Dr. Tyjaun A. Lee, president, MCC-Penn Valley and MCC-Maple Woods
Tyjaun A. Lee, Ph.D., became president of the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus in midtown Kansas City in August 2017. She assumed the presidency of a second campus, MCC-Maple Woods in Kansas City's Northland, in July 2018.
Lee, who has more than 20 years of progressive experience in higher education, came to MCC from Prince George's Community College in Maryland, where she was vice president for student affairs. In that role, she was responsible for a range of administrative units and functions, including recruitment, enrollment, marketing, athletics and student auxiliary services, and she served as a member of the senior leadership team.
Lee was honored in 2020 with the Paragon Award for New Presidents from Phi Theta Kappa, the academic honor society for students at two-year colleges. She was inducted into the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City in 2019. She serves on the board of directors of the Urban Ranger Corps, which provides young men in Kansas City’s urban core with positive role models, tutors and life skills. She serves on the Broadway Westport Council, which oversees community development projects.
She is the current president of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. She received the 2019 Tribute to Success award from Connections to Success, which helps people living in poverty become economically self-sufficient; she is a member of the board of directors. She has served as past president of the National Council on Student Development. She is a member of the Presidents’ Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs, which is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges.
A Cleveland native, Lee holds three degrees from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio: a bachelor’s in specialized studies; a master’s in education; and a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership with an emphasis in higher education administration.
Dr. Thomas W. Meyer, president, MCC-Blue River and MCC-Business & Technology
Thomas W. Meyer, Ph.D., became president of Metropolitan Community College’s Blue River and Business & Technology campuses in June 2019. Meyer came to Kansas City from Lehigh Carbon Community College in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, where he was vice president for academic services and student development.
Meyer’s academic career has included the positions of faculty member, department chair, associate dean, dean and vice president. He served as vice president for academic services and student development at Lehigh Carbon since 2015. Key accomplishments there included leading faculty through a reorganization to create seven schools and a transition to a 14-week calendar allowing for a winter session to help boost online enrollment. He also recruited and increased Latino enrollment, launched a successful initiative to focus employee efforts on completion and retention, and doubled grants received by the college.
Meyer previously served as center dean, academic and student affairs, at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where among other accomplishments he founded and raised funds for the Block Party for Higher Education and created the Food, Arts and Business (FAB) Center concept. At Miami Dade College he served as dean and associate dean of academic affairs and was chair of the Department of English as a Second Language, Foreign Languages and Translation/Interpretation. A major success for him at Miami Dade was co-creating and implementing the Miami Culinary Institute. He previously worked as a full-time faculty lecturer at the University of Miami and at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Meyer holds a B.A. in English literature; an M.S. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages; and a Ph.D. in educational linguistics, all from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His doctoral thesis topic was language and power in disagreements.
Sandra Garcia, chief legal officer
Sandra Garcia became Metropolitan Community College's chief legal officer in November 2017. She joined MCC from Houston Community College, where she served as an executive in the role of assistant general counsel.
At MCC, Garcia oversees the legal office. She provides support and services to the Executive Cabinet and administrators on various legal matters. As a member of the Executive Cabinet, she reports to Chancellor Kimberly Beatty.
Garcia's area of responsibilities as an assistant general counsel at Houston Community College included labor and employment, equal employment opportunity (EEO), contracts, open records, policy, regulations, compliance and student matters. She says she was privileged to be a part of Imagine HCC 2019, a comprehensive strategic plan that focused on student success, organizational stewardship, performance excellence and innovation. As a project manager for numerous strategic initiatives districtwide, she was charged with overseeing the work of project teams.
Garcia holds a bachelor of arts in history from Baylor University, where she focused on women’s studies. She continued her history studies in the master of arts program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Soon after she developed an interest in law, earning a juris doctorate from Texas Southern University.