The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Artistic leading

Dr. Kathryn Jeffery has been president of City College since 2008. She has a bachelor's degree in music, a master's in counseling and a Ph.D. in community college leadership. She began her career at City College as a counselor in 1981. Photo by R. Hanna || [email protected]

A water filter, one large piece of fabric, a dictionary of edible plants and a small collection of pictures as a reminder of who you are.

Not the typical things people would want if stranded on an island, but when asked the question, City College President Dr. Kathryn Jeffery suggests items that strike characteristics of a survivor. “Survivor” is often not a word used to characterize a college president, but the word stands as evidence of a leader.

There are many ways to describe the president.

“Analytical, thoughtful, calm and professional,” says Pamela Morrison, assistant to the president.

Jeffery is like no ordinary president. Her cool, calm and collective nature is what has kept her on a path of success as City College president since 2008. Her soothing and constructive approach to work and life was chiseled with many years of hard work and patience. With all her accomplishments and years of leadership, a little known secret close to her heart is her love and compassion for the arts.

“For my dream vacation I had always wanted to go to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland,” says Jeffery. “I did that this past summer.”

Although confessing to having a few songs on her iPod, Jeffery admitted she only carried three artists in her iPhone: Robin Thicke, Jill Scott and Corinne Bailey Rae.

“Music is my background,” says Jeffery. “It’s hard for me to settle in on a favorite artist because I like so many different styles of music.”

Jeffery received a bachelor’s degree in music from Oklahoma State University in 1975. She continued her education by obtaining a master’s degree in counseling.
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In 1981 Jeffery brought her talent to City College as one of the youngest counselors in the college’s counseling office. Twenty-seven years and various job titles later Jeffery returned as college president. During the interim, she also received a Ph.D. in community college leadership from the University of Texas, Austin.

Patricia Stanton, a City College counselor, has known Jeffery since 1986. She said she began as a student secretary,but gained a unique and genuine friendship with Jeffery.

“What’s intimidating to students or people that don’t know her is the word ‘president,’” Stanton says. “Our friendship has never died.”

In her spare time, Jeffery practices an outdoor style of painting known as “enplein air,” in which the artist simply sees a scene and paints it.

After a three-day course and weeks of painting, Jeffery said she found it to be something relaxing to do outside of work.

Over time she realized she had a real talent for this unique style of painting.

“I thought it would just be fun,” Jeffery says. “Sometimes you have these hidden talents. You have things that you don’t even know you can do.”

What started out as fun helped her keep her strength and peace as her father lay ill in his hospital bed. As a reminder of the love his family had for him, Jeffery painted a picture of their family home and hung it above his bed. That same picture remains perched on a wall in Jeffery’s home.

“There are those little things that mean a lot to someone else,” Jeffery says. “That’s one of the things I enjoy about working here at the college.”

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