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Administrative Profiles

Administrative Profiles

Dr. David M. Johnson


Dr. David M. Johnson was named President of Merritt College in June 2020.  Prior to this role he served as Acting President, having started at Merritt as Vice President of Instruction in January 2019.  He comes to Merritt from Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, where he served as Interim Vice President of Academic Services. In that position, he was responsible for enrollment management, academic compliance, budget supervision, and overall instructional support for 120 degree, transfer, and certificate programs. He also worked closely with the faculty, staff, and administration to ensure institutional compliance with accreditation standards and state initiatives. Click here for full bio

Dr. Lilia Chavez

Vice President of Student Services

Dr. Lilia Chavez is Merritt’s Vice President of Student Services as of December 2019. 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 spiritual guide. Click here for full bio

Denise Richardson

Acting Vice President of Instruction

Denise Richardson has been appointed Acting Vice President of Instruction at Merritt College as of March 2, 2020.  She 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.  Denise comes to Merritt from Laney College where she has served as the Dean of Math and Sciences since August 2013.  Prior to becoming an administrator she taught Political Science for 12 years and held key faculty leadership positions, including Social Sciences Cluster Chair and Faculty Senate President.  Denise considers it a privilege and an honor to work in a profession that so closely aligns with her passion for equity and social justice. Click here for full bio

Jason Holloway, M.S.

Dean of Mathematics, Science, and Applied Technology (Division II)

Jason Holloway was named interim Dean of Mathematics, Science, and Applied Technology at Merritt College in July 2017. He previously served as the co-chair of Maths and Physical Sciences. Jason’s goal is to increase the number of minorities who can compete for jobs in STEM fields with the understanding that there are varying levels of math competence needed to be successful in their careers. Because of this, he is committed to reforming the academic pathways from basic math to transfer-level math courses, and he has been involved in curriculum development from a ‘student-centered’ perspective. Click here for a full bio.

Dr. Chriss Foster

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

Chriss Warren Foster, PhD., was named Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in December 2019.  She previously served as a professor of English, Rhetoric, and Psychology, holds the following degrees: Master of Arts degrees –English literature with Rhetoric and Composition emphases; Counseling Psychology with completion of practicum for Marriage and Family Therapist licensing; and, Education. She also holds two Doctoral degrees: Educational Leadership and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology with an emphasis in Phenomenology, and a certificate in Rhetoric and Composition and Teaching Reading at the Post Secondary Level. Click here for a full bio.

Marie Amboy

Dean of Allied Health and Public Safety (Division III)

Raised in Silicon Valley, Marie is incredibly passionate about improving educational access and opportunities for our most underserved and underrepresented students through the development or sustainability of programs, partnerships, and new policies that foster student equity.  She works collaboratively with both faculty and industry partners to promote the development of innovative new Career Education programs that respond to the evolving needs of the workforce and further increase opportunities for student success. Click here for full bio

Victoria Menzies

Director of Business and Administrative Services

Victoria Menzies became the Director of Business and Administrative Services at Merritt College as of August 2018. With 25 years of experience in business and fiscal operations and a stellar reputation, it’s hard to believe that Vikki Menzie’s high school counselor steered her toward becoming a secretary. But in those days, clerical work was one of just a handful of careers paths that women went into. But it didn’t take long before Vikki’s abilities to go beyond secretarial skills became apparent. As a secretary for the defense contractor Gould, Inc., she was given the best advice of her life: get an education. “I was doing secretarial work, and I was also becoming familiar with programming and helping my bosses,” she says. “I was tired of taking notes and getting coffee. So when one of my bosses suggested I start taking college classes, I immediately enrolled at Mt. San Antonio College to study business.” Click here for full bio

Ernesto Nery

Director of Financial Aid Services

Ernesto received a Bachelor’s in Sociology from California State, Los Angeles and brings 18 years of experience in student affairs, and 15 years of knowledge and background working in financial aid. Ernesto’s wealth of financial aid experience comes from various California community colleges working as a Financial Aid Specialist, Financial Aid Advisor, and as a Financial Aid Analyst. Most recently, he worked for  Pasadena City College as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid, and the Director of Financial Aid at San Bernardino Valley College.  Previously, Ernesto was the Financial Aid Supervisor for Merritt College and he is thrilled to be returning to Merritt. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his four furry babies Cy, Lebron, Curry, and Kobe.

Doris Hankins

Director of Student Activities and Campus Life

Effective March 2, 2020, Doris Hankins began her new role as Director of Student Activities and Campus Life. She is a Merritt College alumnus and served as the Phi Theta Kappa (Beta Theta Lamda Chapter) President for 3 years (2001-2003) and was awarded the All USA Award (2002). In addition, she has worked at Merritt College for almost 20 years. Her positions at Merritt have included being a Sr. Clerical Assistant to the President; a Staff Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction; an Interim Curriculum Specialist; an Interim Program Manager for CAFYES (Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support); an Employment Services Manager; a Program Manager for Basic Skills Student Outcomes and Transformation (BSSOT); a Project Manager for Guided Pathways; and Program Manager for Next Up (formally CAFYES). Click here for full bio

Nathan Pellegrin

Director of Research and Planning

Nathan Pellegrin was named Director of Research and Planning in January 2020. He is committed to enabling cycles of inquiry that reach across the campus community to bring together faculty, students, and staff. Prior to joining Merritt, he worked with community colleges in the region on supporting organization change, including student equity planning, evaluation of in-class student supports, student-centered scheduling, and students right to transfer-level classes in math and English (AB 705), and served as Director of Institutional Research for the Peralta Community College District from 2014 to 2016. de. Click here for full bio

Dr. Lisa S. Webb

Dean of Counseling

Dr. Webb is from Chicago, IL. Lisa received her BA from Wheaton College, her masters degree from Harvard University, and her doctorate from the University of San Francisco with a concentration in International and Multicultural Education.
Lisa has over 25 years of experience as a higher education administrator. She has also taught College Success at several institutions and is passionate about student success. She started her career in college admissions as a coordinator of multicultural recruitment. She most recently served as the Dean of Student Life at Riverside City College and previously as the Interim Dean of Student Success at the College of Marin. Prior to working at community colleges, some of Lisa’s previous work included serving as the UC Berkeley Site Director at the Level Playing Field Institute in Oakland, CA, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life at Southern Methodist University, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Affairs at Lewis & Clark College, and was a Residence Dean at Stanford University.  Outside of work, Lisa loves music, theater, visual arts, and travel. Her favorite place to visit in the US is Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Lisa is a very dedicated member of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco Lisa is excited to have joined the Merritt Community!