Excel Inaugural Class

The South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) is pleased to announce that 27 members of its inaugural class of the EXCEL Leadership Academy have successfully completed all of the training and requirements of the program. The graduates were recognized at a graduation ceremony on May 12, 2023, in Tustin, CA.

The EXCEL Leadership Academy was designed to grow individual leadership skills, enhance interpersonal and group communication, expand institutional/systemwide knowledge, and further develop team building skills. The EXCEL inaugural cohort provided an opportunity for leaders across the District to work with each other in an effort to forward the vision and mission of the District by working more effectively together as a leadership team.

“Here in SOCCCD, we believe in collaboration and building teams of aspiring leaders who support each other on their development journey, and we are incredibly proud to recognize these graduates for their remarkable achievements,” said Dr. Cindy Vyskocil, SOCCCD Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.

The first year of the program featured speakers from within the district, throughout the region, and across the state including, but not limited to, former California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, North Orange County Community College District Chancellor Byron Breland, and SOCCCD’s Chancellor Julianna Barnes.

“The EXCEL Leadership Academy was successful in its first year because of the dedicated people who helped organize a meaningful and engaging series of professional development opportunities, such as Vice Chancellor Vyskocil and her team, but also because of the participants of the program who are committed to excellence for themselves and for the students we serve. The passion amongst these leaders to learn, know, and give the best is evident. I can not wait to see what they will do next with the knowledge gained from this program,” said SOCCCD Chancellor, Dr. Julianna Barnes.

EXCEL Leadership Academy participants met weekly as a group for three or more hours, in addition to a kick-off retreat where they addressed topics related to communication, team dynamics, personal/professional growth, and overall leadership style.

The cohort included a diverse group of classified staff, managers, and faculty from District Services, Irvine Valley College, and Saddleback College. The dynamic group should be applauded for their commitment to the program, but also for their willingness to be leaders that will inspire greatness throughout the South Orange County Community College District.

Congratulations to the 2023 Class of the EXCEL Leadership Academy!

2023 EXCEL Leadership Academy Graduates:

  • Leilani Anselmo
  • Erlynne Ballo
  • Rebecca Beck
  • Ryan Brook
  • Connie Cavanaugh
  • Claire Cesareo
  • Anne Chua
  • Dr. RJ Dolbin
  • Scott Ferguson Greene
  • Davit Khachatryan
  • Chris Larson
  • Dr. Margot Lovett
  • Billy Ly
  • Michelle MacDougall Jackson
  • Dr. Martha McDonald
  • Rick Miranda
  • Heidi Ochoa
  • Desiree Ortiz
  • Nicola Perry
  • Erin Pollard
  • Dan Predoehl
  • Lisa Schenitzki
  • Emmanuel Smith
  • Rita Soultanian
  • Amanda Turner
  • Erica Vogel
  • Tram Vo-Kumamoto

For more photos of this year’s EXCEL Leadership Academy Cohort, please visit the SOCCCD Flickr Account.