Education leaders expand opportunities for students
NORTH BAY – In order to have cutting-edge ideas in business today, a community needs innovative leaders in education. In the North Bay, there is an abundance of people dedicating their lives to developing the leaders of tomorrow. From superintendents, to business school deans, to principals dedicated to giving the most opportunity to high schoolers, this special report highlights some of those committed individuals in the community making an outstanding difference.
The North Bay’s leaders in education, listed alphabeticallyDr. Robert Agrella
Superintendent/president, Santa Rosa Junior College, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa 95401, 707-527-4011, santarosa.edu
Dr. Robert Agrella became Santa Rosa Junior College’s fourth superintendent/president in 1990.
A mathematics major with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in mathematics from Purdue University, Dr. Agrella earned his doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to moving to Santa Rosa, he served for five years as superintendent/president of Cabrillo College in Aptos. Dr. Agrella also served as superintendent/president of Mendocino College in Ukiah from 1978 to 1980 and has an additional 16 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator in Arizona and Illinois.
He has been active in many business, professional and community organizations in California and Arizona. Dr. Agrella is involved in such community organizations as the Board of Directors of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and the North Bay Business Council. He and his wife, Kim, make their home in Santa Rosa.
Dr. Ruben Armiñana
President, Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park 94928, 707-664-2880, sonoma.edu
Dr. Ruben Armiñana has been the president of Sonoma State University since 1992. He is also a professor of political science. Dr. Armiñana, who was born in Cuba, is the former president of the Western College Association and serves on several California State University system-wide committees.
Dr. Armiñana served as vice president for finance and development at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, from 1988 to 1992. Prior to that, he served at Tulane University as vice president and assistant to the president. He also held faculty appointments at both institutions, in political science at Pomona and in international business and political science at Tulane.
During Dr. Armiñana’s tenure as president, he has been successful in furthering the academic and instructional programs of the university. Under his leadership, the university has experienced a steady increase in private donor investment and has entered into numerous partnership programs with businesses and public institutions in the North Bay.
He created the Educational Mentoring Team program; instituted the Assured Access Program, which requires 24-hour access to personal computing for all students; and supported the founding of the master’s degree program in computer and engineering science in conjunction with the North Bay technology community.
By partnering with the Santa Rosa Symphony, the university has undertaken a $40 million capital campaign, with a lead gift from Donald and Maureen Green, to build the Green Music Center. The Lifelong Learning Institute, a program for senior citizens, was started in the School of Extended Education, and the university’s academic grants and contracts activity has developed significantly.
Dr. Armiñana also has overseen the development of the campus with the construction of the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center and the Environmental Technology Center; the renovation of Salazar Hall, which offers a central location for all student services; along with modern classrooms and laboratories and the expansion of residential housing. The building of the Student Recreation Center will support the co-curricular life of students, and the pending renovation of Darwin Hall will enhance the university’s science programs.