Stephanie Kashima

2021-22 Aspen New Presidents Fellow
Stephanie Kashima spent her early childhood in South Korea with her parents as they assisted with the post-war rebuilding efforts in higher education. A move to a small rural community in the American Midwest at age 7 exposed her to the realities of American attitudes toward Asians in the post-Vietnam war era and the ravages of xenophobia and racism. She received her bachelor's degree in English at New York University, a master's in English linguistics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is currently enrolled in the Ed.D program in organizational change and leadership at the University of Southern California. She taught ESL to immigrants and refugees for 17 years in San Francisco and Silicon Valley before transitioning to roles as dean and then vice president at West Valley College, a comprehensive community college in Saratoga, California.

She was selected as the 12th president of West Valley College in January of 2020. Her mission has been to continue creating a truly equitable environment on her campus by centering the experiences and cultures of traditionally marginalized students and employees and by insisting on the equitable outcomes they deserve. Through a focus on data, accountability, and dismantling systems that perpetuate inequities, she is committed to making the difficult choices that will lead to transformation and a renewed vigor throughout the college.