María L. Villagómez

2024-25 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. María L. Villagómez is purposeful, resourceful, responsive, and adept at redirecting her attention between the details and the ‘big’ picture of an issue. She has almost 24 years of experience in increasingly responsible positions in the CA community college system.

Dr. Villagómez holds bachelor's and master’s degrees in Spanish, a second master’s degree in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, and a doctorate in education (EdD) in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Villagómez’s proven commitment to student success in higher education is a direct result of the high academic standards and expectations she holds for herself and her teams. She has a clear understanding of the essential nexus between the classroom experience and administration. Her primary strength is her ability to take initiative, think proactively, and anticipate and organize institutional change. She has brought an educator’s insight into each of her administrative roles.

Currently, Dr. Villagómez is the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Accreditation Liaison at Santa Barbara City College in CA, providing visionary leadership and oversight for the college’s broad array of academic programs.

At Napa Valley College, Dr. Villagómez served as Senior Dean of Language Arts and Social Sciences, the Library and Distance Education. Her previous positions include Dean of Instruction and Academic Support and Dean of Language Arts, Educational Support, and Learning Technologies.

Dr. Villagómez taught Spanish Language and Literature and English as a Second Language courses at Napa Valley College for over 18 years, a role for which she won the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award. At NVC, she held faculty leadership positions including, President, 1st Vice President and Grievance Officer for the Faculty Association, and Vice President and Secretary for the Academic Senate.

Dr. Villagómez has remained active in various civic local and statewide leadership organizations because she believes in ongoing professional growth.