SDCCD Board names new trustee

Public Health consultant Geysil Arroyo replaces Sean Elo-Rivera

Geysil Arroyo

New SDCCD board member Geysil Arroyo. SDCCD courtesy photo

Gabriel Schneider and Katia Pechenkina

The San Diego Community College District board has appointed Geysil Arroyo to fill the vacant seat left behind by Sean Elo-Rivera.

Arroyo serves on the San Diego County Health Services Advisory Board and attended both San Diego City and Mesa College.

The announcement was first made in a press release sent on Feb. 9.

“The Board of Trustees has been committed to filling the vacancy through a public, transparent process,” Board President Maria Nieto Senour wrote in the press release. “The SDCCD welcomes Geysil Arroyo to the governing board as it navigates many challenges and finalizes its selection of a new district chancellor.”

Arroyo will represent the neighborhoods of Area E, which covers Barrio Logan to City Heights and includes Downtown, North Park, South Park, Golden Hill, Mountain View, Logan Heights and Normal Heights.

She is a public health professional and currently involved in Cesar Chavez Service Clubs and her children’s K-12 school. 

“As a public health professional, I think of (the) multiple levels we are trained to think of  – environmental change, systemic change,” said Arroyo in a Feb. 4 interview for the position that was live-streamed on YouTube. “We cannot only focus on the individual level.”

Arroyo said the Parent Education Program at the College of Continuing Education is a program that stands out to her in the district.

“(It provides) not only an opportunity for parents to socialize,” Arroyo said, “but also have the tools to become better parents that can help them focus on their studies, on academics and the rest of their lives.”

Arroyo believes funds are needed to address the issues that students may have when they return to school after the pandemic. 

“We have the responsibility to reach out and hear from our constituents to see whether we are doing a good job,” Arroyo said, “what can we enhance, what we can improve and bring that back to the board.” 

Arroyo was selected after the district held a live-streamed interview event on YouTube to continue its search for a replacement trustee on Feb. 4. Elo-Rivera was elected to the San Diego City Council in November.

Due to the cost of calling a special election, estimated at up to $650,000, the Board of Trustees decided to appoint a replacement considering the economic impact it would have during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to Arroyo, four other candidates were considered and interviewed by the Board of Trustees. 

Jared Quient

Jared Quient
Jared Quient being interviewed by SDCCD Board of Trustees. Zoom screenshot

Jared Quient is currently chief compliance officer at BayWa, a renewable energy company.

He has been involved with nonprofit organizations such as the League of Conservation Voters.

During his statement, Quient described a study by Chait, Ryan and Taylor, which stated three traits that make an effective board – fiduciary, strategic and generative skills.

“My work at BayWa and my work throughout the community throughout my career is emblematic of those three things,” Quaint said. 

The board role is advisory and a liaison to the community members to ensure their voices are heard and implemented, Quient said.  

“..I would like to help forge pathways of success for our students, for our graduates,” Quient said, “and look to the future to ensure that we are thinking ahead towards what the next generation of workers are going to need.”

Quient said the board has a responsibility to promote equity in everything it does and should be the lens through which every decision is viewed.

Joel Trambley

Joel Trambley
Joel Trambley being interviewed by SDCCD Board of Trustees. Zoom screenshot

Joel Trambley is a physician and residency program director who is currently a member of the San Diego Continuing Education Foundation board.

“I believe in the community college district mission that education must be accessible and affordable to all,” Trambley said. “It should be used to uplift up everyone never to enhance discrimination or hate.”

Outreach to the community and striving for equity are two ways to bring inclusion in the district, he said.

Trambley added that programs like San Diego Promise, which covers the cost of tuition for district students for two years, as well as tutoring and counseling, must be constantly pushed.

“We need … to look for different ways and different partners to make sure we do those wrap-around services that offer everyone a chance at success,” he said.

Dwayne Crenshaw

Dwayne Crenshaw
Dwayne Crenshaw being interviewed by SDCCD Board of Trustees. Zoom screenshot

Dwayne Crenshaw, who is currently president & CEO at The Humanity Movement, is a native San Diegan and an established community leader.

He has previously served at nonprofit organizations such San Diego Pride, Rise San Diego and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

During the special board meeting, Dwayne described himself as “Black gay Christian smart man.” 

Crenshaw has been involved with district for a long time, saying he “almost jumped out of (his) skin,” as he was looking over the Boards’ 2021 goals.

He noted it stated in the preamble of the opening paragraph, “racial equity and social justice are explicit goals of the organization.” 

Crenshaw is passionate about tearing down structural racism. He has been involved with working at nonprofit organizations and the community for the last 20 years, focusing on social justice, advocacy and equity. 

The candidate thinks of his role as a potential board member as “(helping) provide support to the leadership, to govern, and to hold accountability.”

Rafael Perez

Rafael Perez
Rafael Perez being interviewed by SDCCD Board of Trustees. Zoom screenshot

Another candidate, Rafael Perez, who is currently a realtor at HomeMap, ran to represent District E in 2018.

He previously worked as adjunct faculty at Cuyamaca College. 

In his candidate’s statement, Perez referenced his upbringing as a child of a teen mother and an undocumented father. 

“Data shows I shouldn’t be here,” he said.

Perez said the biggest challenges community colleges will face over the next ten years will be guiding back students who have stepped away from their education, “to have those more fulfilling futures that the college is absolutely capable of delivering for them.”

He mentioned the importance and challenge of reaching those in need. 

“I am ready to hit the ground running,” Perez said. “I have broad community support.”