Experienced dean cultivates facilities

By Michael Santone, Associate Editor

After serving sister school Diablo Valley College for 18 years, Dr. Tish Young brings her experience and dedication for student success to Contra Costa College as the new senior dean of instruction.

Dr. Young was offered the position back in July after former senior dean of instruction Donna Floyd retired in December 2016.

“It’s been a great transition,” Young said as she sipped a cup of coffee in her office. “I like change and being involved in conversation. I’m looking forward to helping create some systems and processes that will result in better organizing and more clarity.”

As senior dean of instruction, Young will be involved with preparing course schedules, staffing and learning facility selection.

“I’m responsible for having successful (class) schedules, which all come through my office,” she said. “I’ve been talking with faculty and staff. It’s synergy with large goals and what the next level looks like.”

Before joining the CCC family, Young worked as a chemistry professor at DVC for 13 years.

She was then promoted to dean of Biological and Health Sciences, Physical Science Division at DVC where she spent five years dealing with the technical and educational side of academics.

DVC biological sciences department Chairperson John Freytag said as an instructor and department dean Young provided excellent support and leadership.

“Knowing her as I did, she was always able to keep students’ success in mind,” he said. “Contra Costa College is exceptionally lucky to have Tish because of her experience as a faculty member and with students.”

Young grew up in Pennsylvania where she attended Bucks County Community College and studied chemistry.

She then transferred to Arizona State University where she received a bachelor of science degree and her doctorate in chemistry.

“For me, if it weren’t for community college I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said. “I am the first generation and first women (in my family) to graduate from college.”

After college, Young spent some time working in biotechnology at Laney College in Oakland, as well as Berlex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Richmond before it closed.

It was in the sciences that Young found her interest.

“I was very much interested in chemistry and was really good in labs,” she said.

Young said once she began working in the trenches with students they became her passion and excitement.

“I decided to be a part-time adjunct professor,” she said. “I left my heart for my heart.”

CCC Dean of Enrollment Services Dennis Franco said Young will bring a sharp eye to help make CCC’s schedule work better for students.

“In helping craft the schedule more strategically, hopefully our schedule will work better for students, which in turn will drive an increase in our enrollment,” Franco said. “I think she’ll fit in quite well. She is interested in what is best for students and that is the ethos of CCC.”

With differences between CCC and DVC in terms of size, demographics and curriculum, Young said she is still working on adjusting to the changes.

“I have a great background for this job, but it gives me an opportunity to learn and grow,” she said. “I feel like I fit right in, but I’m still observing and listening.”