President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
Denise Yochum has served as President of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom since 2006. In this role, Yochum also oversees Pierce College extension sites at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Western State Hospital and the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
Yochum began her career in higher education as an instructor of Speech Communication at Florida International University in 1987, and has served in a variety of faculty and leadership roles since then. From 1989-93, Yochum served as a Speech Communication Instructor and Director of Debate for Oregon State University before accepting the position as the Integrated Learning Network Coordinator at Lewis-Clark State College. Yochum began her community college career when she became the Director of Worker Retraining, Adult Basic Education and Continuing Education at Big Bend Community College in 1995. While at Big Bend, she worked in most of the instructional areas of the college, ending as the Dean of Arts and Science. Additionally, she supervised the faculty learning center, instructional technology, and distance learning. From 2001-05, she worked as Vice President of Instruction for Grays Harbor College before accepting the position of President of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom in 2006.
Yochum remains deeply committed to the community in which she lives and works. She has served on the Lakewood Rotary, St. Clare’s Women’s Advisory Council, City of Lakewood Redevelopment Advisory Board, Partners for Parks, and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the RP/6 Board, a non-profit focused on supporting transitioning military members and their families.
Yochum is a doctoral candidate in Gonzaga University’s educational leadership program. Her dissertation focus is on the diffusion of innovation of open educational resources within higher education.