Cuesta College hires two deans

Two new deans have been hired at Cuesta College. One will lead the science and mathematics department, and the other will oversee the college’s North County Campus and the South County Center.

Jason Curtis, an alumnus of Cuesta College, is the new dean of sciences and mathematics. He succeeds Bret Clark, who served as the interim dean. Clark will return to teaching as a physical science instructor.

Maria Escobedo is the new dean of the North County Campus and the South County Center. She succeeds interim dean Gary Rubin, who will return to the classroom as a business instructor.

The salary range for both positions is $91,752 to $111,516 annually, plus benefits. The contracts are still being negotiated, spokeswoman Lauren Milborne said. Both deans will begin July 1.

Curtis was the chair of the biology/chemistry department at Purdue University in Indiana.

“I'm so excited to be returning to Cuesta College, and I look forward to helping the next generation of Cuesta students attain their personal goals,” said Curtis, who graduated from Cuesta in 1992 and later from Cal Poly before earning his Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Escobedo was the assistant vice president of enrollment management at Cal State Bakersfield.

“Maria comes to us with a wealth of nonprofit, community and higher-education leadership experience,” said Sandra McLaughlin, vice president of student services in a news release.

Escobedo has more than 17 years of experience coordinating student service programs and 20 years of experience in grant writing. At Cal State Bakersfield, she oversaw the college’s migrant education program, among other duties.

She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Bakersfield, a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas and an Ed.D in educational leadership from the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

The Cuesta College Board of Trustees approved the appointments at its meeting Wednesday.