Tuesday Morning Meet and Greet Brings Campus to Dr. Bresso's Doorby Jan Janes on Feb 3, 2017
For two hours on Tuesday morning, the second day of the spring semester, faculty and staff broke from their routines to visit the new office Michele Bresso, Gavilan's incoming Vice President of Academic Affairs.
In conversation, visitors learned she is a Bay Area native, attending school on the peninsula before heading to University of the Pacific in Stockton for her BA in communications. Growing up just south of Candlestick Park, Bresso is an avid San Francisco Giants fan.
Dr. Michele Bresso, second from left, with staff and faculty on her second day at Gavilan.
"Community college is where education is changing lives," said Bresso, describing the conversations she has with people about their own educational aspirations.
Additional advanced degrees in organizational leadership, human development and human and organizational systems were pursued while contributing to educational processes.
As an educator, she has worked in every role, from classified staff in the high schools to marketing and public relations at the community college level. Rising through the ranks from one community college to work at the district level, she held leadership positions overseeing basic skills, library, and academic departments. Her most recent position was as an interim vice chancellor of educational services with Kern Community College District.
Like many of the students served by the community colleges in California, she is a first generation college graduate.
"I am very aware of how getting a college education changed my life completely," she said, and of the many new paths it opened up for her and for her children.
Dr. Michele Bresso talks with classified staff during her social meet & greet.
Asked about the college master education plan, she describes her role as listening, meeting people where they are and learning more about how she can help.
"I'm bringing ideas, but not an agenda," Bresso said. She described her focus as carrying out the vision of the president and the board, championing instructional programs and the people who produce them. The range of positions she held previously offered master planning roles in initial processes, mid-level strategies, consulting and community data gathering.
"The key to a master plan is to make sure the data syncs with all the integrated planning," she said, "with a time line for integration and robust communications across departments and divisions."
She has relocated to Gilroy and enjoys talking about education with everyone she is meeting.
A self-described lifelong learner, a primary motivator in everything she does, Bresso wants to share that passion with others. "I want Gav to be a magnet for students."