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Willard Lewallen named president of Hartnell College in California

The Californian May 9, 2012

Willard Lewallen named president of Hartnell College

Hartnell College board of trustees on Tuesday chose a 30-year veteran educator as the new community college president.

Willard Lewallen, president of West Hills College in Coalinga, will take the helm held by Superintendent and President Phoebe Helm for the past four years. Helm will leave the college by June 30.

"Hartnell College has a history of success and a future of unlimited possibilities," Lewallen said in a written news release. "I am excited that I have an opportunity to be a part of that future."

The board of trustees, all present, voted 6 to 1. Board member Elia Gonzalez-Castro was the only "no" vote.

Student Trustee Juan Gutierrez also voted for Lewallen.

Besides Lewallen, the other two candidates were Betty Inclan, president of Berkeley City College, and Christopher Villa, vice president of student services of Fresno City College.

"At the end, we chose the right candidate, but my heart was with Betty Inclan," Gonzalez-Castro said.

Lewallen, a native Californian and a product of the California public education system, earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he played intercollegiate baseball.

He was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship at Purdue University and completed two master's degrees there, one in exercise science and one in counseling/personnel services. While serving as a dean and adjunct faculty member at Antelope Valley College, he completed a Ph.D. in education at UCLA.
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