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Dr. Denise Richardson is an experienced community college educator dedicated to maximizing student success and improving institutional effectiveness in support of the diverse and extraordinary students served by the Peralta Community College District (PCCD). Denise was hired as the Vice President of Instruction at Merritt College in January 2021, after serving as the Acting Vice President of Instruction from March, 2020 to December 2020. Before coming to Merritt Denise was the Dean of Math and Sciences at Laney College between August 2013 and February 2020. Prior to moving into administration Denise taught Political Science for twelve years and held key faculty leadership positions, including Social Sciences Department Chair, Tenure Review Facilitator and Faculty Senate President.

Denise was raised in Hartford, Connecticut, but has spent the last thirty years living in the Northern California Bay Area.  She holds a B.A. Degree in Communication from Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL, a M.A. Degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, and both a M.A. and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Denise is consistently inspired by the immeasurable value and power of community college education. As such, she considers it a privilege and an honor to have a profession that so closely aligns with her passion for equity and social justice.