The Ventura County Community College District has named Julius Sokenu as the new president of Moorpark College, the largest community college in the tri-county region.
“Dr. Sokenu is a visionary leader who supports the college’s approximately 14,000 students and the faculty and staff,” said VCCD Chancellor Greg Gillespie, in an April 15 press release announcing the news. “During his tenure as the interim president, he expanded and supported institutional priorities related to equity and diversity, specifically for services to underserved populations.”
Sokenu, who has been acting as the school’s interim president since 2019, has been with the college for 14 years. He joined the school as a dean in 2007 and has 27 years of experience in community college education, with 14 years of overseeing instruction, student services, career technical education, noncredit programs and community relations.
“It is an honor to serve Moorpark College as its next permanent president,” Sokenu said in the district’s news release. “The college has a student-first philosophy that informs all decisions and serves as a clarion call. We are committed to student excellence, equity, achievement and racial and social justice. I am proud to continue building pathways to prosperity for our students.”
Sokenu earned his bachelor’s degrees in English creative writing and business administration from the University of Southern California, his master of fine arts degree with an emphasis in creative writing from Arizona State University and his doctorate in education, with an emphasis in curriculum and teaching, from Boston University.
Moorpark College isn’t the only community college in the area that announced new leadership on April 15. Santa Barbara City College, the second largest community college in the region with just a few hundred fewer students than Moorpark College, said it has selected Anselmo Villanueva as its new executive director of diversity, equality and inclusion.
Villanueva earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, his master’s in bilingual education from USC and pursued a doctorate in multicultural education at the University of Oregon. He has served in this position before with Eugene Public Schools in Oregon, as well as for Pacific Resources in Education and Learning, a non-profit educational agency in Hawaii.