Schools & Education

Gavilan names new vice president of academic affairs

Dr. Michele Bresso has a quarter-century of experience at community colleges

At its January meeting, the Gavilan College Board of Trustees confirmed the selection of Dr. Michele Bresso as the school's next vice president of academic affairs. She will begin her new role at Gavilan College on Jan. 30.

Dr. Bresso brings 25 years of community college experience. Her most recent position has been as Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Services at Kern Community College District (KCCD) where she worked with the vice presidents of instruction and student services at Bakersfield College, Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College to apply innovation in instruction and student success processes. She also served as Director of the Kern Community College District Leadership Academy, an internal, grow-your-own leadership development program for faculty, classified and management personnel. 

She has worked as an Associate Vice Chancellor, focusing on student services, SSSP and Equity and as the interim Associate Dean of Instruction at Bakersfield College. In the latter role, she oversaw four academic departments-English, Communication, Academic Development (basic skills) and the library. Previously she held the position of Associate Vice Chancellor of Governmental and External Relations, advocating on behalf of community colleges to state and national legislators as well as developing business partnerships. She has carried out various roles in the campus community such as committees devoted to curriculum and program review.

Earlier, she served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Bakersfield College where she was responsible for the college catalog, class schedule and promoting educational programs throughout the Bakersfield College service area.

Dr. Bresso sits on the Association of California Community College Administrators' Commission on Legislation and Finance. In the Bakersfield area, she was Chair of the United Way of Kern County's Women's Leadership Council and past Chair of two committees of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce-the Governmental Review Council and the Leadership Bakersfield Advisory Committee. She has been a frequent presenter on communication topics including crisis communication, media training, internal/external communication, powerful public speaking, and leadership communication strategies. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Fresno Pacific University, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Bresso holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from University of the Pacific, a master's of science in Management & Organizational Leadership from Regis University, and both a master's of arts in Human Development and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. She is an advocate for community colleges and their students wherever she travels, and she enjoys engaging students from various communities about their experiences and educational goals. She plans to live in Gilroy.


Jan Bernstein Chargin has been the Director of Public Information for Gavilan College since 2001.