The Top Artichoke

Meet Scottsdale Community College President, Dr. Eric Leshinskie


NEVN Photography

Scottsdale Community College President Dr. Eric Leshinskie

Preston Grace, Reporter

In July of 2022, Dr. Eric Leshinskie stepped on to the SCC campus and into the role of head artichoke as the President of Scottsdale Community College.

The new president has held other administrative positions at sister colleges under the Maricopa County Community Colleges system including Paradise Valley Community College and Glendale Community College.

Leshinskie believes that Scottsdale Community College (SCC) has many appealing aspects that make it stand out from other campuses.

“What sets us apart, in my opinion, is the care that we are providing to our students, and the care that we provide for each other,” Leshinskie said. “There’s something that makes Scottsdale feel like home—a place that you are going to get the support and care that you need to thrive.”

He’s also very proud to be partnering with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC).

“We are located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian land, and with that comes our responsibility to be public stewards of the land, and do our best to be meaningful partners with SRPMIC. To me, that creates an energy on campus that is different and unique,” Leshinskie said.

One of Leshinskie’s priorities is improving SCC’s completion rates.

“The number one goal right now is to ensure that the students who choose to come to SCC have every opportunity to be successful,” Leshinskie said.

Emphasizing that SCC’s completion rates are “solid”, Leshinskie would like to see them expand and will work toward making certain that students have the necessary resources for their academic goals.

Northeast Valley News wanted to see if the president of a college was up for a bit of a test—we asked him about the origin of the artichoke—SCC’s school mascot?

Leshinskie did pass the quiz, but could use a little more homework.

He was wise in choosing the artichoke when asked about his favorite food.

Grinningly, Leshinskie said, “I love them on pizza, I love a good spinach and artichoke dip but I start to feel a little guilty whenever I do eat them, because I’m eating our mascot.”

Beyond the administrative bios, campus presidents are often seen, but not many students really know “who” they are.

Northeast Valley News peeled off the outer petals of the top artichoke and found out a thing or two about him.

Leshinskie loves baseball.

He grew up a Phillies fan and played all four years at Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Penn.

As a kid he watched and listened to the Philadelphia Phillies games on television and radio whenever he could.

“I follow the Diamondbacks, and still follow the Phillies, and I obviously keep up with Artichoke baseball. I try to talk to the players when I can and try to connect with the coaches whenever I can,” Leshinskie said. “Baseball is deeply ingrained into my heart.”

He’s also a fan of music and revealed his favorite band that he has followed for years.

“Dave Matthews Band, I’ve always been a fan. When I went to college in Richmond, Dave Matthews was just breaking the scene, they were playing for free, so every Thursday night, they played at a local venue in Richmond and I grew to like the style and sound they had. It was unique,” Leshinskie said.

Even though he’s the “top artichoke,” Leshinskie refers back to the students, faculty and the various communities that support SCC.

“I’m honored and I’m humbled to be in this role, but it’s important that everyone knows that it’s a collective ‘we’ effort that will move us forward,” Leshinskie said.