Former Union Dean Named President of Rockland Community College

CRANFORD, NJ – Union College of Union County, New Jersey is proud to announce that its former dean, Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo, has been named the next president of Rockland Community College (RCC) in Suffern, New York. RCC is a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The Rockland and SUNY Boards approved the appointment, and Dr. Rápalo will begin his new role as the President of RCC starting on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Rápalo joined Union in 2015 as the Dean of Social Sciences, Business, and History before becoming Dean of the Elizabeth Campus & Institute for Intensive English. After Union, Dr. Rapalo went on to serve as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College, City University of New York (CUNY). Prior to joining Union, Dr. Rápalo worked at Valencia College in Florida as the Interim Dean of the Humanities and Foreign Language Department and as the Chair of the Foreign Language Department. He began his administrative career at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as the Program Director of the Study Abroad Program. Dr. Rápalo earned his Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University, Master of Arts in Literature and Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo
Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Rápalo for achieving this career milestone. At Union, we pride ourselves on our ability to develop future leaders. We congratulate him on being selected as the next president of Rockland Community College, and we know he will do great things there,” stated Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

Union College of Union County, New Jersey is a public, comprehensive community college that provides quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 two-year colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College offers a wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities. Union provides many experiential learning opportunities such as access to a Bloomberg Business Center, Innovation Center, and Student Research hub. Additionally, students at Union attend one of the top 25 community colleges in the country for 2023 as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.