CPTC welcomes Iesha Valencia

Iesha Valencia joins CPTC as new Associate Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

by Jean Borst

Valencia will help CPTC deepen its ongoing efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community for faculty, staff and students. Valencia began her new role at CPTC January 17, 2022. This is the second of a two-part series to introduce her to our College community.

Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) is pleased to welcome Iesha Valencia, the college’s new Associate Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

In her highly influential role, Valencia will be a key leader and voice on EDI issues and serve as CPTC’s Chief Diversity Officer. She will work across divisions to deepen the college’s ongoing efforts to foster an environment of belonging for people who historically underserved, and create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community for all faculty, staff and students. A key part of that work will be the intersectional and intentional development of the new MOSAIC (Student Access, Inclusion, and Community) Center in the school’s Student Center. The MOSAIC Center will be an inclusive, welcoming space where students of diverse, racial, ethnic and gender backgrounds can gather and connect with other students.

Fittingly, Valencia assumed her role on January 17, 2022, the day set aside to recognize civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We are so pleased Iesha has chosen to join us at CPTC,” said CPTC President Dr. Joyce Lovejoy. “She has made equity and inclusion her life’s work, and I look forward to the insight and inspiration she will bring to further our efforts as an equity-minded institution.”

Valencia’s arrival comes on the heels of a notable accolade from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Following CPTC’s recent accreditation evaluation, the college received a commendation for its EDI efforts and commitment.

“I’m fortunate to come into a position where so much robust assessment has already happened,” Valencia said. “That work will enable me to have a concrete and direct impact at the college. I look forward to centering on that to help to transform the lived experiences of students who are traditionally excluded.”

Creating change and success through an EDI lens

Valencia brings to her new role 16 years of experience, both in higher education where she supported and served under-represented and non-traditional students, and as an independent consultant helping leaders create an inclusive work culture.

She comes to CPTC from Highline College, where she was most recently Associate Dean for Student Life. In that role, she helped lead efforts to create a campus climate that was accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all students.

A passion that runs deep

Valencia is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education Leadership program at Colorado State University. She received her M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree in child development from California State University, Chico.

It was at CSUC that Valencia developed her passion for helping students, like herself, who are the first in their family to go to college.

Valencia recently discussed her new role and her work to uplift underrepresented and non-traditional students in higher education. You can read the Q&A here

Learn more about Clover Park Technical College’s Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.