Meet Dr. Ashanti Hands, New President of San Diego Mesa College 

 May 10, 2022

Ashanti hands
Dr. Ashanti Hands will take over the presidency of San Diego Mesa College on July 1. Courtesy of San Diego Community College District

After a national search, the San Diego Community College District on Wednesday announced the launch of its own to succeed Pam Chandelier as Inside College Chairman.

Ashanti Hands, Ed.D., joined San Diego’s largest community college in 2008, where she held the position of Dean of Student Affairs, Deputy Dean of Student Development and Registration, and Vice President of Student Services.

As a member of the executive management team of Mesa College, Dr. Hands has taken the lead across the college in becoming the leading college of justice and excellence. College is widely recognized for adopting data-driven decision-making to ensure fair results.

“Dr. “Hands is just the type of dynamic leader needed to take Mesa College to the next level of commitment and success in the community,” said Carlos O. Cortez, Rector of San Diego Community College District. “By familiarizing itself with the district and the college, it will be able to help Mesa complete its student-centered mission of equality.”

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Dr. Hunts earned a doctorate in leadership education from San Diego State University. He also has a master’s degree in arts education with an emphasis on multicultural counseling from SDSU and a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of California, San Diego.

Prior to joining Mesa College, Dr. Hands served as Dean of Student Affairs at the University of California, San Diego.

“The ability to live up to my goal of creating conditions that matter to students succeeding in a college so deeply committed to equality and excellence brings me immense joy,” said Dr. Hunts. “I’m excited to continue the great work we started at Mesa College and look forward to the bold, courageous, equal ways we present ourselves to our students, to each other, to our region and to our community.”

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The choice of Dr. Hands follows a national search for a successor to Mesa College president Pam Luster, who is retiring on June 30. The contract of Dr. Hands is scheduled to be ratified at the SDCCD Board meeting on June 9. It will start its new role on July 1, 2022, according to the announcement.

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