(Santa Ana, CA)—At the last regularly scheduled meeting of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees in 2015, the Board nominated and approved the slate of officers for 2016. Claudia C. Alvarez was unanimously elected as president. John R. Hanna was elected as vice president and Nelida Mendoza Yanez was elected as clerk. Each will serve a one-year term. The seven-member Board also includes Trustees Arianna P. Barrios, Lawrence R. “Larry” Labrado, Jose Solorio, Phillip E. Yarbrough, and Raquel Manriquez, the student trustee.
“It’s a privilege to be selected as Board president. I am proud of the accomplishments of the Board of Trustees, the administrators, faculty and staff that empower our students to improve their lives, their families’ outlook, and the community’s well-being. Each semester, we provide educational services and programs to over 40,000 students districtwide. And in 2014-2015, more than 3,000 students earned certificates and degrees from Santa Ana and Santiago Canyon Colleges helping them achieve their dreams. The Board of Trustees is honored to support Rancho Santiago Community College District's excellent programs and services, and to do so with the exceptional dedication of our administration, faculty, and staff. We are grateful for the generous support of our alumni and the community-at-large,” said Board President Alvarez.
Alvarez, a resident of Santa Ana for more than 30 years who was elected to the RSCCD Board of Trustees in 2012, attended local public schools including Fremont Elementary, Spurgeon Jr. High, and Santiago High School. While taking her core courses at Santa Ana College concurrently, she earned a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, majoring in criminal justice with a minor in political science. She earned her law degree from Loyola Law School and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1994. She has served as a deputy district attorney for the County of Orange for more than 16 years and has been active in many community organizations. She served as a Santa Ana City Council member from 2000 until she termed out in November 2012. She served as mayor pro tem in Santa Ana for six years (2006-2012) and was chairperson of the Public Safety Committee for many years. Alvarez also served on the Orange County Water District board for six years (2006-2012), including serving as president the last two years of her term. Alvarez currently serves as the chairperson of the RSCCD Board Safety and Security Committee.
She has also been active in many community organizations. She has been a mentor for the Puente (Bridge) and Hermanita (Little Sister) programs and has also assisted with gang prevention issues. Alvarez has served as president of the Hispanic Bar Association and as vice president of KinderCaminata, a program that introduces low-income kindergarten students to higher education through their local community colleges. She has also been president of MANA (Orange County Chapter), a national Latina organization, and served as a board member of the Community Service Programs (CSP), an organization dedicated to serving Orange County residents through programs addressing issues in gang prevention, victim/witness, domestic violence, transitional housing and youth shelters.
Hanna is an attorney and serves as government affairs director/special counsel, for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. Previously, he served as general counsel for the California Department of Business Oversight and General Counsel to the California Department of Corporations. Hanna, a resident of Orange, received a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles. He was appointed to the Board in January 1998 and has served as an elected member representing Trustee Area 2 for the past 18 years. He serves as chairperson of the Board Policy Committee, and a member of the Board Facilities Committee and the Board Legislative Committee. He is active in civic and community affairs. Hanna is currently a member of the Community College League of California Advisory Committee on Legislation, and serves on the Board for the Community Foundation of Orange. Most recently, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Water District's Blue Ribbon Committee to help the region meet its long-term water needs.
Mendoza Yanez was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2012 for Trustee Area 3. She currently serves as chairperson of the Board Legislative Committee, a member of the Board Fiscal/Audit Committees and the Board Safety and Security Committee, and representative to the Orange County Community College Legislative Task Force. Mendoza Yanez was born in Jalisco, Mexico, immigrated to the United States in 1965 and has been a resident of Santa Ana since then. She is a paralegal with Orange County Department of Child Support Services. For more than 17 years, she has helped prepare exhibits and witnesses for trial, analyzed existing case information, and researched pertinent case law. In addition, she researches and analyzes legislation affecting education, family support issues, and the paralegal profession. Mendoza Yanez is a U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged as a Sergeant (E5). Her extensive community involvement includes membership in the Selective Service Board, United Mexican American Veterans Association, American GI Forum, Rudy Escalante Chapter, American Legion Post 132, MANA de Orange County, Women in Leadership, and Toastmasters International. She earned an A.A. in liberal arts, an A.A. in paralegal studies, and an A.A. in office technology from Santa Ana College. She also holds a B.A. in sociology and a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton.
About Rancho Santiago Community College District
Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which serves the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Santa Ana, Villa Park, and portions of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and Tustin. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, and customized training for business and industry.
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