Sayumi Irey

Acting President of South Seattle College

Sayumi Irey

Dr. Sayumi Irey became South Seattle College’s acting president on Sept. 1, 2023 and will serve in this role during the 2023-2024 academic year. Prior to becoming acting president, she served as vice president of instruction at South Seattle College since 2019. She came to South Seattle College from Bellevue College, where she was the interim vice president for diversity.

Dr. Irey started her career in higher education as a tenured librarian and has over 20 years of teaching experience including teaching “Race in the U.S.,” “Introduction to Asian American Studies,” as well as numerous workshops, such as “Peacemaking Circles for Leadership” and Educators’ Identity Development Model for Teaching.”

Dr. Irey holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Washington. Based on her dissertation work, she founded the Social Justice Leadership Institute (SJLI) to intentionally focus on staff and faculty of color who are frequently systemically excluded based on their non-dominant status in community and technical colleges.  Dr. Irey started SJLI as she wanted all students to be able to envision themselves as a leader by offering more visible role models in higher education.

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