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Dr. Cynthia Olivo


Dr. Cynthia Olivo has been a professional in higher education since 1995. For 26 years she has served in capacities including Housing & Residential Life Coordinator, Counselor, Dean, Associate Vice President & Vice President. This is her 21st year as an administrator including seven years at the university level and 14 years in community college.

Dr. Olivo’s leadership qualities include leading innovation to improve student equity & success, consensus building to advance student equity, creating an engaging & inclusive environment to foster change in our practices while emphasizing cultural relevance to align with student needs. Initiatives include creating a college culture receptive to equity mindedness, racial equity and social justice. Results of these changes include PCC earning distinctions such as “Top 10 Community College in the Nation” by the Aspen Prize for College Excellence; Top 10 Best for Vets in the USA by Military Times Magazine; Champion in Higher Education for being a top producer of Associate Degree for Transfers in California by the Campaign for College Opportunity and Top 10 in the Nation for Latina/o/x Students from Diverse Issues in Higher Education and Hispanic Outlook Magazine. Cynthia was selected for the Aspen Presidential Fellows Program Class of 2017, completed the Harvard Institute for Management & Leadership in Education and the American Council on Education Advancing to the Presidency. Dr. Olivo currently leads a team that has secured $18 million dollars in grants in the past three years including Hispanic Serving Institution Title V, Hispanic Serving Institution STEM Title III, TRIO Title V grants and Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund. She served as the President for the Statewide Chief Student Services Officers of California Community Colleges, President for COLEGAS, a Statewide Latinx California Community College Organization and founding member of The Coalition. Dr. Olivo is an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California Rossier College of Education Doctoral Program and serves on the Policy and Leadership Trust for Jobs for the Future.

Cynthia earned her BA in Psychology and a Master of Science in Counseling from California State University San Bernardino and her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Urban Leadership from Claremont Graduate University in 2009. Dr. Olivo is the granddaughter of migrant farmworkers who were born in this country during a period of segregation. She is the daughter of an amazing single mom. Cynthia is the first in her family to go to college and third generation Chicana.

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