California Community Colleges Chancellor's office

April 8, 2014

Contact: Paige Marlatt Dorr
Office: 916.327.5356
Cell: 916.601.8005
Office E-mail:
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California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris Lauds Appointment of Four New

Members to Board of Governors and Reappointment of Two Members

SACRAMENTO – California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris issued the following statement on
Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointments to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges:
“The appointment of these four new members to the board of governors and the reappointment of two of our members, including President Manuel Baca and member Joseph Bielanski, come at an exciting time as our system of higher education pursues the twin goals of increasing access to California community colleges and improving student success. Gov. Brown has wisely selected appointees with impressive and varied
backgrounds who will serve our 2.1 million students well.”

Arnoldo Avalos, 43, of Pleasanton, has been the founder and chief executive officer of the Avalos Foundation since 2013. He was head of compensation and the global compensation manager at Facebook from 2008 to

2013 and senior global compensation manager for Google from 2006 to 2008. Avalos held multiple positions at
Cisco Systems from 1999 to 2006, including compensation manager, corporate recruiter and manager of business operations. He was a system consultant at Andersen Consulting from 1996 to 1999 and farm manager for Avalos Farms from 1989 to 1996. Avalos is a member of the Latino Community Foundation Board of Trustees and a founding member of Hermanos Unidos. He earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Manuel Baca, 65, of Diamond Bar, has been a professor of political science at Rio Hondo College since 1997, where he has held multiple positions since 1982, including vice president of student services and director of the Extended Opportunity Program and Services, financial aid and veterans services. Baca was director of the Orange Friendly Center from 1980 to 1982 and administrative assistant to the dean of the Educational Opportunity Program at the California State University Fullerton Foundation from 1972 to 1980. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in education from the University of Southern California.

Joseph Bielanski, 63, of San Francisco, has been an articulation officer at Berkeley City College since 2009. Bielanski was president of the Peralta Community College District’s District Academic Senate from 2004 to

2009, president of the Berkeley City College Academic Senate from 2003 to 2009 and a Disabled Students
Programs and Services counselor at Berkeley City College from 1991 to 2003. He has been a faculty commissioner at the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges since 2010. Bielanski earned a Doctor of Education degree from Saint Mary's College of California and a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation counseling from San Francisco State University.

Tom Epstein, 62, of Orinda, has been vice president of public affairs at Blue Shield of California since 2001. He was vice president of communications for the Public Broadcasting Service from 1995 to 2001, special assistant for political affairs in the Office of President William J. Clinton from 1993 to 1995 and deputy commissioner for consumer protection and communications at the California Department of Insurance from 1991 to 1993. Epstein earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Nancy Sumner, 55, of Glendale, has been critical care transport coordinator and registered nurse for the Schaefer Ambulance Service since 1987 and disaster coordinator and registered nurse at the Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center since 1979. She served in multiple positions in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard from 1981 to 2012, including colonel and staff sergeant. Sumner is a committee member of the Glendale Veterans Coalition, serving veterans and military families by advocating for the veteran population, assisting with resume writing and resolving gaps in service such as access to education.

Colin van Loon, 19, of Fresno has been a student marketing assistant at the Fresno Center for International Trade Development since 2014 and a student pursuing a degree in philosophy at Willow International Community College Center of the State Center Community College District since 2013. He is vice president of finance for the Willow International Community College Center Associated Student Government and a member of the State Center Community College District Budget and Resource Allocation Advisory Committee. He was a member of the hiring committee to select the Vice President of Administrative Services of Willow International Community College Center and was a volleyball coach for the Clovis Unified School District in


The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit