Five New Members Join Ventura College Foundation Board
The Ventura College Foundation Board of Directors has added five new members. Joining the board are Debe Bylo, Mark Dufresne, Liz Kraus and Dr. Jill Muraoka Lim. All have a strong connection with Ventura College. As the current president of the Associated Students of Ventura College (ASVC), Jessica Flores Esquibel will also serve on the board during her term.
“All of our new members bring a variety of experience to the board and a passion for student success,” says Anne Paul King, executive director of the VC Foundation. “We look forward to their input and ideas to enhance the foundation’s ability to provide resources and financial support to the students at Ventura College.”
Now retired, Debe Bylo was a middle school teacher for 23 years with the Ventura Unified School District. She took classes at Ventura College to satisfy her teaching credential requirements. Both her daughters worked as summer lifeguards and swim instructors at the college. “I love community colleges because they create a bridge to four-year universities as well as offer certificate programs and training for people reentering the job market and updating skills and preparing for future employment after high school graduation,” says Bylo.
Mark Dufresne was a standout tight end for the Ventura College Pirates which then led to a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska where he played for the legendary coach Tom Osborne. Dufresne is one of nine siblings. All went to Ventura College. He’s now a banker at Wells Fargo in Westlake Village. “I enjoyed the small class sizes and learning from experienced and professional teachers and coaches,” says Dufresne. “I’d love to work with students in the athletic department to let them know of the financial opportunities available through the foundation.”
Liz Kraus is an adjunct professor of English, Emirita at Ventura College. After a 20-year career, she recently retired from her teaching position and just published a humorous, non-fiction travel book, “3 Sisters, 3 Weeks, 3 Countries (Still Talking). Kraus began her studies at Ventura College when she was 42 and used scholarships to fund further schooling at Cal State Northridge. The gift of scholarship then came full circle for Kraus as she and her husband created the Liz and Dave Kraus Scholarship for returning students who focus on humanities studies. “It doesn’t matter your age, who you are or your education level, community college is for you,” says Kraus. “It’s an inexpensive way to discover who you are and what you want to do with your life.”
Dr. Jill Muraoka Lim
Dr. Jill Muraoka Lim is a cofounder of Ohana Pet Hospital, a veterinary hospital with locations in Ventura and Santa Paula. Lim joined Ventura College’s faculty in 2020 to assist in launching a new Associate’s degree program in Veterinary Technology at the college’s East Campus in Santa Paula. “In my short time working with Ventura College, I have been amazed at the effort and support from the college and the VC Foundation that goes toward the students to encourage and promote their success,” says Lim. “I’ve had the pleasure of seeing firsthand the joy in students as they actively apply the knowledge gained in our program in the workplace.”
Jessica Flores Esquibel
ASVC President Jessica Flores Esquibel attended college in Mexico where she received her degree as a dental surgeon. The Piru resident is currently studying early childhood education but wants to also get minors in psychology and sociology. “As an ambassador for the foundation, I hope to bring awareness of what the foundation can do to help students so they can focus on their studies instead of worrying about their basic needs,” says Esquibel.