Benjamin T. Duran, Ed.D.
Benjamin T. Duran is a highly respected higher education leader, teacher and former president of Merced Community College in California. He recently retired as superintendent/president of the Merced Community College District…Expand
after serving 22 years in the district with the last 14 years as the CEO. He is a faculty member in the Education Doctoral program at California State University, Stanislaus.
During his tenure at Merced College he served on various statewide committees and was appointed by Chancellor Jack Scott to serve on the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force. He also served as President of the Community College CEO Board and chaired the Community Colleges Economic Development Advisory Committee.
Virginia Madrid-Salazar provides leadership to the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium as the Strategies Lead. She oversees the strategy efforts, development of the CVHEC Regional Data Dashboard, and oversees grant writing. Further, she will directly serve CVHEC members in the Fresno area, including West Hills Coalinga and West Hills Lemoore.
After a 17-year career in communications where she managed multi-faceted, regional and statewide campaigns, she obtained a juris doctorate degree from San Joaquin College of Law.
Angel Ramirez first began working with the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium as a social media intern back in 2015. He now serves as the organization’s Communications Manager and oversees the administrative needs of the team.
Angel earned his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from CSU, Fresno.
CVHEC Southern Regional Coordinator
Dan has a deep understanding of, and experience working within, the system of shared governance in California community colleges. In his work, he uses technology and face-to-face meetings to facilitate meaningful, broad-based engagement and participation. Dan has a strong technology background that helps in many aspects of his consulting work. He has implemented creative web-based solutions for surveys, collaboration and information sharing on his master planning projects.
As the CVHEC Southern Regional Coordinator, Dan will serve CVHEC member colleges in the Kern, Tulare and Kings Counties.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the Wharton School. He has worked as a consultant on master-planning projects in California and Montana, and has experience in both single and multi-college districts.
John Spevak, Ph.D.
Regional Coordinator & English Task Force Liaison
As the CVHEC Northern Regional Coordinator, John serves CVHEC member colleges in the Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Tuolumne Counties.
John Spevak is a retired Chief Instructional Officer with 23 years of experience as an instructional administrator – seven as dean of off-campus centers and 16 as vice president of instruction at the same institution (Merced College). He also spent 14 years at the same college as full-time English instructor and academic advisor, during which time he was an active member of his college’s faculty senate. He has also taught in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at California State University, Stanislaus. He worked with CVHEC when it was initially developed as an important Central Valley collaborative venture.
He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago.