Carlos Penaloza


Leeward Community College

Carlos Penaloza


Leeward Community College

Carlos Peñaloza, earned his doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the City University of New York, deciphering molecular mechanisms responsible for sex differences in stress response.

Currently serves as Chancellor for Leeward Community College from the University of Hawaii. He previously served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer for Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences, Vice Chancellor for Instruction and Chief Academic Officer for Metropolitan Community College; and has served at Schenectady County Community College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, as assistant vice president of academic affairs and acting dean of mathematics, science, technology and health. His responsibilities there included oversight of academic assessment, academic offerings, program revisions, new program submissions and accreditation-related matters.

Dr. Penaloza has actively worked with underserved populations in higher education, with the Queens College Minority Access to Research Careers program (MARC); the Queensborough Community College Research Initiative for Minority Students (RIMS); the LaGuardia Community College Bridge to the Baccalaureate program; and the City College Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP).

He served for two years as a City University of New York Writing Fellow; assessing writing across disciplines and writing across curriculum; developed curriculum; implemented various initiatives; and evaluated writing-intensive programs.

He has over 10 years of biomedical research experience. He is published in the fields of cell death, and sex genetics. His scientific contributions have resulted in awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, including the Human Genome Scholar award from the National Human Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

He is member of several academic organizations, including Phi Theta Kappa, Sigma Xi, the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, and the International Cell Death Society.


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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

Math Pathways

Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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