Following a nationwide search, Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Chancellor Joe Garcia today announced Dr. Marielena DeSanctis as the next president of Community College of Denver (CCD). Dr. DeSanctis, a distinguished scholar who has led academic, equity, and innovation programs in various roles, brings demonstrated leadership and commitment to advancing access to higher education, increasing student success, and closing equity gaps. Dr. DeSanctis officially began her term as president of CCD on January 15, 2021.
"We are excited to welcome Dr. DeSanctis and are confident that she will provide the right energy, expertise, and collaborative leadership for CCD. With six years of experience as an engineer for a top manufacturing company and over 22 years as a leader in education, Dr. DeSanctis exemplifies a deep understanding of issues facing students and higher education, a bold vision for the future, and the executive experience to manage the intersection of sustaining financial health and innovation.” - CCCS Chancellor, Joe Garcia
Dr. Marielena DeSanctis currently serves as the Provost & Senior Vice-President, Academic Affairs and Student Services of Broward College. Dr. DeSanctis has more than 22 years of experience in education, including classroom teaching, curriculum development, instructional design, learning assessment, and progressive leadership roles in both K-12 and higher education. Prior to her current leadership role, she has served as High School Assistant Principal and Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Central Campus President and Vice-President of Student Affairs. Broward College serves approximately 63,000 students through three main campuses and five instructional centers in south Florida and ten SACSCOC accredited centers worldwide, six international affiliates, and eight international partner institutions.
As Provost and Senior Vice-President, Dr. DeSanctis is responsible for Broward College’s campuses and centers’ leadership and daily operations, including a shared campus with Florida Atlantic University and a shared center with Florida International University. Through a leadership team, she oversees all aspects of the College’s academic programs and personnel, a collegiate high school and the dual-enrollment program in partnership with the school district, all student services functions and personnel, and the professional development of all Broward College employees. Also included are two shared-use libraries with the Broward County Public Library System, and one shared-use library with Florida Atlantic University, the Registrar’s Office, Curriculum Services, Institutional Accessibility, Testing, and Tutoring. Additionally, under her leadership, Broward College serves F-1 visa students in South Florida and students in accredited international centers, affiliates, and partner locations.
Dr. DeSanctis is an active and passionate advocate for her local, state, and nationwide community. Dr. DeSanctis is a member of the 2019-2020 class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence and a member of Leadership Florida Class XXXV. Before answering a call to education, Dr. DeSanctis served almost six years of experience as an engineer in the manufacturing and construction sector. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in Math Education from Nova Southeastern University, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
Born in South Florida to a mother that emigrated from Cuba, she is fluent in Spanish. Among her accomplishments, she is most proud of her two children - Conner (26) and Allie (23). She currently resides in Palm Beach County, Florida, with her husband Lance DeSanctis, their dogs Harley, Stitch and Lexi, and parrot Cowboy.