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Carlos Peñaloza

Editor’s note: Peñaloza’s appointment was confirmed at the May 16, 2019 Board of Regents meeting.

Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton has recommended to University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner the appointment of Carlos Peñaloza as the next chancellor for Leeward Community College. The effective date of the appointment is July 1, 2019.

“I am confident that under Dr. Carlos Peñaloza’s leadership, Leeward Community College will continue to pursue excellence as an innovative and model community college. As an immigrant and minority student, Peñaloza understands the needs and challenges of underrepresented student populations. He supports the importance of working with K–12 partners to prepare students for college and to alleviate potential gaps in student readiness for college,” Morton said.

“I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to work with a community that has extended a family-style welcoming and demonstrated pride and commitment to the Leeward Community College mission; to work together to nurture, inspire, and advance the educational goals of students with a special commitment to Native Hawaiians. A commitment that now extends to my family and I, which we will carry forth with the same level of pride. We will strive to strengthen our community, never losing sight of its history, traditions and values,” said Peñaloza.

Peñaloza is provost and chief academic officer at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, he served as vice chancellor of instruction and chief academic officer at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City; assistant vice president of academic affairs and acting dean of Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Health at Schenectady County Community College; college dean, dean of health sciences, chair of healthcare administration, and assistant / associate professor of liberal arts and sciences – biology at Briarcliffe College. Peñaloza has more than 13 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education institutions.

Peñaloza holds a doctor of philosophy in biology and master of philosophy in biology degree from the Graduate Center of University Center of the City University of New York, bachelor of arts in biology from the Queens College of the City University of New York, and associate in science in liberal arts and sciences from Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York.

Peñaloza has worked actively with underserved populations in higher education, has more than a decade of biomedical research experience, and is published in the fields of cell death and sex genetics. He believes in transparency of decision-making and in accountability for all processes. His personal and professional focus has been to strengthen the student life cycle to promote students’ success and upward financial mobility.

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