Dr. Cynthia Martinez Named Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Dear HMC Community:

I am pleased to share that following a national search, Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) Martinez has been selected as Harvey Mudd College’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (VP/DOS). She will assume the position July 1. Dr. Martinez brings 25 years of academic and student affairs leadership experience to this role. She has extensive professional experience in student affairs, is a strategic thought partner and is dedicated to building a positive learning and living environment for all students.

I would like to thank the many students, faculty and staff who participated in the search process for their collaborative and thoughtful contributions throughout the interview and selection process. I also want to express my gratitude to Tom Donnelly, vice president for academic affairs and R. Michael Shanahan Dean of the Faculty, for leading the VP/DOS search along with the members of the search committee. They were supported in their efforts by Spencer Stuart, a nationally recognized, external search firm specializing in senior leadership searches across a variety of industries, including higher education.

The members of the search committee included:

  • Tom Donnelly, vice president for academic affairs and R. Michael Shanahan Dean of Faculty, committee chair
  • Mark Ashley, registrar and assistant vice president for student information management
  • Amy Bibbens, associate dean for academic resources and student success
  • Thyra Briggs, vice president for admission and financial aid
  • Sharon Gerbode, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of physics
  • Danny Ledezma, associate director of civic and community engagement
  • Kayleah Tsai ’24, ASHMC president (2023–2024)
  • Simone Yang ’26
  • Darryl Yong ’96, McGregor-Girand Chair in STEM Equity Innovation and Research and professor of mathematics, Core Curriculum director and associate dean for special projects

As VP/DOS, Dr. Martinez will oversee all aspects of the Division of Student Affairs and will lead the College’s efforts to expand and improve co-curricular support for our students. She has served the College as interim VP/DOS since July 2023, and during that time she has been focused on rebuilding the team while addressing suggestions and issues raised in the 2023 external review of DSA. This work is expected to continue under her leadership.

Prior to joining HMC as interim VP/DOS in 2023, Dr. Martinez served Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) as the associate dean of the Community Medicine Program/professor of practice, developing and implementing the strategic vision for the Master of Science in Community Medicine program.

Before that, she served as the dean of students at KGI for five years, providing strategic leadership for academic support services, career services, student accessibility services, orientation services, student activities, student conduct, student housing, student health insurance, student government, student occupational therapy services, student wellness and Title IX. Given her roles at KGI, Dr. Martinez has extensive knowledge and experience working collaboratively with The Claremont Colleges Services and the other Claremont colleges.

She previously worked at USC as the interim assistant dean for student affairs in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and as the executive director for graduate and undergraduate advisement and academic services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cal Poly Pomona; a master of education in postsecondary administration and student affairs from USC; and a PhD in leadership studies from the University of San Diego.

Please join me in congratulating Cindy on her appointment. I look forward to our continued work with her to explore ways we can further improve our students’ experiences at Harvey Mudd.


Harriet B. Nembhard