plan to organize the four community college districts for legislative advocacy. She serves on the Orange County School Boards Association Board of Directors where she has held various positions, including Vice President of Programs, Treasurer, Secretary and Community College Representative. She is a frequent speaker in the community and at state and national community college conferences and workshops.
Ms. Milchiker is well-known in Orange County for her involvement in service organizations. She founded the Orange County Chapter of the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research, where she created and organized the chapter's first events and committees. She has lobbied successfully for funding for local educational programs and facilities, and was instrumental in obtaining local matching funds for the two student service centers in the District. In recognition of her contributions to community education and volunteer work, she was named Woman of the Year by the Association of Business and Professional Women and she received the 2004 Athena Award from the South Orange County Panhellenic Society. About her community involvement, Ms. Milchiker comments, “Public service has given me great gratification. I'm proud to have accomplished so much for public education locally, statewide and nationally. I'm particularly proud of the education we provide to local constituents. I love to visit our campuses and experience first-hand how our programs benefit so many in the community.” Ms. Milchiker earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ohio State University and a Master's in Biology from Cleveland State University. She taught biology in the Rancho Santiago Community College District and directed biological research programs at the Southwestern Medical Group and the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Ohio. She was also in the Saddleback College Class of 2008 to commemorate earning an associate's degree in Spanish.
Ms. Milchiker and her husband, Ben reside in Laguna Hills. You can contact Trustee Milchiker at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trustee T.J. Prendergast III was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010 and was elected to another four-year term in November 2022.
Mr. Prendergast is a social studies teacher and Aquatic Programs Director at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine. Since 2004 he has instructed students, co-authored curriculum and assessments, and served as a technology trainer for the Aeries program. He supervises assistant coaches for all aquatic sports, has initiated new programs in women’s water polo and women’s swimming, and organized a new aquatics parent booster club. Previously, he served as a social studies teacher and Aquatic Programs Director at Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, California.
Mr. Prendergast graduated from University High School in Irvine and attended community college before graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in history. He holds a California Professional Clear Single Subject Technical Credential (Social Science with CLAD) and is an American Red Cross certified instructor for CPR and First Aid.
“As a teacher and parent, I care about quality education. Now more than ever, taxpayer money needs to be spent in the classroom helping students reach their potential: preparing academic students for success at the university level, assisting vocational and professional students in the job market, and serving the needs of our community's life-long learners. We must provide skills for success in the high-tech 21st Century,” said Trustee Prendergast.
Mr. Prendergast lives in Tustin with his wife, Christy, and their two daughters. He can be contacted at: email@example.com
In May 2022, Irvine Valley College student Rachel Abalos was sworn-in by Board President Marcia Milchiker to serve as the 2022-2023 Student Trustee. Abalos will represent students from both Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College as student trustee and plans to bring awareness to student focused issues.
Anthropology major and member of the ASIVC—Abalos’ main initiatives while serving as student trustee will be to support student basic needs, and environmental and disability justice. “Community colleges are the bridge for students with differing abilities to feel safe and have access to a fair education and pathway to a career,” said Student Trustee Abalos.
President of the Board Marcia Milchiker said, “Rachel Abalos will be a great addition to the Board of Trustees. As with all of the student trustees, we value the role they serve in being the student voice and providing input on some of the most important matters that have an impact on students at Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College.” Student Trustee Abalos will transition into the new role after serving as an ASIVC Senator and Co-Chair of the ASIVC Sustainability Committee. The Irvine native and graduate of Portola High School plans to transfer to a four-year university upon graduation to study anthropology.