From Dancing Queen to new Pierce College Dean

From Dancing Queen to new Pierce College Dean

The contrast between dance and education administration is vast and rarely mix. For Larissa Nazarenko, the new Dean of Career and Technical education, the transition from ballet to education was long but fruitful. Not unlike executing a perfect grand jeté jump in pointe shoes.   

Nazarenko will be responsible for overseeing the departments of CAOT, Child Development, Computer Science Information Technology, Industrial Technology, Media Arts, and Nursing. She will be supervising each of these departments.

“I love being connected to different programs and different departments, also being close to the students,” Nazarenko said.

Dean Nazarenko was a full-time faculty member for the fine arts department at Allan Hancock College for six years before becoming department chair. Nazarenko was also a supervisor of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

One of Nazarenko’s many passions just so happens to be dance.

“I taught dance full-time for eight years before I became a dean at Allan Hancock college,” Nazarenko said.

Nazarenko received her bachelors of fine arts degree in dance pedology and choreography from Altai State Institution of Arts and Culture. She also studied dance in New York City before receiving her masters of fine arts degree from University of California Irvine.

Nazarenko, who is of Russian descent, says her favorite style of dance is ballet. She still dances professionally today and will be performing with a full orchestra in Downtown Los Angeles in April.

“I’m happy to welcome her aboard the team, I believe that Dean Nazarenko will do a great job. She brings a wide range of experience in both areas of Humanities and Career technical studies.” said Vice President of Academic Affairs, Sheri Berger.

Former dean of the career and technical studies department, Jose Luis Fernandez, believes that Nazarenko will do a great job.

“I believe she is going to do a wonderful job, I was at the interview panel when we interviewed candidates. During those interview views I notice that she had the skills, talent and educational background needed to do an outstanding job at Pierce,” said Fernandez.

As the a new dean, Nazarenko is responsible for handling many things, one of them being student and faculty relations.

“I hope students will come by my office not only to complain but to share their success stories, because students come by my office and tend to complain about a course or instructor or a program.” said Nazarenko.

Nazarenko will also be overseeing each of the career and technical education departments class scheduling as well as overseeing the each class’s curriculum. Nazarenko looks to her experience with Allan Hancock as the framework on which she sets her goals.

“We will eventually be introducing new curriculum building software to the campus that I have already had experience working with on that campus,” said Nazarenko “I will also bring a different perspective on how we can build programs in relation to the industry.”