Poppy Fitch, Ed.D.
Poppy Fitch is a higher education Student Affairs administrator and counselor who has served students and developed strengths-focused teams in San Diego area community college and university settings for more than 25 years. Poppy currently serves as the Director for Disability Support Programs and Services, San Diego Community College District in support of the educational access and success of students with disabilities.
Poppy is a Gallup organization certified Strengths Mentor and Coach and enjoys the opportunity to work with K-12, colleges and universities to develop strengths focused teams and institutions. She is co-author of A Guide to Leadership and Management in Higher Education: Managing Across the Generations and presents regularly at regional and national conferences on topics of leadership, educational equity and student success.
Poppy’s personal story is evidence of the transformative power of education. After aging out of the foster care system, Poppy attended Grossmont College and found a path that would transform her life, and the lives of her children. A testament to her personal commitment to lift while climbing, Poppy was inspired to advance her education. Intentional in selecting programs that situate social justice at the center of their missions, Poppy earned her Doctorate in Post-Secondary/Community College Educational Leadership and her Master of Education with a specialization in Multicultural Counseling, both from San Diego State University. Her research focuses on the success factors for foster youth who have persisted to college degree completion, and her heart is in (de)constructing systems for student success.
Beyond the workplace, Poppy’s community involvement evidences a belief in our collective responsibility toward more just and equitable experiences for all people. At San Diego State University, Poppy serves her alumni associations, making crucial connections between students, alumni, and the community at large, in order to advance program goals and make education and mental health a priority for minoritized and underserved people. Poppy’s service to Women’s March San Diego has spanned since its 2016 inception, and as the 2020 San Diego Women’s March Director, Poppy oversaw the coordination of teams responsible for more than 100 volunteers, 30 community partners, and thousands of marchers, demonstrating the impact of our collective voices for social change. As a commissioner for the San Diego Commission on Police Practices, Poppy participates in public oversight and evaluation of community complaints involving officers, and reviews all officer involved shootings and in custody deaths within the Police Department of the City of San Diego.
A deep feeler and lover of friends and family, she is proud mom to children, Hannah (22) and Kane (21), and is partner to husband Mike Robinson. On Sunday you’ll find Poppy enjoying the flowers in her garden, playing with her beagle Ruby, and reading stories to little ones. Her favorite title is Auntie.