De Anza dean of P.E. and kinesiology hopes for student success

Don Le, Staff Reporter

Eric Mendoza was named the new dean of physical education and kinesiology at De Anza College in February following an extensive career in athletic academics.

“(De Anza) was a great opportunity to join a California community college with a great reputation in academics and athletics,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza has over 20 years of experience working for California community colleges.

Mendoza was previously the associate dean of athletics at West Hills College Coalinga and director of student development and athletics at El Camino College Compton Center in Los Angeles.

Mendoza earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and journalism at Fresno State University and a master’s degree in physical education and kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University.

Mendoza said he has been taught to listen, learn and lead, and that he dedicates time to receiving feedback from the full-time staff in his department.

“Dialogue has been about what works well at De Anza, what we should continue to do in our department, what things we need to stop doing and what programs we can bring,” Mendoza said.

Men’s basketball coach Jason Damjanovic said he is excited to see what Mendoza is going to do.

“He is putting in a concerted effort to see what we need in our department,” said Damjanovic. “He’s bringing a new energy to our department.”

Mendoza’s future plans for PE and athletics include bringing back De Anza’s softball team and creating an esports team for the new academic year.

“I’m focusing on the process and committed to improving our programs and facilities,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza’s main focus as the new dean is the students at De Anza.

“Our goal is ultimately to help students succeed,” said Mendoza. “Mental and physical wellness is important. It helps students to learn in a classroom.”

Mendoza said he has enjoyed his first two months meeting students and colleagues at De Anza.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome,” said Mendoza. “I can see why people enjoy being here.”