Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza set to become CSM’s new president

The veteran educator becomes the first person of color to lead as president in the school’s history

In 2021, Dr. Taylor-Mendoza was the recipient of the Carter Doran Leadership Award.

Skyline College

In 2021, Dr. Taylor-Mendoza was the recipient of the Carter Doran Leadership Award.

Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza has been named the next president of the College of San Mateo, after previously serving over 20 years in the educational field, including as Skyline College’s vice president of instruction.

The announcement came after San Mateo County Community College District chancellor Michael Claire recommended Taylor-Mendoza to the Board of Trustees. She will break barriers along the way, like becoming the first person of color to lead the College of San Mateo in its 99-year history. She will also be the school’s third female president.

“We are immensely proud of Dr. Taylor-Mendoza’s appointment as the next President of the College of San Mateo,” Skyline College told The Skyline View in a statement. “She leads with the highest of ethics, care, and compassion, and truly listens to the community in which she serves. She will be a strong leader for social justice, equity, and antiracist efforts at CSM.”

She will begin her tenure as president on July 1.

“I am honored to work alongside CSM’s talented students, faculty, classified professionals, and administrators to continue the college’s rich history of educational excellence,” Taylor-Mendoza said in a statement to SMCCCD. “CSM has been the vehicle for upward economic mobility for generations of San Mateo County residents. I pay tribute to the great work of my predecessors by continuing to build on this important mission, ensuring equitable access and outcomes for all students.”

Taylor-Mendoza holds a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate University, a master’s degree in counseling from California State University, Northridge, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. She joined SMCCCD in 2011, where she was the founding director of CSM’s Learning Center. In 2017, she was named Skyline’s vice president of instruction.

“I am delighted to have Jennifer in this position and have every expectation that she will be a transformative leader of CSM as we seek to improve access, fix declining enrollment, and improve student success rates,” said John Pimentel, a member of the SMCCCD Board of Trustees. “I am most excited that Jennifer is an advocate of increasing access through tuition-free community college.”

Taylor-Mendoza also has experience as a counselor and psychology instructor in Southern California at the community college level.

In 2021, Taylor-Mendoza was the recipient of the Carter Doran Leadership Award, given to individuals as recognition of their leadership among statewide community college vice presidents of instruction.

“This was an outstanding selection by Chancellor Mike Claire and the community college board,” said David Canepa, President of San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “Dr. Taylor-Mendoza has had incredible success at Skyline with innovative programs such as ASTEP. The future only looks brighter at CSM.”

CSM has been searching for a president since November 2020. Claire was previously the president of the school until the fall in 2019, when he took over as interim chancellor of the district following the investigation into now-terminated chancellor Ron Galatolo. Kim Lopez took over as acting president of CSM in August 2019, and was named interim president in August 2020.

The hiring process was spearheaded by a screening committee featuring members of the campus community which represents a wide range of perspectives across CSM. Skyline President Melissa Moreno is among the three co-chairs of the operation.