Dallas College News Update


Dr. Catalina Garcia was reelected trustee of District 1.

Media Contact: Cherie Yurco; CMYurco@DallasCollege.edu

For immediate release — June 5, 2024

(DALLAS) — Just prior to the Dallas College Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, June 4, the reelected Dr. Catalina Garcia (District 1) and newly elected Dr. Kesha O’Reilly (District 7) took an oath of office to serve their respective districts. Dr. Garcia was sworn in by Dr. Harryette B. Ehrhardt, former state representative, and Dr. O’Reilly was sworn in by Commissioner John Wiley Price. A reception following the meeting celebrated the accomplishments of retiring trustee Charletta Compton.

Dr. Garcia, a retired anesthesiologist with a long history of civic and professional service, was first elected in June 2022 to a term of two years, taking over the seat of the late J.L. “Sonny” Williams. Learn more about Dr. Garcia.

Dr. Kesha O’Reilly is the newly elected trustee of District 7.

Newly elected Dr. O’Reilly, an accomplished health care professional with over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and clinical sectors, is an established leader in her field. She currently serves as director of HIV franchise global medical affairs at Gilead Sciences, where she has been instrumental in developing and implementing global strategies for HIV prevention, treatment and potential cures.

She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University and a Master of Science in population health science from the University of Mississippi. Dr. O’Reilly is also a U.S. Army Reserve veteran.

As a strong advocate for education and community equity, she has demonstrated a solid commitment to community service and leadership, serving at Concord Church, Howard University inSTEM program and North Texas chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc.

According to O’Reilly, her top three priorities for serving on the board will be: strengthening existing partnerships, enhancing employer collaborations and improving student support services. “I have a strong desire to ensure that all students within Dallas County have the opportunity to thrive,” said Dr. O’Reilly. “Beyond that, I hope to help shape the educational environment at Dallas College to not only address today’s challenges but anticipate tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Retiring trustee Charletta Compton served on the Dallas College Board of Trustees for 24 years.

Outgoing board member Charletta Compton was reelected multiple times and served on the Dallas College Board of Trustees for 24 years, with five different chancellors. She was the first Black woman to serve as chair of the board, from 2014 to 2018. She served as vice chair for two years, 2010-2012, and is a past chair of the Audit Committee. Compton most recently served on the board’s Finance and Audit committees and previously sat on the Education and Workforce and Planning and Budget committees.

During Compton’s tenure on the Dallas College board, she helped shape innovative policies and steer the college through historic times:

  • In 2004, the Dallas College board approved a $450 million bond package. Closed in 2010, the bond resulted in 28 new buildings and five new community campuses.
  • Dallas County Promise launched in 2018.
  • In 2019, a $1.1 billion Dallas College bond package passed with 71% of the Dallas County vote.
  • The board helped Dallas College staff and students to quickly and efficiently adopt a 100% online format at the start of the pandemic in 2020.
  • The board guided the transformation of Dallas College from seven individual colleges to one accredited institution, receiving Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approval for the change in June 2020.
  • Over the years, Compton was instrumental in supplier development programs to ensure diverse suppliers have equal access to business opportunities at Dallas College.

Compton is president of Rogers & Associates Creative Productions. She currently serves as an advisory committee member for the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Tourism; president of Kimball United Neighborhood Association; parliamentarian of Southwest Dallas Neighborhood Association; on the board of the Dallas County Heritage Society; and on the Diversity Committee of the Association of Community College Trustees. She has served on several additional boards throughout North Texas.

Compton has been honored with the Minority Business News Women Who Mean Business Award (2000), D/FW Minority Business Development Council & Minority Business News 1997 Helping Hands Award and Dallas County Heritage Society Heritage Award.

“I must first acknowledge trustee Compton on her over two-decade commitment to serving the Dallas College community. The ultimate student success champion, her advocacy for our institution and its mission has served as a guiding force for countless generations of learners. While she will be missed, her impact remains,” said Dr. Justin Lonon, Dallas College chancellor. “With the reelection of trustee Garcia and election of Dr. O’Reilly, we usher in a new chapter of possibilities for the students and communities we serve. My congratulations to both leaders; I’m confident their expertise and shared dedication to student achievement will only amplify our ‘barrier-busting’ spirit of excellence.”

The Dallas College Board of Trustees consists of seven members whose duties include approving annual budgets and setting policies for Dallas College. During normal election cycles, board members serve six-year terms without compensation.

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