Saturday, June 05, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           MAY 5, 2010


Citrus College Superintendent/President to Be Honored
by Stacy Armstrong


Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College, will be honored this month by Hostos Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and Cuyamaca College in San Diego County, California.


As a graduate, former faculty member, and administrator for the City University of New York’s Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, Dr. Perri will be honored during the 40th Anniversary Celebration for the college’s Dental Hygiene Program on Thursday, May 6.


“Dental Hygiene has long been one of the flagship programs at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College,” wrote Ramon Rodriguez, the interim vice president of institutional advancement, in a letter of congratulations to Dr. Perri.  “As you are one of the most accomplished graduates of this program, the Hostos family looks forward to the pleasure of publicly acknowledging your accomplishments.”


Dr. Perri says she is very touched by this recognition.


“I find it extremely moving to be honored by Hostos,” she said.  “This exceptional institution afforded me many opportunities.  Not only was I fortunate enough to receive an outstanding education as a dental hygienist at Hostos Community College, but it was there that I also had my first teaching experience as an adjunct dental hygiene faculty member.  I later became a tenured, full-time associate professor and eventually was appointed Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.”


According to representatives from Hostos Community College, Dr. Perri is the first graduate to become a college president.


“In many ways, this honor serves as a validation of the mission of community colleges,” Dr. Perri said.  “I am a firm believer and advocate of community college education.  My personal experiences serve as an example of what is possible through these important institutions of higher education.  Community colleges transform lives, open doors, and provide a pathway toward employment, additional education, a professional career and a more enriched life.”


Dr. Perri is not the only member of her family to have her life changed by Hostos Community College.  In fact, her mother Gilda graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program in 1974 and her sister Christine graduated in 1983.  Both will be attending the May 6 celebration.


“Our family is very proud of her and we all want to be there,” Gilda Perri said.  “My son is even travelling from Florida to be at the ceremony.”


Nine days after the Hostos Community College ceremony, Dr. Perri will be in San Diego County to receive a second recognition.


“The Cuyamaca College Foundation is holding an event on May 15 entitled ‘Embracing Our Past…Envisioning Our Future,’ during which they will honor past presidents,” Dr. Perri said.  “It was at Cuyamaca College that I had my first opportunity to serve as a college president.  I found it to be a very special college community and it will always have a place in my heart.”


Dr. Perri served as president of Cuyamaca College from January 2002 until June 2008. 


“I dedicated close to seven years of my life as president of Cuyamaca ,” she said.  “Together, with the faculty and staff, and with the support of the Chancellor, we were able to weather many storms and advance the college in a very positive way.  I take great pride in the many accomplishments that were realized during my tenure.”


During her time at Cuyamaca College, Dr. Perri led the college through the district’s successful bond measure, the construction of three new facilities and renovation of several others, and the reaffirmation of accreditation.  Under her leadership, the college was recognized as one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation and weathered San Diego County’s 2007 firestorm under her leadership.


 “At Cuyamaca College, I found a caring and kind community of faculty, staff and students who shared a common goal of growing and nurturing this wonderful college,” she said.  “I am looking forward to this event and consider it a real compliment to be included among those being honored.”


After her tenure at Cuyamaca College, Dr. Perri joined Citrus College in July 2008 as superintendent/president.


“We are truly pleased that Dr. Perri has assumed the helm at Citrus College,” said Trustee Gary Woods, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.  “We are very fortunate to have someone with such talent and insight serve as our superintendent/president.  Considering her many professional accomplishments, it is not surprising that she is now receiving these impressive honors.  We are all very proud of her.”


Dr. Perri says she is humbled by the two honors and attributes her success to the community college system.


“My career was a progression from dental hygiene graduate to faculty member to dean to vice president to president to superintendent/president – and it all started at a community college,” she said.  “I love coming to work every day because of the feeling I receive knowing that we are making a difference by empowering others to live a better and more successful life through education.”




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           MAY 5, 2010

Dr. Perri