Stephanie Kashima was raised in South Korea and northern Wisconsin by her college professor parents. She attended New York University and the University of Wisconsin Madison where she was awarded a Bachelor in English Literature and a Master in Applied English Linguistics. She taught English at Yonsei University in Seoul Korea and then at Mission College in Santa Clara.
During her nearly 30-year career at the West Valley-Mission Community College District, she has served as ESL faculty member, faculty Senate president, dean, and vice president. In January 2020, she was appointed as the 12th president of West Valley College. She was selected as one of 25 college presidents nationwide for an Aspen Institute New Presidents Fellowship in 2021. She is currently completing her doctorate in organizational leadership at the University of Southern California.