Flowers and award on a table before the event

The local chapter of American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ honored several women from the SDCCD at the Women of the Year celebration.

District Women of the Year honored

May 9, 2023 | San Diego Community College District

Several SDCCD students, faculty, classified professionals and administrators were recognized on May 5 at the San Diego Chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ annual recognition event. The event, held at the College of Continuing Education’s Educational Cultural Complex, featured a keynote from Mesa College President Ashanti Hands.

Ashanti Hands, left, and Shakerra Carter pose for a photo at the event
Mesa College President and keynote speaker Dr. Ashanti Hands, left, and Dr. Shakerra Carter, vice president of Student Services at San Diego College of Continuing Education.

Susan Topham, SDCCD Vice Chancellor of Educational Services, received the regional 2023 Jegna Woman of the Year Award in recognition of her advocacy and leadership.

Dr. Edeama Onwuchekwa Jonah, President, San Diego Chapter- American Association of Community Colleges shared, “This award is given annually to a woman who demonstrates exceptional leadership and advocacy for women in Region X community colleges, the community, and those who have been marginalized in education. The Jegna Award goes to someone who collaborates with others to build, create, and cultivate safe and supporting environments for women to share their stories, build connections, and engage in powerful personal and professional development. It is a prestigious honor that serves to recognize leaders like yourself.”

Other SDCCD Women of the Year recipients honored by the SDCAAWCC included:

Student Awardees: Women of the Year
  • Karen Mukenge, City College
  • Phoebe Truong, Mesa College
  • Yaya Zou, Miramar College


Classified Awardees: Women of the Year
  • Edwidge Dupard, City College
  • Pahua Vang, Mesa College
  • Malia Kunst, Miramar College
  • Marie Nyirasafari, College of Continuing Education
Faculty Awardees: Women of the Year
  • Mariam Mena, City College
  • Dr. Mayasa Thekima, Mesa College
  • Monica Demcho, Miramar College
  • Noora Al Saegh, College of Continuing Education
Administrator Awardees: Women of the Year
  • Elizabeth Vargas, City College
  • Claudia Perkins, Mesa College
  • Dr. Nessa Julian, Miramar College
  • Dr. Stephanie Lewis, College of Continuing Education
Noora Al Saegh, left, with Ashanti Hands 
Noora Al Saegh of College of Continuing Education, left, with keynote speaker and Mesa College President Ashanti Hands. 


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