Dr. Lisa Cardoza’s career represents a remarkable journey to leadership. With a lengthy résumé in higher education administration, she’s now stepping in as president at American River College (ARC), ready to use the expertise she’s gathered in her many previous roles.
Cardoza has most recently been the vice president for university advancement at Sacramento State University, a job she worked her way up to through prior roles as interim vice president for university advancement, interim vice president for human resources and chief of staff to Sac State president Robert Nelsen, whom she’d previously served in the same position at the University of Texas-Pan American.
Those positions honed Cardoza’s acumen in the realms of relational accountability and fundraising, two of her biggest strengths. She’s also backed by a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in social sciences in education from Stanford, as well as a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
“I’ve heard overwhelmingly positive attributes about ARC and I want to amplify all the great work that’s been done and lead con cariño.” Dr. Lisa Cardoza, President
Those achievements didn’t come easily, though. “I know what it’s like to struggle to attain my education, having come from a statistically poor household and a small school in rural Texas, and though I was accepted at Stanford, I had to defer my enrollment because I was pregnant,” she says. “When I did begin at Stanford as a new student, I was also a new mother and a new wife, and I could not have succeeded without all the people who helped me along the way. I’m grateful to them and I want to pay it forward.”
Cardoza has goals of increasing enrollment at ARC by strengthening pipelines for prospective students, continuing fundraising and increasing community relationships — something she excelled at in her roles at Sacramento State and has already begun for ARC.
“I’ve heard overwhelmingly positive attributes about ARC,” she says, “and I want to amplify all the great work that’s been done and lead con cariño.”