Office of the President


I am honored to serve as your president, and I look forward to supporting your journey as a CityHawk!

Founded in 1967, CCD is a vibrant community that prepares our students for academic and life success. We are proud to be one of the most diverse colleges in Colorado, and we are committed to making this a welcoming space for all who come through our doors. We are strengthened by our rich diversity of populations interwoven to comprise one amazing student body.

Did you know? 

  • Our population is more than 30% Latinx

  • More than 50% self-identify as underrepresented

  • Our international students represent more than 40 nations

  • More than 60% of our students are the first in their family to attend college

  • Approximately 60% of our students are pell-eligible

At CCD, we know your life is about more than college. Our faculty aren’t focused on research projects; they are committed and passionate about your education. Whether it is to upskill or reskill from one of our innovative degree and certificate programs to begin the career of your dreams or transfer to complete a four-year degree, CCD looks forward to supporting you through your journey.

Achieving Greatness Together

I am passionate about community college because I see so many students here who remind me of my own family. My mother bravely fled Cuba to come to the United States at just 16 years old. No doubt, she was afraid of what the future might hold for her, but her hopes and dreams propelled her forward despite her fear of the unknown. I see that same fierce determination in the faces of so many of our students, and I am heartened by it.

Like me, many of our students have parents who sacrificed much to ensure their children could have a college education. They are driven by a sense of duty to repay the sacrifices of those who came before them and to chart their own paths as individuals.

As your president, I am inspired to create an environment that is challenging, rigorous, and places student achievement at the heart of what we do. It is my vision to ensure that CCD continues its long and storied history of being the catalyst of success for every student that walks through our doors.

Together, we are redefining what community college is and what it can be. I believe that two-year institutions will emerge as leaders in higher education for the future – shedding dated stereotypes and radically reshaping our educational landscape for generations to come.

Welcome to CCD.  We’re glad you’re here.

Dr. Marielena (Marie) DeSanctis



Dr. DeSanctis has more than 23 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 the Provost & Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs and Student Services of Broward College, Broward College’s Central Campus President, High School Assistant Principal, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

Dr. DeSanctis is an active and passionate advocate for her local, state, and nationwide community. She has served as a committee member and leader of several professional organizations, including her election to the position of State President of the Florida Association of School Administrators; Senate confirmation as a member of the Florida Education Practices Commission; and a Board member of the National Community College Hispanic Council. Dr. DeSanctis currently serves as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Board on Higher Education and the Workforce; a member of Jobs for the Future Policy Trust Council; on the Workforce Development Committee of Downtown Denver Partnership; and as a Board Member of the Colorado Education Initiative. She is a graduate of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence and Leadership Florida. She received the 2016 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, among other honors.

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 (27), an engineer, and Allie (24), a third-year law student.