Reetika Dhawan


Dean of Career and Technical Education
Arizona Western College

Why are you in Arizona?
I was born and educated in India and came here for what was going to be a short, few months teacher exchange. I stayed in Yuma because as a math-physics teacher I was in high demand.

I taught first in high school and then moved to Arizona Western College. Two years ago, I became the Dean of Career and Technical Education.

What concerns you?
I am very concerned about the lack of state resources being invested in rural communities for higher education. We need a more comprehensive array of programs in fields that are promising because those who leave for training in the urban areas often don’t return. Two key fields for Yuma are manufacturing and health care. There are some 10 small manufacturing firms here and this is one of the economic development areas that is most likely to grow in the Yuma area. We have a similar problem in health care as the number of retirees moving here increases every year, increasing demand for health care services. This is the third largest economic region in the state, and we need more investment in education.

Why would you leave?
I don’t intend to leave because the people here are now my family.


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