Umoja Governing Board
Dr. Teresa Aldredge
Dr. Teresa Aldredge has been a counselor/instructor for 19 years at Cosumnes River College. She also serves as the Program Coordinator/Counselor for the Diop Scholars Program on the campus and also teaches in the Human Services department. Dr. Aldredge brings statewide organizational leadership to the board from her experience as President of the California Community College Counselors Association and the California Counseling Association. In addition, she has served as interim Treasurer for the Faculty Association for California Community Colleges for two terms. Dr. Aldredge holds the position of Vice Chair of Program Development on the Umoja Community Governing Board.
Dr. Aldredge received her A.A. in Liberal Arts from Palomar College, a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, her M.A. in Education: Counselor Education from San Diego State University, and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Davis and California State University, Fresno.
Dr. Erin Charlens
Erin Charlens is in her fourth year as Assistant Professor and Counselor at San Diego City College. Erin also serves the campus as the Counselor and Coordinator for City’s Umoja/Transfer Success Program, and teaches in the areas of Life Skills and Career Planning for Umoja as well as the general student population.
Erin holds a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University, an M.A. in Applied Psychology with concentration in Counseling from Golden Gate University, and is completing her final year in San Diego State University’s Doctoral in Educational Leadership program. Erin’s research interests include examining the lived experiences of African American students in learning communities.
David Le Roy Coleman began his career as counselor and instructor in the Counseling & Matriculation Division at De Anza College in 1990. Prior to working at De Anza College, David served as the Associate Director of the Minority Engineering Program at California State University, Los Angeles.
Since beginning his career at De Anza, David has worked in several capacities including Director of “A Starting Point Program,” Interim Dean of Counseling & Matriculation Division, Department Chair of Human Development and Ombudsperson. Presently, David is the Director of the Student Success & Retention Service Program (SSRS). The SSRS Program is a collaborative effort of four different programs—Puente, Summer Bridge Academy, First Year Experience, and the Sankofa Scholars Program—focused on the retention and success of various student populations.
David is also a Professor of Human Sexuality, Life Skills, and Special Topics in Counseling. David has served as an advisor to the Black Students Union and is currently the advisor to the Muslim Students Association and Co-Coordinator of the Sankofa Scholars Program.
David earned his B.A in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Communications Studies, Black Studies and Political Science and his M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Donna Colondres
Dr. Donna Warren-Colondres has served Chaffey College as Professor of Counseling and Instructor for the past 20 years. Dr. Colondres is the founder of the AMAN/AWOMAN Program at Chaffey College and presently serves the program as coordinator, counselor, and instructor. Dr. Colondres has worked as an educator of 30 years in the fields of Education and Counseling, beginning her career as an Elementary School Teacher for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The Los Angeles Unified School District then moved Dr. Colondres into higher Education where she served as the Director of Adult Education for the Inland Empire Regional Occupational Center where she worked with the State of California to prepare welfare mothers for positions as Correctional Officers; further advancing from Teacher to Director and then Counselor. Dr. Colondres then worked for the United States Air Force Department of Education. Recently, Dr. Colondres was appointed as the first Board Director for the Inland Empire Community Services organization. Dr. Colondres also completed a Basic Skills reassignment project for the State of California Community College Academic Senate. Since the inception of the Umoja Community in 2006, Dr. Colondres has served as a co-chair for the Southern California region and now an executive Board member. She was celebrated as the 2008-09 Community Honoree for the NCNW (National Council of Negro Women) Pomona Chapter and is a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Dr. Warren-Colondres earned an A.A. in General Studies from El Camino College and a B.A. in Psychology from CSU Dominguez Hills. She also earned her California K-12 Teaching Credential while attending CSU Dominguez Hills. Dr. Warren-Colondres also holds a M.A. in Education: Counseling/Pupil Personnel and an Ed.D. in Organizational Change and Leadership from Pepperdine University.
Tom deWit has been teaching English in Chabot College’s Daraja Project for over twenty years and is presently the chief negotiator for Chabot-Las Positas Faculty Association. Tom is currently co-director of the statewide Faculty Inquiry Network (FIN) and co-chair of the Umoja Community statewide initiative. He recently produced eight student voice documentaries and continues to assist other FIN teams in doing the same.
Tom holds a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley and M.A. in English from the University of Virginia.
Carla Epting-Davis began her educational career as Registrar at Butte Community College after working in private industry for many years. While at Butte Community College Carla served as an active member of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers Board. She held the position of President Elect for two of the four years that she served on this board. Carla left Butte College to accept the position of Associate Dean of Student Services at Sierra Community College. As Dean, Carla managed various student services areas and also represented management at the negotiating table during contract negotiations. After eight years in administration at Sierra College, Carla felt she could make more of a direct impact in the lives of students as a counselor and instructor. Thus, Carla made a career change to a faculty position and is doing just as she intended. Currently, Carla is an instructor and counselor with the Umoja SANKOFA Scholars Program at Sierra College.
Carla holds a B.A. in Information and Communication Studies with a minor in Psychology from California State University, Chico. In addition, she is a founding sister of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at Chico State. Carla earned her M.S. in School Counseling from the University of La Verne. As a partner in a non-profit organization, Nor-Cal Warriors, she works with youth of all ages providing direction and assistance to them in charting the course to achieving their educational and career goals.
Jeri Marshall is an Outreach Specialist and Adjunct Faculty member at American River College. As an adjunct faculty member he teaches college success courses, one section that maintains an African American student emphasis. Jeri has served as a youth minister with Faith Fellowship Community Church, South Sacramento Christian Center and has been instrumental in the church’s educational programs and youth projects. He is personally involved in youth community outreach as a Violence Prevention Consultant providing workshops and presentations for schools, law enforcement agencies and community organizations. Jeri is also a member of the national consortium of Street Soldiers an organization dedicated to eliminating violence. Jeri serves as a motivational speaker, guest lecturer, youth advisor, and teaches personal growth classes for foster adolescence. Marshall is a contributing author to the first edition of the book Our Black Fathers Brave, Bold & Beautiful.
Jeri holds a B.A. Degree from California State University, Sonoma, a M.A. Degree from Oklahoma State University, as well as a M.A. Degree from the University of La Verne. Jeri’s past and present professional affiliations include Vice Present of Los Rios Community College District Black Faculty Staff Association – 2008, Classified Senate Vice-President for American River College in 2002-2003. He received the Oregon Institute of Technology Alumni Outstanding Service Award in 2007 and Street Soldier of the Year honor in August of 2005 for the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco, CA.
Dr. Judy Mays
Dr. Judy Mays is currently a Professor, Counselor, and Department Chair at American River College. Dr. Mays has been counseling and teaching in California Community Colleges for over 20 years, working in the Kern Community College District, the Contra Costa Community College District, and presently in the Los Rios Community College District. Throughout her career she has taken on faculty leadership roles by serving on or chairing numerous committees including Academic Senate, Student Services Committee, Matriculation Committee, and Basic Skills Committee. Dr. Mays has always taken a special interest in serving the needs of African American students. While at Bakersfield College she served as Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, a student services center at the time which focused on the retention of African American students. Dr. Mays has been involved with the Umoja Community since its inception and is very proud and excited about the future of the Umoja Community in California Community Colleges.
Dr. Mays earned an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Bakersfield College, a B.A. in Psychology from the California State University, Bakersfield, a M.A. in Education, Counseling and Guidance from the California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, and a Ph.D. in Education Administration with concentration in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. A’kilah Moore
A’kilah Moore is a Professor of Mathematics at Los Medanos College, where she has worked for the past eight years. She is presently the Mathematics Department Chair, and Professor/Coordinator of the Umoja Scholars Program. A’kilah’s focus has been on pre-transfer level courses because she has a passion of working with students who struggle most through the developmental mathematics sequence. She teaches the Umoja math course and will follow the cohort of students from pre-algebra to transfer level math.
A’kilah holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in Mathematics from Howard University, and earned her Doctorate at St. Mary’s College.
E. Elaine Moore
E. Elaine Moore is one of the founders and is an instructor in the Project Success Program at El Camino College. She served as the coordinator of the program for the first 20 years of the 23 years that the program has been in existence. In addition, Elaine serves as a mentor and as an advisor on the Project Success Steering Committee. Her tenure as a counselor started 30 years ago. Elaine holds the position of Vice Chair for Educational Partnerships on the Umoja Community Executive Board.
Elaine obtained her B.A. Degree from Howard University in Sociology, and her M.S. in Education from the University of Southern California. Her professional affiliations include the Howard University Alumni Association past Education Chair, the Inter Alumni Association – Parlimantarian, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – Corporate Fundraising Chair for the Spirit Awards. She is also a member of Holman United Methodist Church where she served as past Chairperson of Higher Education Ministries.
Clyde Phillips is a Professor of Counseling Services for EOPS and Umoja Coordinator at Orange Coast College (OCC). Clyde has been actively involved in EOPS statewide serving five years as EOPS State Regional Representative for Region VIII, four years as EOPS Region VIII Staff, and Faculty Coordinator for Professional Development. Clyde is responsible for designing the first Online Electronic Interactive Educational Plan for Counseling, as well as designing the EOPS website. Clyde started and designed the first OCC EOPS Newsletter and launched the first Black Student Union (BSU) at Cypress College. Clyde received a Student Services Leadership Institute Certificate. Clyde was a member of the Umoja Community Steering Committee and presently serves on the Umoja Governing Board as a member and as a Photographer and Historian.
Clyde holds a B.A. in Psychology from the California State University, Long Beach, a M.S. in Counseling from the California State University, Long Beach, along with a Community College Teaching Credential in Psychology and Pupil Personnel Services Credential. Clyde is presently pursuing a Doctorate Degree at Argosy University.
Dr. Matthew Powell
Dr. Matthew Powell is Professor of History at Diablo Valley College (DVC), where he teaches African American and American History. Matthew emceed and helped conceive of the first Umoja conference at DVC in 2006, out of which the Umoja Community was born. Matthew has served on the Executive Committee of the Umoja Community board and has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations.
Matthew holds degrees in Religious Studies and Social Science from California State University, Chico, and a Masters in History from the University of New Mexico. He completed his doctorate at the University of California, Davis. Also, Matthew has studied at the Universite de Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, West Africa, at the Universidad de la Habana in Habana, Cuba, and in Guatemala, Venezuela and Colombia. Matthew’s work with students and colleagues is also informed by his yoga and martial practice. His primary teachers are Tom Gambell and James Hundon.
Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza
Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). She is the Coordinator and founding faculty of the Tumaini Program. Jennifer has 9 years of student services and instruction experience at both the California State University and California Community College systems. She also teaches part-time in the field of Psychology at SBVC.
Jennifer began her educational journey at El Camino College, where she then transferred to acquire a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles and eventually obtained an M.S. degree in Counseling from California State University, Northridge. She recently completed the requirements to obtain her Ph.D. in Education at Claremont Graduate University. Her teaching and research interests are resiliency, the achievement gap, and the schooling experiences of students of color.