Dr. Nish's Bio
Melinda Nish became Superintendent/President of Southwestern College on January 2, 2012.
Her educational and professional background has emphasized internationalism and the world marketplace. She lived in Europe for nearly a decade, and is fluent in both English and French.
She comes to Southwestern from Orange Coast College where she served as vice president of instruction from 2005-2011. In that capacity, she was responsible for oversight of the college's instructional program and was responsible for maintaining a campus environment that supports students' educational goals.
Nish recently served as a member of the California Community Colleges Task Force on Student Success that examined best practices and effective models within higher education throughout the nation to improve educational achievements in California. The task force has produced a final report which has been approved by the California Community College Board of Governors and is currently under consideration by the Legislature.
Nish also led Orange Coast’s accreditation efforts since 2005 as the college's Accreditation Liaison Officer for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). In 2009, Nish was named Orange Coast College's Manager of the Year by the Coast District Management Association (CDMA).
She was named president of the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers for 2010 to 2012. She also served as vice president in 2009-2010 and as Region 8 representative from 2007 to 2009. Nish served as a member of the Coast Community College District's negotiation team from 2007 to 2010.
A native of Salt Lake City, Nish earned her B.A. degree in political science, and a certificate of international relations, from the University of Utah. She received her M.A. degree from the university in economics, and studied French language and translation at the University of Nice, France. She was a doctoral candidate in international economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She completed an educational doctorate at the Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.
Nish taught economics, international finance, and financial mathematics at American College of Switzerland in Leysin, and at Webster University in Geneva. She spent seven years at Salt Lake Community College. She was an associate professor of finance and economics and became Department Chair of Finance, Business Economics and Business Math in 1997.