NASPA Online Learning Community

Interviewing for a Community College: What You Need to Know

Interviewing for a Community College: What You Need to Know

Recorded On: 11/03/2023

Dr. Michelle Cantu-Wilson

Trustee & Owner

San Jacinto College & Vida Linda Consulting

Dr. Michelle Cantu-Wilson is a trustee at San Jacinto College. She is also the owner of Vida Linda Consulting, a higher education leadership consulting firm that provides leader-focused professional development, program review services, and strategic-planning support. Dr. Cantú-Wilson currently serves on the board of Pasadena Health Center, a growing medical care provider in Southeast Houston. She also serves on the College of Education Curriculum & Instruction (EDCI) with STEM Emphasis Doctoral Program Advisory Board at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dr. Cantú-Wilson is a guest host of the EdUp Experience podcast, a global higher education podcast. Locally, she is a member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and serves on the workforce committee. She is also a member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. Previously, Dr. Cantú-Wilson served as the Director of Teaching and Learning Initiatives and Special Projects at San Jacinto College. She was also a developmental education faculty member. She is the past president of the Gulf Coast Region Chapter for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education and served as the membership chair for the Houston Chapter of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Dr. Cantu-Wilson’s prior career as a K-12 campus administrator and teacher have served her well. She was a junior high assistant principal for six years and a junior high English teacher for 5 years in Pasadena ISD. Michelle holds a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, a Master’s in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston, a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from the University of Houston, and an Associate of Arts from Ranger College in north Texas. She was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas and was the first in her family to attend college. She is married and has three amazing children.

Richard L. Monroe, M.S.

Student Engagement Manager

Metropolitan Community College

Richard Lee Monroe (he, him, his) assumed the role of Student Engagement Manager in January 2019, having previously served as the Coordinator for Campus Life & Leadership at Metropolitan Community College (MCC) from March 2017 to January 2019.  Before joining MCC, Monroe served as the Coordinator for Student Organizations at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and the Technical Operations and Marketing Manager for Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.  Richard has also served as an adjunct faculty member at MCC.

A native of Carl Junction, Missouri, Monroe holds a bachelor of science in accounting with a minor in computer information systems from Missouri State University, and a master of science in student affairs in higher education (administration) from Missouri State University.  Monroe is working on his dissertation for the Ph.D. in Education, instructional design, and Technology degree from Liberty University.

Monroe is a lifelong learner dedicated to improving higher education by providing holistic support services that give students the best opportunity to grow in their life path.  Monroe has the drive to improve and seek efficiency, which has directed him to research how higher education can better utilize and mine the available data to enhance the support systems at higher education institutions.

Monroe is very involved and continues to serve in many capacities.  Currently, Monroe serves as a deacon and as a lead producer for the production team at his local church and is a founding father of the Theta Lambda chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity of Missouri State University.  Monroe is also a member of NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Chi Sigma Alpha, student affairs honor society international, of Missouri State University, among other organizations.  

Andrea Garcia Gonzalez

Program Specialist

Mt. San Antonio College

Andrea Garcia Gonzalez (she/her/ella) serves as Program Specialist at Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA) in the NextUp/REACH Program where she has the privilege of working with current and former foster youth in their transition into, while attending, and as they graduate from college. Additionally, Andrea oversees grant funding and programming for Life Skills, a unique component of NextUp/REACH which aims at strengthening students’ independent living skills for a more successful transition into adulthood. 


A proud first-generation college graduate, Andrea has dedicated her life’s work to supporting students from all backgrounds as they strive to grow through education. Andrea has experience working in the K-12, university, and more recently, community college system, having worked for multiple campuses in the southern California region. As a new student affairs professional herself, Andrea cares about growing the pipeline of equity-minded community college professionals, which is why she sits on the board of NASPA’s Community Colleges Division as the New Professionals representative. She also supports the work of the CCD Latinx/a/o Task Force. 


Andrea earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Child Studies from Santa Clara University and a Master’s of Education in Educational Counseling from the University of Southern California. She proudly claims the agriculturally rich town of Dinuba, CA as her hometown and currently lives in Ontario, CA with her husband and fur baby, Fanta.

Tania Velazquez

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/College Director

Suffolk County Community College

A dedicated student affairs professional who has worked in both a large public university and community college. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/ College Director for Career Services at Suffolk County Community College. As a licensed Social Worker, Tania has functioned in various capacities in higher education ranging from working with at-risk student populations, Veterans, mental health, and career development.  Tania is a published author and experienced presenter, having presented at several local, regional and national conferences. Her research interest is on Latinx/a/o and women leadership empowerment and within the community college sector. Tania earned her AA in Liberal Arts at Suffolk County Community College, BS at SUNY at Geneseo, and an MSW with a specialization in Student Community Development at Stony Brook University.

Derek Vergara

Dean of Students

Orange Coast College

Join us for an engaging webinar during NASPA's Careers in Student Affairs Month, where we will delve into the unique world of interviewing and transitioning to a student affairs role at community colleges. Discover how to effectively communicate your transferrable skills and articulate why your gifts would be an excellent fit for the community college environment. Our panelists will explore the parallels between student affairs professionals' roles at four-year and two-year institutions so attendees can learn how to showcase their experience and skills effectively. One crucial aspect of community colleges is funding, and our webinar will provide insights into the financial landscape of these institutions and valuable perspectives on governance, shedding light on the decision-making processes and structures that shape these jobs.


10/30/2023 at 3:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/03/2023
10/30/2023 at 3:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/03/2023