Accreditation Visiting Team
Robert Dees recently retired from serving since 2005 as the president
of Orange Coast College (OCC). He first came to OCC in 1978 as a
full-time teacher of English. From 1984-1998 he was Dean of the
college’s Literature and Languages Division, and then served as Vice
President of Instruction from 1998-2005 until assuming his position as
During his career in California community college education, Dees was
president of the statewide English Council of Two-Year California
Colleges, served on or chaired a number of community college
accreditation teams, and participated as a member of several statewide
Dees is the author of several textbooks on composition, critical
thinking, vocabulary building, and writing college research papers. He
resides in Laguna Niguel with his wife Van, who teaches English as a
Second Language at Golden West College.
Ms. Sparks is the administrative assistant for the Accrediting
Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. She holds a Bachelor of
Science degree and a Certification of Special Study in Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) & Remote Sensing from Humboldt State
University. Ms. Sparks is a Microsoft Certified Office Specialist (Word
2003 expert) and Desktop Support Technician (Microsoft Windows XP).
Whitney joined the Commission staff in January, 2009.
Doni Bird is the Director of Allied Dental Education at Santa Rosa Junior
College in Santa Rosa, California. She received her dental hygiene degree from
the University of New Mexico, and a Masters Degree in Education from San
Francisco State University. Prior to joining the faculty at SRJC, she held
teaching positions at the University of New Mexico, the University of Minnesota,
and the University of California San Francisco, School of Dentistry. She has
served on five previous ACCJC site visits, and currently serves as a consultant
to the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation.
R. David Chapel, Ed.D.
Dr. Chapel was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Rancho
Santiago Community College District in 2004. He is currently serving as
president of the Trustees and represents the Board on the Orange County
Community Colleges Legislative Task Force and Orange County School
Dr. Chapel possesses a wealth of teaching and administrative
experience. He is currently a professor of education and supervisor of
student teachers at Argosy University in Orange County. He started his
career in education as a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified
School District. Later, he taught high school in Bellflower and
Huntington Beach. During his teaching tenure in Huntington Beach, Dr.
Chapel was elected president of the teachers association and served as a
California Teachers Association State council representative, a National
Education Association delegate, a mentor teacher and department chair.
In 1990, he became an administrator in the Garden Grove Unified School
District and taught part-time at California State University, Dominguez
Dr. Chapel earned a bachelor’s degree from California State
University, Long Beach; received a master’s degree from California State
University, Los Angeles; and completed his doctoral studies at the
University of Southern California.
Dr. Chapel is also the founder of an educational consulting business
for major corporations and the California Department of Education.
Dr. Jack Daniels, III
Dr. Jack E. Daniels, III, assumed his position as president of Los
Angeles Southwest College (LASC) in July 2006. LASC serves over 16,000
credit and non-credit students annually. After serving for three years
as president of Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield Illinois,
a college that served over 20,000 students annually, he relocated to Los
Angeles to accept the position. Prior to that, he served for five years
as president of Central College, one of five community colleges within
the Houston Community College System. In addition to serving as a
Psychology faculty member at Laney College, Dr. Daniels also served in
several administrative capacities in California Community Colleges
including Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Grossmont College,
Associate Dean of Math, Science and Physical Education at College of
Alameda, and Director of Educational Development for the Peralta
Community College District.
Dr. Daniels is an accomplished leader at urban colleges in strategic
and facilities master planning, implementing a "learner-centered"
college initiative, articulating programs with local universities and
providing leadership to developing programs that meet economic
development and community needs.
He currently oversees the largest building project at Los Angeles
Southwest College. One of California’s pilot community colleges for
design build projects, under Dr. Daniels’ leadership four buildings have
been built, one new stadium and fieldhouse and a new multi-level parking
lot—all by virtue of bonds supported by the public. In 2008, the Los
Angeles Community College District passed a $3.5 billion bond that
provided approximately $250 million for the campus. These dollars will
be used to build a fine arts and humanities center, a career technical
education building, a regional health training center at a new satellite
site, a new bookstore, a multi-level parking lot and many infrastructure
upgrades. A leader in sustainable buildings, the college is moving
forward with environmental projects that reduce energy costs and take
advantage of our natural resources.
Dr. Daniels has mentioned on several occasions that building
buildings is great, but the programs and services that help students
meet their goals is the most important mission LASC has. Subsequently,
the intense focus and vision on student success that he has is found in
every corner of the campus and evidenced by the many students who
transfer or go directly to work with new and refined skills.
Amy DiBello, earned her M.F.A. from University of California, Irvine,
and her B.A. from the University of Redlands, Johnston Center. She is in
her twelfth year of teaching English at College of the Desert. In 2009
Amy was awarded Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year. She has served
on the Academic Senate at COD as Chair of Professional Standards and
Ethics. Currently, she is the Chair of the Curriculum Committee. Amy is
also the Outcomes and Assessment Coordinator at College of the Desert.
She has served on several tenure committees. She is faculty advisor for
the creative writing club on campus and coordinates the Student Creative
Writing Reading every semester, as a part of The Forum Series. She is a
published writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, Amy is a
mountain climber, an award winning tri-athlete and mother of two.
Dr. Mildred Lovato
Dr. Lovato has twelve years experience in higher education and joined
the team of administrators at Bakersfield College (BC) in 2005 after
previously having served as the Assistant Vice President of Academic
Support and Student Retention at Santa Fe Community College, the
Director of Advisement and Counseling at Central New Mexico Community
College (CNM), and the Achievement Coach for the Technologies Department
at CNM. In her role at BC she oversees Enrollment Services, Assessment,
Financial Aid, Counseling, Transfer and Career Center, Matriculation,
Student Health Center, Disabled Students Programs and Services, 504/ADA
Compliance, EOPS, Title V grants, Foundations of Excellence, Athletic
Department, Physical Education and Health, Work Experience, Job
Placement, CalWorks, Public Safety and Security, Student Government
Association, Student Activities, and Outreach. She earned a doctorate in
Educational Administration, Community College Leadership Development,
from New Mexico State University and a Masters in Counseling Education
from the University of New Mexico. In 2000, she received a National
Student Retention Award from Noel Levitz for the development of a
student retention model: Relationship based Retention/Dimensional
Development (R2D2). Dr. Lovato currently co-chairs the Enrollment
Management Committee, the Educational Administrators Council, and the
Faculty Chairs and Directors Council. She also chairs the Steering
Committee of the Foundations of Excellence First Year Experience
program, a partnership with Cal State Bakersfield, which is committed to
advancing the college going rate in the community and in meeting the
needs of first year students so that they will attain their educational
goals. This is her third ACCJC accreditation site team visit.
Gary Nitta is the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services at
Kauai Community College where he manages the college’s budget, fiscal
services, human resources, and campus maintenance and development. He is
a graduate of the University of Idaho where he earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Fisheries, Wildlife Resource Management and a Master’s
degree in Business Administration. Chabot College will be Gary’s sixth
visit with an accreditation team.
Dr. Barry Russell
Barry Russell currently serves as the Vice President of Instruction
at College of the Siskiyous (COS) in far northern California. A graduate
of the Community College Leadership Program (1991) from the University
of Texas at Austin, he also holds degrees in music from Texas A&M
Prior to becoming Vice President at COS, he was the Dean of Fine Art
and Communication at Cerritos College and held the same position at
Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, before moving to
Dr. Russell has served as Director of the Central Texas Tech Prep
Consortium, was a faculty member at Paris Junior College in Paris,
Texas, is active in both state and national community college
organizations, and currently serves as a board member representing
northern California for the organization of California Community College
Chief Instruction Officers.
Dr. Russell serves on the statewide Education Technology Advisory
Committee at the California Chancellor’s Office and is active in the
National Instruction Administrators organization—an affiliate of the
American Association of Community Colleges—where he received the
Instructional Leadership Award in 2009.
Currently, Dr. Russell’s interests focus on the issues of student
retention and success, as well as rural health issues, and the
completion of the Rural Health Sciences Institute in Yreka, California
built with funds from local Measure A bond funds, a measure which he
helped to pass.
Jeanette has worked at Glendale Community College since 1978. Prior
to becoming Division Chair of Student Services in 2000 she was a
counselor in the Center for Students with Disabilities. She is active on
campus serving on the Curriculum Committee, Master Planning Committee
and Academic Affairs. She has been involved at both the local and state
level of the Academic Senate serving as Vice President of the Academic
Senate at Glendale Community College and a member of the Statewide
Academic Senate Curriculum Standing Committee. She feels she brings to
the accreditation team strengths in the area of Student Services,
Faculty Service Areas, Minimum Qualifications, and Governance.