Chico STEM Connections Collaborative

Paul Villegas


Paul is responsible for overseeing the program's direction, budget, industry, partnerships, recruitment planning, grant writing, and staff management.

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Paul Villegas has over twenty-five years experience supporting underrepresented and first-generation students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at California State University, Chico. He has directed the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Achievement) Engineering Program (MEP), the MESA Schools Program (MSP), and the California Student Opportunity Program (CAL-SOAP). Under his leadership, the Chico STEM Connections Collaborative - CSC2 program was created in order increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Hispanic, low-income, and first-generation STEM students. CSC2 is funded through the Hispanic Serving Institution Division at the U.S. Department of Education and is one of the largest grants ($4.2 million) in the history of the Chico State campus. Paul has been a Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator on several National Science Foundation grants. He has raised between $13-15 million dollars from grants and industry to support student success. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves (Corps of Engineers). He received his commission from University of California, Berkeley and his Masters from California State University, Chico. In April of 2017, he was appointed California Director of Selective Service by Governor Jerry Brown. In his spare time he enjoys golfing and fly fishing.