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Meet Chemeketa President Jessica Howard (Scroll down to read the latest news from the President's Office)

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." 

Read Jessica's Spring 2023 Inservice Message

Social Media

You can follow President Howard on the following social media:

Chatting with Chemeketa on KMUZ

Every Monday at 9 am on KMUZ 88.5 FM and 100.7 FM, Jessica joins with Les Wielgos to talk about topics about the college that are geared toward current and future students, community members, and business & industry.

Listen to full episodes here, or find Chatting with Chemeketa on your favorite audio streaming app.

More from President Howard

  • Notes from the President: Week of May 29, 2023

    Celebrations:  It is clear that summer is in the air, and that the end of term is near.  I loved attending last week’s festive events, from our annual celebration of new Chemeketa retirees in the Ag Hub to the publication party for our Chemeketa Press bilingual anthology publication, Living in Two Languages / Viviendo en Dos Lenguas, which featured our students sharing their amazing stories.

    Last week’s celebrations included a benefit event at our Ag Hub for the Anahuac Farm, which was attended by many valued community partners.  Anahuac is a community-centered program of Capaces Leadership Institute located in Woodburn.

  • Out and About with Jessica

    Our first Alumni luncheon was held in our Ag Hub on May 16. The Alumni Association is looking for past graduates to help the next generation of Chemeketa students through mentoring, sharing experiences, and supporting Foundation Scholarships. For more information about this very worthwhile organization, visit the Alumni Association's webpage.

    President Howard and other posing for photos with stick props