Mercer County CC appoints new AVP of academic affairs, workforce education and innovation

Mercer County Community College on Wednesday said Gonzalo Perez has been named as its new assistant vice president of academic affairs, workforce education and innovation. In his role, Perez will oversee Mercer County Community College’s James Kerney Campus in conjunction with the Division of Lifelong Learning and MercerOnline.

Perez replaces the former Dean of JKC, Tonia Perry-Conley, and will retain the majority of his current responsibilities as AVP of MercerOnline and the Division of Lifelong Learning.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Perez as AVP,” Deborah Preston, president of Mercer County Community College, said. “His expertise and depth of experience in higher education and his demonstrated commitment and contributions to Mercer over the past several years have established him as a remarkable leader and invaluable member of our senior team.”

MCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Schreyer also applauded the selection of Perez.

“Mercer County Community College has a vested interest in continuing to improve the student experience by providing the finest academic and career options,” Schreyer stated. “I believe Dr. Perez has the requisite skills and passion to meet and exceed these goals at James Kerney Campus in Trenton.”

Perez brings 17 years of higher education experience to the position as well as a history of innovation, leadership, staff development, relationship building and operations planning. His work to date has focused on improving access to education and fostering success for a diverse student population.

“I am honored and excited about my expanded role at MCCC,” Perez said. “My past experience has put me on solid footing to face the new and interesting opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

Before joining MCCC in 2020, Perez served as associate provost of Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he helped develop innovative online programming. He also expanded CCC’s pre-college program that prepared students for higher education. While at CCC, he collaborated with Native American tribes on remote education initiatives and led the Southern Nevada/Northern Arizona Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation grant, increasing the number of underrepresented students in STEM fields. At both CCC and NAU, Perez also served as an adjunct professor of computer information systems.

Originally from Guttenberg, Perez spent seven years in various leadership roles with Passaic County Community College in Paterson and is no stranger to working with urban communities.