Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced the appointment of Gita Runkle as Associate Dean of Emeritus College, SMC’s widely praised program providing classes of interest to older adults in support of lifelong learning. Runkle stepped into the permanent position on July 8 after serving in an interim capacity since January 2014.

Emeritus College — which opened its doors in 1975 — currently has a faculty of 80 and offers more than 120 classes and special programs to over 3,000 students annually.

“This year marked the 40th anniversary of Emeritus College,” said Dr. Georgia Lorenz, SMC Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Gita’s appointment as the Associate Dean is one more reason to celebrate! Her commitment will help Emeritus continue to thrive, and her leadership will set a strong course to guide us into the future.”

“I am honored to serve as Associate Dean,” said Runkle, “and look forward to continued success here at Emeritus.”

Runkle — a member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica — is the former Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which was hosted by Santa Monica College and provides free business consulting and low-cost training to the community. While at SBDC, Runkle made it her goal to develop strategic partnerships in the community, including private industry and governmental and community-based organizations.

Prior to her arrival at SMC, Runkle served at Miami Dade College in several roles, including Chairperson, Director, and Student Support Manager. She has also worked at New York University and the University of California at Berkeley, and has extensive experience in corporate marketing at companies that include Procter & Gamble and Royal Caribbean.

Runkle has an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Marketing from the University of Southern California (USC), an MA in Higher Education from New York University, and a BA in Multi-Media from UC Berkeley.

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