Skip to Content
Dr Ester at the podium


Normandale is committed to being a student ready college that supports the whole student inside and outside of the classroom.

Our vision believes in limitless human potential, and we are dedicated to meeting our students at any point in their academic journey to help achieve our goals. These efforts are centered around our Big Three Goals:

  • Achieving racial equity in educational outcomes by 2025
  • Achieving Associated Degree completion or baccalaureate transfer rate of 50% or better for degree-seeking students by 2030
  • Support and sustain a pervasive college culture that is culturally responsive and service-oriented

President Joyce Ester

A tireless champion for access and equity in higher education, Joyce C. Ester, Ph.D., has served as President of Normandale Community College – Minnesota’s largest two-year college and fifth-largest public postsecondary institution – since 2014. 

Under President Ester’s energetic, engaged leadership, Normandale has collaborated with K-12, Minnesota State, community, and industry partners to secure the college’s position as one of the state’s top transfer institutions fostering students’ progression to Minnesota State universities, the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas and many other four-year universities locally, regionally, and beyond.

President Ester has rallied Normandale administrators, faculty, staff, and students around an ambitious “Equity 2025” vision that commits the college to eliminating race-based gaps in key educational outcomes by 2025. In the service of that vision, she has fostered numerous strategies and initiatives including mandatory professional development for all faculty in culturally responsive pedagogy, innovative approaches to course placement, an Equity Fellows program that engages faculty and staff in transforming the college’s culture and ways of work, and a new Black Men in Teaching program to help address the state’s shortage of Black and African American K-12 teachers.  

Her current work to advance higher education and human development nationally includes serving on the board of trustees of the Higher Learning Commission and of Gallaudet University. At the state level, she serves as an appointee of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan to the Young Women’s Cabinet and the Executive Council for the Young Women’s Initiative, both part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota.

She also works with the college’s Continuing Education and Customized Training Department to foster partnerships with locally-based companies such as Dairy Queen, Donaldson, Medtronic, ReSound, ImmunoChemistry Technologies and many others. Under President Ester’s leadership in 2023, Normandale secured over $410,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for workforce training.

Before taking the helm at Normandale, President Ester served as President of Kennedy-King College in Chicago; Associate Vice President at Bakersfield College (California); Assistant Vice President for Judicial Affairs and Division Planning at California State University, Fresno; and Assistant Dean of Students and Judicial Affairs at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

President Ester holds a Master of Arts and Ph.D in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Northern Illinois University.


Picture of Jill Boldenow 

Jill Boldenow, MPA
Vice President of Administration

Image of Dara Hagen

Dara Hagen, M.A.
Vice President of Student Affairs

Image of Kristina Keller 

Kristina Keller, Ed.D
Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs

Image of Telly Mamayek 

Telly Mamayek
Vice President of Advancement

Image of Jodee McCallum 

Jodee McCallum, J.D.
Vice President of People and Culture

Image of Leah Brink 

Leah Brink
Chief of Staff and Strategic Initiatives Director


upper arrowtop