On July 10, 2019, Ms. Flerida Arias was unanimously approved by the Yosemite Board of Trustees as the new vice-president of student services at Modesto Junior College (MJC). Ms. Arias began her new position on July 11. Ms. Arias takes the roll after serving for several months as the interim vice-president of student services.
“MJC is the community’s college. We believe in serving our community. We are here to help students realize their dreams even if those dreams are bigger than their reach. I love MJC and I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve,” said Arias.
Ms. Arias is a home grown product of MJC with 23 years of service. She is a graduate of the institution. After completing her studies at MJC, Ms. Arias received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from UC Davis, and her Master's Degree in Education from Mills College.
She began her career as a program specialist for MJC’s TRIO Pre-College Programs. She would later be promoted to Director of TRIO Pre-College Programs. In 2015, Ms. Arias was named as the college’s first Dean of Student Equity. She was later promoted to Dean of Student Services.
Ms. Arias becomes the first Latina and first former classified staff member to be named vice-president at MJC. In 2015, Ms. Arias was the recipient of MJC’s prestigious Purdy Award. The Purdy Award recognizes distinguished performance and excellence in teaching (faculty award) and excellence in service (management or classified staff award) at Modesto Junior College.
“I have never seen anyone so passionate in serving our students and our community. I look forward to seeing her move our students, our college and our community toward shared goals,” said Dr. James Houpis, president of MJC.
Ms. Arias’ selection comes after a nationwide search. The search committee was chaired by Dr. Chad Redwing, MJC’s president of the Academic Senate. President Houpis conducted second interviews for the position ultimately recommending Ms. Arias to the YCCD Board of Trustees.