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Meet Chemeketa President Jessica Howard

Photo of Chemeketa President Jessica Howard

About President Howard

Jessica Howard became Chemeketa's 11th President in July 2019. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University along with a Master and two Bachelor degrees from Rice University. Her academic work has been interdisciplinary and based in the arts and humanities.

Prior to coming to Chemeketa, Jessica held vice president roles at San Antonio College in San Antonio, Texas, and then became Campus President for the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College. She began her career in higher education as a faculty member, teaching for many years and serving as a department chair.

Jessica is an Aspen New Presidents Fellow and serves on the Campus Compact Board of Directors. In 2019 she received President of the Year award from the Association of College Unions International, and became an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa in 2014. She is a proud member of the Salem Rotary and the American Association of Women in Community Colleges and regularly serves on state councils, workgroups, and taskforces associated with equity, higher education, and workforce. She is a voting member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and is active with the American Association of Community Colleges.

Well after receiving her doctorate, and while serving as a college vice president, Jessica "went back to school" and obtained her Associate of Arts degree. "I thought it was important to model the importance of student completion and to be able to attest, first-hand, to the quality and value of community college teaching and learning." 

Social Media

You can follow President Howard on the following social media:

  • President Howard's Community Message

    Fulfill Your Potential

    Welcome to Chemeketa:  a college devoted to transforming lives, creating opportunity, and supporting a community of learners.  We care deeply about our students, providing high-quality education and training along with ample resources to help people succeed. 

    As an Hispanic Serving Institution, we are particularly proud of our commitment to equity and diversity, and to creating an inclusive campus environment in which everyone can feel that they authentically belong.  Because we believe that the success of our college is directly connected to the success of our community, we are committed to listening, learning, and growing together—creating educational experiences that promote intellectual engagement, cultural competency, civic participation, and meaningful employment.  We hope you will join us on this journey!

    Here are some goals that Chemeketa can help you accomplish:

    1. Transfer to a four-year college or university

    2. Complete one of our career technical programs

    3. Prepare for college-level studies

    4. Earn your GED

    5. Obtain new skills to run your business

    6. Train for your work

    7. Exercise your mind or explore activities

    Our college is your college. Discover how you can become part of Chemeketa.

    Jessica Howard