Joanne Russell, Ph.D.

Vice President of Academic Affairs

VP of Academic Affairs


Dr. Joanne Russell was selected as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mesa Community College, following a national search. She has more than 25 years of distinguished leadership in higher education faculty and administrative roles, and is one of 31 leaders chosen nationwide for the 2022-23 class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows.

Dr. Russell joined MCC July 9, 2024, from the City University of New York (CUNY) Kingsborough Community College. As the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost since January 2016, she led the college’s 15 academic departments; was responsible for all curricular and assessment matters, research, and faculty development; and oversaw all offices and programs supporting student success, high school partnership programs, athletics, student life, student conduct, student wellness and counseling, Access-Ability services, and the Child Development Center.

Prior to her tenure at CUNY Kingsborough Community College, Dr. Russell was a Provost Fellow for Community College Access Programs and Workforce Development at the State University of New York (SUNY) administration. There she worked collaboratively with SUNY's community colleges to enhance access, success, completion, and workforce development. Also, she was Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Westchester Community College and the Chief Academic Officer at Manchester Community College in Connecticut.

Throughout her extensive career in higher education, Dr. Russell has been a steadfast advocate for equity, strategic planning, and resource development. Her leadership has driven numerous grant-funded initiatives, fortifying student access, success, and completion.

Dr. Russell holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut.

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