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Napa Valley College names Powell its new top executive

Torence Powell, Ed.D., has been named superintendent and president at Napa Valley College.

The 41-year-old will start his new post effective July 1, the community college’s board of trustees announced Monday. The final approval of his contract will be considered at the group’s April meeting.

Powell comes from the Sacramento area, where for the past 12 years he worked for the Los Rios Community College District, most recently as recently as associate vice chancellor of instruction, workforce and economic development. Prior to that, he was interim vice president for student access and online engagement.

Before joining the Los Rios Community College District, Powell worked for Consumnes River College, one of the district’s four colleges, first as director of GreenForce Projects, working on establishing pathways for “green sector” careers in the fields of architecture, construction, engineering and energy. After two years as GreenForce director, Powell was hired as the dean of communication, visual and performing arts, overseeing the departments of Art and Art History; Communication Studies; Film Studies; Music, Radio, TV and Film; and Theater. He served as division dean for three years until he was promoted to the position of associate vice president, instruction and student learning, the NVC announcement stated.

Before joining the Los Rios Community College District, Powell served as assistant director, diversity and inclusion, at University of the Redlands in San Bernardino County.

“As a former community college student and a first-generation college graduate, I have dedicated my career to student success – because that is my story and I know what it means firsthand,” said Powell.

Powell holds a bachelor’s degree in social science with a minor in history from Los Angeles State University. He also earned two master’s degrees, including one in educational leadership from the University of Redlands, and earned his doctorate in educational leadership at UC Davis.

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