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Administrative Profiles

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Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns

Interim President

Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns, an educational leader who is visionary, energetic, and passionate, has been named Interim President at Merritt College, effective August 2, 2016. She comes from San Jose City College where she was the Vice President for Special Services. While adaptable to change, Dr. Burns is a risk taker/entrepreneur; not afraid to explore an idea different from her own or to encourage others to try their ideas. She encourages and supports innovation and creativity. Dr. Burns’ leadership style is characterized by respect, inclusiveness, transparency, collaboration, effective listening skills, and participatory governance. She is committed to equity and student success. Click here for full bio


Dr. Jeffrey Lamb

Vice President of Instruction

Dr. Jeffrey Lamb was appointed as Vice President of Instruction at Merritt College, effective May 2, 2016. Prior to that, he was the Dean of the School of English and Foreign Languages at City College of San Francisco and because of this is familiar with building consensus and keeping the diverse needs of students at the core of decision-making in a large, complex, urban college.

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Dr. Arnulfo Cedillo

Vice President of Student Services
Dr. Cedillo began his assignment on July 14, 2014 following eight years of service at the College of Marin. In his role at the college, he had supervisory responsibilities over the health center, the Single Stop office and operations, the Veterans Services office, the associated students and related student clubs, the Puente Program, the emeritus program, and food services, plus budgetary and program responsibilities. In addition, he was a constant supporter of the Athletics Program. Click here for full bio

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Roberta Kunkel

Dean of Academic Pathways and Student Success (Division II)

Robbie Kunkel was appointed Dean of Academic Pathways and Academic Success on May 16, 2016.  Formerly an instructor of Philosophy and Humanities and SLO Coordinator at Contra Costa College and Program Manager for Apprenticeship curriculum at Foothill College, and with a background in entrepreneurship and small business development consulting, Robbie brings diverse experiences and perspectives to Merritt College.  She is committed to fostering the educational and economic development of students and the community at large. Click here for full bio.

Dr. Rosemary Delia

Dean of Workforce Development and Applied Sciences (Division II)

On January 26, 2016 the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Dr. Rosemary Delia, as Dean of Workforce Development & Applied Sciences (Division II) with more than 25 years of instructional and administrative experience on both the secondary and postsecondary levels.

She recently served as Curriculum Director of Language Arts for Oakland’s Mentoring Academy and as English Instructor for Maybeck High School in Berkeley. Prior to those posts, she served as Director of Chabot College’s first satellite campus, Chabot College-San Leandro Center, providing strategic vision and overall leadership for program development, public relations, and community outreach. In partnership with all levels of college faculty and administration, the Chabot College Foundation Board, and a full spectrum of San Leandro community and business organizations, she worked to develop the Center’s program of basic skills courses and workforce training. Click here for full bio.


Dr. Lilia Chavez

Dean of Special Programs and Grants
Dr. Lilia Chavez is Merritt’s new  Dean of Special Programs and Grants, as of April 13, 2016. She joined the college in 2014 as  the Director of Student Activities & Campus Life. She is a Chicana/Latina, Social and Spiritual Activist/Educator who seizes each opportunity to work with underrepresented, underprepared, and underserved communities. She has an extensive teaching and professional record. Dr. Chavez has worked as an educator, counselor, consultant, administrator, cultural broker, and spritual guide. Click here for full bio

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Dr. Siri Brown

Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (Division I)

Dr. Siri Brown is currently serving as Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. As a passionate and committed educator, Dr. Brown has been teaching Ethnic Studies and African American Studies for over 17 years full-time at the community college level and as a part-time faculty at UC Berkeley.  She holds an M.A. in African American Studies and Ph.D. in U.S. History with an emphasis in Early American, African American and U.S. Women’s history from The Ohio State University.  She is a 2012 Fulbright recipient of a research project on the African cultural heritage of Salvador Bahia, Brazil. Click  here for full bio


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Dr. Herbert Kitchen

Director of Student Activities and Campus Life 

Dr. Herbert Kitchen joined Merritt College as Interim Director of Student Activities and Campus Life  on July 25, 2016. Dr. Kitchen is a veteran at the Peralta Community College District, having served over 20 years at the District Office in the Marketing, Communications and Media department as the Coordinator of Marketing. At Merritt, Dr. Kitchen is responsible for providing and coordinating opportunities for student leadership and development. He’ll work in collaboration with faculty, staff, and administrators to develop student leadership programs. Dr. Kitchen will serve as an advisor to the college student government and clubs and will engage and encourage the development of student groups with extracurricular and co-curricular engagement, including student activities, special campus student-led conferences, and cultural enriching events.
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Dr. Dativa (Dettie) Del Rosario

Director of Business and Administrative Services

Dr. Dativa (Dettie) Del Rosario joined Merritt College as the official Director of Business and Administrative Services, prior to serving in that role in an interim position. Dettie has been with the District for more than 15 years, most recently as an employee of the Peralta District Financial Services Office and brings with her a well-rounded experience in fiscal and accounting operations. She started in the Laney College Business Office, then on to the Bursar position at Berkeley City College, and then to the District Office, first as District Budget and Attendance Analyst, then Supervisor of Accounts Payable and Enrollment Management. Click here for full bio