A champion for diversity and inclusion

Nominated for SCCCD Classified Professional of the Year, Deanna Calvin grateful for opportunity to bring unique viewpoint to Madera Community College 

Being an executive assistant is not a new role for Deanna Calvin.

For nearly 20 years, she worked in the private sector helping professional leaders stay organized as they ran their respective businesses. 

Previously, it has been a job. Since joining the team at Madera Community College, Calvin has developed a newfound passion for service to go along with her career. 

“What I really love is that I have a very unique lens. As a black, transgender woman, my perspective and my vision and how I see things is very unique to my counterparts, right now especially,” Calvin said. “Being in any capacity to advocate for any marginalized group is the most rewarding thing and I get to do that here on campus.”


Calvin started as the Executive Assistant to Dr. Marie Harris, Madera’s Vice President for Learning and Student Success, three years ago and recently added similar duties for Lucia Robles, Vice President for Equity and Institutional Effectiveness, prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year. Balancing these additional responsibilities and her dedication to diversity and inclusion on campus caught the attention of her colleagues, as Calvin was one of Madera’s nominees for the State Center Community College District Classified Professional of the Year. 

When she came to Madera, Calvin knew she would be organizing schedules, making travel arrangements and coordinating meetings. She didn’t realize how her job would impact an often underserved community. 

“I like that we work for an institution where a lot of the students are first generation. A lot of their parents are farmworkers and have worked in farming, and for them, they are the first in their families to go to college,” Calvin said. “I can see and I know that we are impacting their lives and their futures and I like that. I like that my work behind-the-scenes directly impacts and creates an environment that is equitable for folks.”

While her everyday duties help Dr. Harris and Dr. Robles in their work, Calvin has been given the opportunity to get involved within the Madera community to enact meaningful change and help with outreach. 

Calvin has helped with the Guided Pathways program which assists students from enrollment through their entire educational journey by providing help with course choices and continuous support throughout along the way. She’s also joined several equity initiatives and committees, including assisting with an LGBTQ welcoming event that celebrated diversity and inclusion this year.

In a short period of time, Calvin has become known as someone Madera can rely on for providing clarity and guidance when it comes to matters around diversity and inclusion, something she has come to relish. 

“I love that I am known for having a voice and speaking up. I love that I’m allowed to have the hard, uncomfortable conversations to create a more diverse environment,” Calvin said. 

Despite a tremendous amount of involvement on campus, the nomination for SCCCD’s Classified Professional of the Year took Calvin completely by surprise. When she was first told, Calvin admits she thought it was a joke. When she arrived at Madera three years ago, Calvin simply wanted to do her job to the best of her ability. Now, she’s grateful for an opportunity to do so much more.

“Doing all those things, I just do them. I was surprised to hear that I was nominated because I hadn’t thought about the fact that someone was paying attention really,” Calvin said. 

Thank you Deanna and all of our Classified Professionals for the amazing work you do!

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