Rutgers GSE CMSI

Rowena Tomaneng

Rowena M. Tomaneng has almost 30 years of administrative and teaching experience in higher education. Since 2020, she has served as President of San José City College, developing innovative partnerships that enhance academic and career education pathways for the diverse student populations of SJCC and the Milpitas Extension. With Tomaneng’s leadership, SJCC secured several Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) federal grants to increase Latinx student success and establish a Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program.  

Through the California Community Colleges (CCC) Strong Workforce Program, Apprenticeship Program, Rising Scholars Program, and partnerships with Google and the Santa Clara County Corrections and Education Divisions, SJCC is advancing a variety of workforce development opportunities in Silicon Valley, including through the Google-IT apprenticeship for traditional, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students. In spring 2022, to help meet student basic needs, Tomaneng launched a free tuition and zero student fees program, incorporating emergency grants, food and housing resources, technology loans, and mental health counseling.            

Prior to SJCC, Tomaneng served as President of Berkeley City College (BCC) in the Peralta Community College District (PCCD), where with her leadership and collaboration with civic, community, educational,  and industry partners, the college implemented The Berkeley Promise, The Oakland Promise, and The Richmond Promise, designed to increase access to higher education for low-income, first-generation to college African American/Black, Latinx, and Southeast Asian students by providing free tuition and scholarships. Tomaneng also expanded BCC’s Undocumented Community Resource Center (UCRC). 

During her presidencies, she has taught graduate courses in Leadership Studies and Gender and Globalization at the University of San Francisco (USF). She has also taught Leadership Studies at San José State University, where she serves on the advisory board of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education. Tomaneng served for 12 years as a full-time faculty member at De Anza College in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, teaching English, Intercultural Studies, and Women’s Studies. She also supervised the nationally recognized IMPACT AAPI program, which was initially funded by the Department of Education’s Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution program (AANAPISI) and co-founded the then-Institute of Community and Civic Engagement (ICCE), now the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action (VIDA). Tomaneng then served as Dean of Language Arts and subsequently Associate Vice President of Instruction prior to being named President of Berkeley City College. Tomaneng is a frequently invited speaker on diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as high-impact, student-centered practices. She holds state and national leadership roles, including serving as Vice President of the CEO Board of California Community Colleges, member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and President of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE).  A first-generation immigrant from the Philippines and community college transfer student, she earned an Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education, Human Rights Concentration from the University of San Francisco, M.A. in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine.