Dean of Enrollment Services

Ree’shemah Thornton joined Merritt College in April 2021 in the inaugural role of the Dean of Enrollment Services.

Ree’shemah is professionally and personally committed to providing students with authentic access to higher education and has over 27 years of professional experience in higher education and administering programs providing educational and support services to first-generation student populations.

She comes to Merritt College most recently from Holy Names University, where she was the Assistant Vice President for Admissions and Student Recruitment.  Prior to that, Ree’shemah was the Interim Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management at San Francisco State University, where she provided leadership for the enrollment management units including Undergraduate Admissions, Student Outreach Services, Registrar’s Office, Student Financial Aid, Educational Opportunity Program, and Enrollment Management Technology.  She has also served in various capacities at the University of California, Office of the President, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Alan Hancock Community College.

Her educational background includes an earned Master of Arts in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Human Development, from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in both Law and Society and Black Studies, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Both proud Oakland natives, Ree’shemah and her husband have the privilege of raising their children here as well.  In addition to spending her weekends cheering on her children’s basketball, softball, and baseball games, she has recently found a passion for taking pictures of sunsets.

Dean Thornton’s commitment and dedication to first-generation students and families, her ability to nurture innovation, and a willingness to “roll up her sleeves” to get the job done are what led her to Merritt College.