Virginia Padilla-Vigil, PhD, Dean of the College
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- Virginia Padilla-Vigil, PhD, Dean of the College
Virginia Padilla-Vigil joined SWC in 2020 after retiring from a 30-year career in education that spanned K-12, higher education, and state government. She spent her career as a transformational teacher and leader, advocating for equity, access, and opportunity for traditionally underserved and marginalized students. She is a strong proponent of the integration of technology and online learning as a way to expand learning pathways to non-traditional students who would not otherwise have access. Virginia desired a position that would allow for her to share her creativity, passion, and vision for teaching and learning and she found this at SWC – to her, it is like coming full circle and returning to her roots as a teacher and a leader. She believes that the ground at SWC is fertile with opportunities to develop transformational programs that can make a difference in the lives of the students served and incrementally in those our graduates serve. As such, she feels honored and privileged to transplant her own roots in SWC’s light action soil.
Virginia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in at-risk youth from the College of Santa Fe. She served as an elementary teacher for six years in the Pojoaque Valley Schools. In 2013 she earned a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies from the University of New Mexico and shortly after she fulfilled one of her dreams writing and publishing a children’s book, Mariposa, where did you get your colors a book , a story that captures the unique and special qualities, talents, and gifts that each child has and encourages them to share these with the world to make it a brighter and better place.
Virginia developed a school counseling pathway at SWC to create a pipeline for art therapists and mental health counselors to enter schools, as she believes that SWC graduates have so much to contribute to our schools and the lives of students, families, and communities. She is committed to making a meaningful and authentic contribution and sharing her colors with the SWC community in her role as Dean of the College & Chief Academic Officer.