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HERDI Advisory Biographies

Chris Bustamante

Chris Bustamante, Ed.D., serves as the President of Rio Salado College, the largest of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. The College serves nearly 59,000 students annually with more than 30,000 students online.

Dr. Bustamante is a well-known advocate for increasing access to higher education and degree completion, and for forging transformational partnerships with business, government, and other educational providers.

Dr. Bustamante was appointed as President of Rio Salado College in June 2010 after serving as the College’s Interim President, Vice President of Community Development and Student Services, and Dean of Academic Affairs. Previously, he served in senior level government affairs positions for the Maricopa County Community College District, as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Community and Government Relations for the Phoenix Union High School District, and as a Legislative Aide in the Arizona House of Representatives.

He serves on many national and state boards including; the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Board of Trustees, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Commissioner for Arizona, and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Executive Council. He is also the president of the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC), a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and Steering Committee member of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA), President’s Forum Board of Directors, Chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Center on Education Attainment and Innovation, and the president-elect of the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN). Most recently he participated in the ACE Presidential Innovation Lab.

Laura Coleman

Laura Coleman is President of Bay de Noc Community College, a position she assumed in July of 2006. Prior to joining Bay College, Dr. Coleman was Executive Dean at Bertrand Crossing Campus, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI. She also served as Interim Dean of Institute for Diversity and Leadership at Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI. She served as the Director at the Jefferson City Campus of State Fair Community College. Dr. Coleman received her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the University of MissouriColumbia, her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Lake Forest, IL, and her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Coleman serves on the Michigan College Access Network Board of Directors, the Michigan Early Middle College Board, the Michigan Center for Student Success Advisory Committee, the Michigan Colleges Online Advisory Board, and as Past President to the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN). She serves on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Presidents Academy Executive Committee and was appointed by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) to the Advisory Committee of Presidents. She served on the AACC Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development from 2011-2013 and the Commission on Research, Technology, and Emerging Trends from 2013-2014.

Locally, she serves on the Delta County Economic Development Board, the EDA Executive Committee, the CUPPAD Central U.P. Regional Prosperity Collaborative and Rural Wage Study Committee, and is a member of Rotary. She served on the OSF Community Advisory Board from 2008-2012 and the Bay Area Economic Club from 2007-2014.

Gene Couch

A native of Southwest Virginia, Dr. Gene C. Couch, Jr. is the president of Virginia Highlands Community College. Dr. Couch is a graduate of a Virginia Community College. In 1982, he graduated from Southwest Virginia Community College and later earned a bachelor’s degree in Allied Health from North Carolina’s Mars Hill College. Additionally, he holds a master’s and an education specialist degree in Educational Administration – Two Year College from Western Carolina University. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University.

He has an extensive career in education, serving more than 29 years in various administrative capacities at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, North Carolina and at Alamance Community College in Burlington, North Carolina, until his return to southwest Virginia.

Dr. Couch and his wife, Judy, have two sons – both of whom are currently enrolled in college. Jarrod is a med student at Lincoln Memorial University, and Jordan attends Emory & Henry College.

Casey Crabill

Dr. Casey Crabill is Onondaga Community College’s eighth President, leading Central New York’s second largest undergraduate college with nearly 13,000 students, 550 full and part-time faculty and staff and 460 adjunct faculty members, and an annual operating budget of $78 million. Founded in 1962, Onondaga is a two-year college operating under the State University of New York (SUNY) system, and is locally sponsored by Onondaga County.

Onondaga Community College’s 280-acre main campus is located on scenic Onondaga Hill, approximately four miles from the city of Syracuse. The campus includes seven academic buildings, the state-of-the-art SRC Arena and Events Center, an athletics complex, and four residence halls accommodating nearly 800 residential students. It also operates a North Site satellite campus in Liverpool. Onondaga offers nearly 50 programs of study; bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees available on campus through its regional higher education center, and more than 80 transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities throughout the region and country. The College also offers extensive community education and workforce development programs, including classes for professional and personal development, customized training for local businesses, and special programs for small business, children and teens, and other important audiences.

Prior to joining Onondaga Community College, Dr. Crabill served from 2006 to 2013 as president of Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, where her accomplishments included setting record student enrollment; obtaining a $4.6 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to train workers in new career paths; earning national awards for its Service Learning Program; becoming the first community college in the country to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; being selected as of one of 30 community colleges nationwide for the Achieving the Dream 2011 Cohort; and adding several new academic degree and certificate programs.

She has also served as president of the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California from 1999 to 2006; as acting president and dean of Learning and Student Development at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Connecticut; and division chair for Academic Development and Learning Support at Dundalk Community College in Dundalk, Maryland.

Dr. Crabill received her B.A. in English from Skidmore College and an M.S. in Teaching English as a Second Language and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, both from the State University of New York at Albany.

Kenneth Ender

Dr. Kenneth Ender is President of William Rainey Harper College, a large community college located outside of Chicago, Illinois. Through partnerships and alliances, Dr. Ender has positioned Harper as a leading 21st-century community college by increasing graduation, transfer and certificate completion rates, aligning Harper's curriculum with high schools, training students for new economy jobs and implementing new accountability and transparency standards. Since coming to Harper in 2009, Harper has experienced record graduation rates and a dramatic increase in the number of students who come to Harper college-ready. The College has also formed new alliances with businesses to fill the shortage of skilled workers in key industries.

Before coming to Harper, Dr. Ender served as President of Cumberland County College in New Jersey for eleven years. Previously, Dr. Ender held a variety of positions in higher education, including Vice President for Academic Affairs at Richland Community College, Interim District Dean at Cuyahoga Community College, Associate Vice President for Administrative Services at Cleveland State University, Director of Student Activities at Virginia Commonwealth University and Director of Student Advising at University of Georgia.

Dr. Ender holds a Ph.D. in urban services leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in business management, also from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Ender serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges; he is President of the Board of Directors of the Chicago/Cook Workforce Partnership and co-chairs the Workforce Development Committee of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents.

Dr. Ender was invited to the January 2014 White House Summit focused on Increasing Opportunity for Low-Income Students and appointed to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP 2.0) Steering Committee which is a work group of The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Dr. Ender is also a founding member of the Community College Workforce Consortium which is a national consortium of community colleges focused on workforce development partnerships with industry.

Dr. Ender is a frequent speaker at national conferences and forums on community college leadership, strategic planning, increasing student success and completion rates, workforce development, community engagement and increasing accountability and transparency in higher education.

Dr. Ender enjoys golf, tennis, surf fishing and has completed 16 marathons. He lives in Inverness, Illinois with his wife Cathy and dogs Sammy and Sissy.

Patricia A. Gentile

Dr. Patricia A. Gentile became the fourth President of North Shore Community College on January 1, 2014. Since joining NSCC, President Gentile has: created the CommUniverCity at Lynn, a comprehensive concept for pathways from pre-K through 12, into NSCC, to bachelor degree completion and into the workforce; facilitated the continuation of NSCC’s culinary arts certificate and degree program and the cosmetology certificate program, both credit trade programs at a new Middleton site; led the 3-story, 28,000 square foot addition/expansion of the college’s Lynn campus; created a five-year Strategic Plan; updated the college’s Master Plan with a focus on Lynn and integration of the CommUniverCity as well as developing an advisory task force of business leaders for culinary arts and food to table sustainability integration; and is leading a multi-year fundraising strategy to secure additional revenues through enhanced philanthropic support.

Prior to NSCC, President Gentile worked at Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey since 1999, overseeing enrollment management, noncredit services, workforce development, personal development and contractual programs (including the Health Professions Institute and Casino Career Institute in Atlantic City, the Technology Studies Institute, and the Institute for Service Excellence, as well as all customized training contracts and consulting services for business and industry in both Atlantic and Cape May counties), college resource development and the college’s Foundation, public relations and communication services and was appointed the COO of the college’s Cape May County Campus in 2009. Prior to Atlantic Cape, Dr. Gentile served in executive positions with several nonprofit organizations – as the Chief Operating Officer of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington DC, Chief Executive Officer of two large mid-Atlantic Girl Scout Councils and the Women’s Humane Society in Pennsylvania. She has served as a volunteer member and as an officer on several nonprofit boards of directors, including the executive board of the Cape May County Chamber.

Dr. Gentile holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude, and an MBA with a joint major in Finance and Public Policy/Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded The Alfred G. Buehler Fellowship in Public Finance. She received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Higher Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Berton Glandon

Dr. Berton L. Glandon was named the president for College of Western Idaho (CWI) in July 2009. He received his bachelor's degree in Business and a Master of Arts in Communication from Western Washington University. He also earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration at Brigham Young University.

Dr. Glandon joined Idaho's newest community college during a period of unprecedented growth. Under his leadership the College is focused on meeting this demand for affordable education and becoming an economic resource for the area's business and industry.

Dr. Glandon is a seasoned leader with more than 31 years of community college experience. Prior to joining CWI, Glandon held president positions at Arapahoe Community College (2002-2009) and Treasure Valley Community College (1981-2002). Glandon was born and raised in Seattle where he began his career in higher education teaching speech and communication.

He then spent several years in corporate America, traveling throughout the United States and running his own consulting business. He returned to higher education in 1976 with business experience that afforded him exceptional fundraising skills. Dr. Glandon has been involved with four community college foundations, all of which developed into multi-million dollar resources for their schools.

Glandon believes that community colleges play a critical role in partnering with local and regional business and industries to provide educational and training opportunities assuring a strong economic engine for growth and development in the communities they serve.

Actively engaged in the community, Dr. Glandon is an advisory board member for St. Alphonsus Health System; St. Luke’s Nampa community board; Boise Rotary; Idaho Technology Council; Boise Valley Economic Council; and by appointment of the Governor, is a member of the Idaho Workforce Development Council and co-chair of the Educational Attainment Taskforce. Glandon frequently participates in speaking engagements with local service and community organizations to support efforts in furthering the education attainment of Treasure Valley residents.

Dr. Glandon is an active member and past president of HERDI, Higher Education Research and Development Institute. He has been and is a national presenter at Council for Resource Development and CASE, Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He presently serves as the president of the Mountain States Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Glandon, who prefers to be called "Bert", has a wife, Jane, and two sons, Nick and Dustin.

Rufus Glasper

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., CPA, became Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) in 2003. As the CEO of one of the nation’s largest systems of community colleges, he is leading MCCCD to address the community’s education and workforce training needs. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Glasper has paved the education and training pathway for students for career training, transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution, or take personal interest courses for individual growth and development.  Dr. Glasper’s leadership is built on three pillars: student success, public stewardship, and "ONE Maricopa” - working as a single, collaborative college system while maintaining each college’s unique identity.

Dr. Glasper is known as a staunch advocate for educational access and opportunity and has established inclusiveness, engagement and respect as the guiding principles of his administration. He oversees all educational and administrative operations of the Maricopa system and provides leadership in matters of strategic planning, goal setting and the process of bringing the colleges and other learning centers into alignment. Dr. Glasper serves as a leader of statewide groups that seek to shape the future of higher education in Arizona; and is a member of numerous boards and organizations whose purposes are to improve higher education locally, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Glasper has been with the District for more than 29 years, serving previously as Executive Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Administration, and Vice Chancellor for Business Services/CFO.

Dr. Glasper earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), and a Master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University.  He received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in higher education finance from the University of Arizona.

Jean Goodnow

Dr. Goodnow has served as President of Delta College, University Center, MI, since 2005. She was elected to the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges in 2005 and served until her term ended in 2008. In 2006, Dr. Goodnow was elected to the executive committee for the Continuous Quality Improvement Network and she currently serves as the treasurer for the Michigan Community College Association. Dr. Goodnow received the Shirley Gordon Phi Theta Kappa National Award and in 2005 the Community College Alliance Leadership Award. In January, 2010, she received the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

Gary Green

Dr. Gary M. Green has been President of Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina since July 2001. Prior to that, he held teaching and administrative positions in Kentucky and Alabama. He was a speaker at the White House Conference on the Economy in 2004 and is a frequent presenter on workforce development and community college issues regionally, nationally, and internationally including appearances on CNN and C-SPAN.

The Manufacturing Institute chose Forsyth Tech, as one of four community colleges nationally, to model advanced manufacturing skills standards endorsed by The National Association of Manufacturers. Under Dr. Green’s leadership, Forsyth Tech has become a leader in biotechnology education and is the home of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce. In addition, Forsyth Tech developed the first nanotechnology associate degree program in North Carolina. Dr. Green has worked with major workforce training initiatives with such companies as Reynolds American, HanesBrands, Siemens, and Caterpillar. He hosted visits to the College by President Bush in 2003 and President Obama in 2010.

Stefani Hicswa

Stefani Hicswa assumed Northwest College’s presidency July 15, 2013, after a national search conducted by NWC’s Board of Trustees. Prior to her arrival, Dr. Hicswa served for seven years as president of Miles Community College in Miles City, Mont., where she helped increase graduation rates to first among all post- secondary institutions in Montana and among the top community colleges in the nation.

Prior to that, she operated a consulting firm in Wilsall, Mont., that specialized in strategic planning and organizational development. Hicswa holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin. The focus of her dissertation research was the role of community college presidents in rural community development. She earned her master’s in adult, community and higher education from Montana State University in Bozeman and a bachelor’s in organizational communication from the University of Montana in Missoula.

Raised in Dillon, Mont., Stefani, is married to Scott Hicswa, a consulting forester. They have two sons, Kalin, 9, and Keegan, 8.

Alex Johnson

As president of Cuyahoga Community College, Dr. Alex Johnson focuses on strengthening the college’s 50-year mission of providing high-quality, accessible and affordable educational opportunities and services. Since becoming president in July 2013, he has promoted access, equity, success and completion for the nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students who attend Tri-C’s four campuses and other locations throughout Cleveland and its suburbs each year.

Dr. Johnson currently serves locally on the boards of the United Way of Greater Cleveland, Hospice of the Western Reserve, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, IdeaStream, PlayHouseSquare, MAGNET, and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Nationally, he is a member of the boards of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

He has served in numerous capacities with the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC) including member of the board and executive committee; chair of the Committee on Community College Advancement; member of the Voluntary Framework on Accountability Steering Committee; member of the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and co-chair of the Implementation Committee for the Commission’s report Reclaiming the American Dream.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including The Frank G. Jackson Visionary Award, The Pittsburgh Business Times CEO of the Year, and the Simon Green Atkins Distinguished Alumnus Award from Winston-Salem State University.

Prior to coming to Ohio’s largest community college, Dr. Johnson served as president of the Community College of Allegheny County, a multi-campus college in and around Pittsburgh. He served a two-year term as president of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and was on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education. He was previously chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans and president of Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus.

Dr. Johnson earned a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree from Lehman College and a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University, and two honorary degrees.

Jana B. Kooi

Jana Kooi is currently serving as the Campus President for the Open Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville.  Her prior experience includes leading two different campuses at Pima Community College in Arizona.  During her time at Pima, she led the development of the institution’s first virtual college, including the creation of a Center for Learning Technologies to develop and support online learning.  Additionally, Kooi built a dynamic business development enterprise to provide contact training on a national level.  She is the Chair of the American Association of Community Colleges President’s Academy Executive Council.  Her educational background includes a Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan and a Bachelors in Secondary Education and Communications from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thomas C. Leitzel

Dr. Leitzel became the fourth president of South Florida State College in July of 2013. Prior to that, he was President of the Technical College of the Lowcountry, located in Beaufort, South Carolina, where he served for five years.

Tom has over 40 years of experience in higher education at six institutions in five states. He grew up in Pennsylvania where he attended public schools. He began his higher education career at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport where he was a member of the faculty and later served as an administrator. He held administrative positions at Chesapeake College in Maryland, Central Piedmont Community College and Pfeiffer University, both located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tom holds an undergraduate degree from Lycoming College, a master’s degree from Temple University, and a doctorate of philosophy from Virginia Tech. He completed additional graduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University and at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Tom is currently involved in many community organizations and boards in the Tri-County District (DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands) served by South Florida State College. He counts it a privilege to work in the Florida College System.

Cathleen C. McColgin

President Cathleen McColgin joined Herkimer County Community College in June 2015 as the institution’s fourth president. Dr. McColgin previously served as provost and senior vice president at Onondaga Community College, as provost of Cayuga Community College’s Fulton Campus and as a faculty member and coordinator of the Nursing Arts Laboratory at Cayuga. She is a registered nurse and served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve as a member of the 376th Combat Support Hospital, obtaining the rank of captain. President McColgin is a proud community college graduate with associate degrees from two community colleges. She also holds a bachelor’s of science from Syracuse University’s College of Nursing, and an M.S. in Nursing and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Syracuse University. Dr. McColgin is an evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and serves on several community boards including the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica, YWCA, and Mohawk Valley EDGE.

Ann McGee

Dr.  McGee is in her 14th year as president of Seminole State College of Florida.  During that time, she has seen Seminole State grow from one site located just north of Orlando to six distinct sites located throughout Seminole County.  The College is experiencing phenomenal growth which includes 11 terms of double-digit enrollment increases.  Seminole State College, formerly Seminole Community College, has just achieved four-year status and began offering its first bachelor's degree in Interior Design last January. 

  Dr. McGee is active on local and national boards including the American Heart Association, the Foundation for Florida State Colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges President's Academy, the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.  She was honored in 2010 by theOrlando Business Journal with the Publisher's Award; by her alma mater, St. Petersburg College, with the "Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2009; by the Association of Community College Trustees as the #1 CEO in the nation in 2006; and by the Seminole Regional Chamber of Commerce with their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

Shaun McKay

Dr. Shaun L. McKay is the President of Suffolk County Community College (SCCC), the largest community college in the State of New York.  SCCC is a comprehensive publicly-supported, two-year, open enrollment institution, with campuses in Selden, Riverhead and Brentwood, and downtown centers in Sayville and Riverhead.  The College has a current enrollment of over 26,000 credit students and 10,000 continuing education students.

Active in national and local organizations, Dr. McKay has received numerous awards for distinguished service in higher education. He was selected from among an international pool of applicants as one of only 33 community college senior administrators to attend the prestigious Executive Leadership Institute sponsored by the League for Innovation.  He serves as a Systems Appraiser for the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) of the Higher Learning Commission-North Central Association and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP). Dr. McKay recently participated with 19 public, private, and non-profit organizations from across the country to explore ideas and concepts in lifelong learning in order to formulate a policy agenda for the American Council on Education (ACE)’s Center for Lifelong Learning.  He also serves as a member of ACE’s Commission on Effective Leadership.   Dr. McKay is a member of the faculty of the Future Leaders Institute through the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and for the Executive Leadership Institute through the League for Innovation. He also serves as a memberof AACC’s Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

Margaret M. McMenamin

Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin is the President of Union County College, the 1st of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges, founded in 1933. Since her appointment as President in July 2010, Dr. McMenamin has set forth an aggressive agenda centering on improving student success outcomes. She is revitalizing student services, strengthening advising and counseling, partnering with faculty to improve teaching and learning, and engaging the entire campus community in the process of mission review to renew their collective commitment to student success.

Dr. McMenamin began teaching as an instructor at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville, PA in 1984. She rose to full professor, program coordinator, Interim Dean of Allied Health and Social Science, Dean of Faculty, and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Lehigh Carbon. In 2005, Dr. McMenamin was named Executive Vice President of Educational Services at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ. From November of 2009 to April 2010, she served as Acting President of Brookdale.

Dr. McMenamin attended Temple University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. She earned a Master of Science from the University of Scranton and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. Dr. McMenamin has served as an adjunct professor of Education at Rowan University, associate retention consultant for Noel-Levitz, Inc., and is serving as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

She is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges’ President's Academy Executive Committee, International Commission for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Board, the Temple University College of Health Professions & Social Work Board of Visitors, and the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

Dr. McMenamin was the Grand Marshal of the 2015 Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade. She is involved with numerous community organizations, including the Boards of Trinitas Hospital (Elizabeth, NJ), Union County Performing Arts Center, Union County Crime Stoppers, Elizabeth Development Company, and the Union County Workforce Investment Board.

Cindy Miles

Dr. Cindy Miles is in her 7th year as chancellor of the GrossmontCuyamaca Community College District, serving almost 30,000 students in East San Diego County. Miles serves on local, state, and national association boards, including American Association of Community Colleges, American Council on Education, Center for Community College Student Engagement, Global Corporate College, Institute for Evidence-Based Change, and the Water Conservation Garden. She has a passion for leading organizations to promote student learning, educational quality, innovation, and organizational spirit.

Wilfredo Nieves

Dr. Wilfredo Nieves was appointed President of Capital Community College in July 2010 after serving as President of Middlesex Community College for ten years. Dr. Nieves brings a broad range of educational experience to his role as president of Capital Community College. His career demonstrates the depth and breadth necessary to provide exemplary leadership in the complex environment of higher education today.

Wilfredo Nieves is a committed community leader and is active in many civic and community organizations. His community involvements have included service on the boards of directors of the National Coalition of Advocates for Students, the Middlesex United Way, the Metro Hartford Alliance, the Community Renewal Team, Leadership Greater Hartford, Latino Community Services, the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation and the Bradley Home. He serves as a Director for Liberty Bank and its Foundation, a corporator for Hartford Hospital, MidState Medical Center and also the Middlesex Health System, Inc. and a Past President of the Middletown Rotary Club. In 2013 he was recognized by the Middlesex United Way and awarded its highest and most prestigious volunteer award, the Community Service Award.

Dr. Nieves serves as a Commissioner for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has served as an evaluator for it as well as for the Commission on Higher Education for the Middle States Association. He is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Board of Directors and has chaired the Committee on Directors and Membership Services and Committee on Programs

Dr. Nieves holds a baccalaureate degree in Mathematics from Kean University of New Jersey, a Master of Arts Degree in Human Development and the Master of Education in Guidance from Columbia University and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers the State University of New Jersey.

Shouan Pan

Dr. Shouan Pan was appointed chancellor of Seattle Colleges in July 2016. Previous executive roles include president of Mesa Community College; provost of Broward College-South Campus; executive dean of Instruction and Student Services at Florida State College at Jacksonville; dean of Student Life at Community College of Philadelphia; and assistant professor of Educational Psychology and Recruitment and Retention Administrator at Northern Arizona University. Pan centers his leadership and management practices on fulfilling the community college mission and promoting student and community success.

He places emphasis on working with institutional and community stakeholders in formulating a common vision and building consensus on strategic and operational decisions. He is actively engaged at local, state, and national levels, including the American Association of Community Colleges, Campus Compact, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and numerous community boards. He has received several honors and awards, including the Benedictine Values Award, Paul Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award, Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and the Veora E. Johnson Spirit of Unity MLK Award by the Mesa MLK Jr. Celebration Committee.

Born and raised in Mainland China, Pan immigrated to the United States in 1985. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Iowa State University, a Master of Education in College Student Personnel from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hefei Polytechnic University, RP China. He is married to Queenie Chen; they have two sons.

Stella Perez

Dr. Stella Perez serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director for the Santa Cruz County Provisional Community College District. (SCCPCCD). In this role, she leads the district strategic planning, accreditation, and facilities. She represents the Board of Governors and is the chief spokesperson and liaison to legislative, state, regional, and national relations. Her responsibilities include, district growth, economic and workforce development, bi-national and global relations, partnership relations targeting student success and community engagement. Prior to her role at SCCPCCD, she served as the Interim Vice Chancellor of Operations at Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ working on accreditation and enrollment management. Her previous roles have been with non-profit higher education associations as the Senior Vice President of Communications and Advancement for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Executive Vice-President at the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Her leadership included; Membership Services—defining services and benefit options for over 1000 member colleges; Corporate Programs & Sponsorships—planning strategic outreach to existing partners with analysis of new opportunities and options for new partners, sponsorships, and market developments; Convention Director—managing the largest annual conference in higher education with over 2,000 participants; and Marketing & Publications—supervising content development for daily, weekly, and monthly social media messaging, digital newsletters, and print journals, with oversight of multiple operational budgets in excess of ten million dollars.

She has served as principalinvestigator (PI) and primary contact for the federal and private foundation projects with budgets exceeding $5million, and with endowment resources beyond $10million. Dr. Perez holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas, Austin, TX. She graduated summa cum laude with a Masters of Arts in Education Technology from Northern Arizona University, AZ, and with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business & Public Administration from the Eller College from the University of Arizona.

Daniel Phelan

Dr. Phelan has served as President and CEO of Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan, since 2001.  During this time he was recognized by the Association of Community College Trustees as the recipient of the 2006 Central Region Chief Executive Officer Award.  In 2007, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Community College Association, where he served as chairperson for 2006-07.  In October, 2007, he received the National Council on Marketing and Public Relations District 3 Pacesetter of the Year Award.

DeRionne Pollard

Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard serves as president of Montgomery College, a three-campus community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. In this role, she oversees the education and student services for 60,000 credit and noncredit students.

Dr. Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College on August 2, 2010, following a national search by the College’s Board of Trustees. At her inauguration, Dr. Pollard launched the Montgomery College Innovation Fund to inspire faculty and staff to develop new ideas for educating students. Private funding through the Montgomery College Foundation supports the fund.

As one of Dr. Pollard’s early priorities, she spearheaded the creation of new College mission, vision, and core values statements, which were approved by the Board of Trustees in June 2011. Other priorities include working with the College community to create an inclusive, participatory governance system.

As president, she is passionate about working with the College and community to increase student completion. Under her leadership, Montgomery College was selected one of 40 community colleges nationwide to pilot the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) to determine how best to benchmark student success at community colleges nationwide.

Additionally, Dr. Pollard helped break ground on a new Bioscience Education Center on the College’s Germantown Campus. She will oversee the fall dedication of the new Science Center at the Rockville Campus, which houses science and engineering laboratories in an environmentally friendly building, and the future development of a Science and Technology Park at the Germantown Campus, which will offer educational and employment opportunities for students and the community. Holy Cross Hospital will build the first facility within the park.

Dr. Pollard has been active in developing and strengthening partnerships with government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other educational institutions. She serves on two commissions at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC): the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and the Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development. She represents AACC on the Washington Higher Education Secretariat’s Working Group on Persistence and Completion, and she serves on the Presidents’ Round Table of the National Council of Black American Affairs. Dr. Pollard is a member of the Advisory Board.

Bryan Reece

Dr. Bryan Reece has over 26 years of community college experience with rich teaching expertise and a range of administrative involvement. He comes to Norco College from Crafton Hills College where he served as vice president of instruction. In this role, he led the development of the education master plan and related strategic initiatives embraced by the campus community. Dr. Reece is an awarded teacher and a published author with a strong record of grant writing and fundraising. Prior to his current position, he held two dean positions, served as the academic senate president and taught political science at Cerritos College.

Dr. Reece is an alumnus of the University of Southern California where he earned his Ph.D., master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science. He succeeds Paul Parnell who accepted a position as chancellor of State Center Community College District in March. Dr. Reece began his leadership role at Norco College on January 3, 2017.​

“I have spent my entire career trying to be part of this collective effort and look forward to continuing this with the students, faculty, staff, managers and community members of Norco College,” said Dr. Reece.

Mary E. Rittling

Dr. Mary E. Rittling was appointed as the third president of Davidson County Community College, Lexington, NC, in August 2003, where she leads a full-time faculty and staff of 300, and approximately 400 adjunct instructors and part-time staff members. DCCC offers campuses in Davidson and Davie counties as well as three satellite centers. Over 15,000 students enroll each year, with over 5,500 pursuing one of over 50 curriculum programs.

Prior to her DCCC presidency, Rittling served four years as Regional Vice President of West Virginia University where she also was President of Potomac State College of West Virginia University. Potomac State is a residential, two-year college while West Virginia University is a doctoral and research university.

Rittling, originally from Buffalo, New York, spent seven years as a senior administrator at the State University of New York at Delhi where she served as Interim President of the College of Technology, Vice President for Academic Programs and Services, Director for Business, Industry and Lifelong Learning, Director of the Academic Success Center and Nursing Director for the Student Health Center.

Her teaching experience includes eight years as a Professor and Associate Professor of Nursing at the State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi, where she was a tenured faculty member in the Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Rittling completed the Harvard University Institute for New Presidents, earned a Doctor of Education degree in Higher and Adult Education from Columbia University in New York City where she also completed a Master of Arts degree. She earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York.

Dr. Rittling and her husband Jim have 3 children, 4 grandchildren.

James M. Sunser

Dr. James M. Sunser is the fourth president of Genesee Community College. He has over thirty years of experience in higher education with more than twenty-five in community college leadership. He has served as a faculty member, Chief Financial Officer and Academic Vice President prior to assuming the presidency of SUNY Genesee Community College in 2011.

SUNY Genesee Community College, with a main campus located in the Town of Batavia in Genesee County NY, along with six additional Campus Centers spread throughout Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, serves one of the largest geographic regions of the 30 New York State community colleges. Employing over 600 people, serving over 6,000 students annually and boasting over 25,000 alumni, many residing in the GLOW region, SUNY GCC maintains a wide ranging and positive economic impact on the four-county region it serves.

Since joining GCC in 2011, Dr. Sunser has instituted the College’s first comprehensive strategic planning process, successfully lead the largest private fundraising effort in the region’s history and oversaw the largest capital expansion and updating of campus facilities since the College was originally constructed nearly 50 years ago.

Dr. Sunser has focused his professional efforts towards the goals of ensuring affordable, accessible higher education and promoting student success and completion. He has written and presented extensively on strategic planning, institutional effectiveness and leadership in higher education. His experience includes task force and committee work on state and national policy matters including higher education governance, global education, student financial aid standards, workforce education and non-traditional student success. He is an experienced evaluation chair for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has participated in numerous college and university accreditation reviews.

Dr. Sunser has served as a board member and officer for numerous not-for-profit and governmental groups including: New York Community College Association of Presidents, Western New York Consortium on Higher Education, NYS Community College Business Officers Association; New York Association of Bursars and Business Officers; Global Education Skills Alliance, STOP DWI Genesee & Onondaga counties. He currently serves as an elected Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Dr. Sunser holds an Associate of Applied Science degree from SUNY Onondaga, Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Science from the State University of New York College at Brockport and his Doctorate from the University of Rochester. He has completed post-doctoral work at Harvard and Cornell Universities. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, the University of Rochester Tyll van Geel Award for Educational Leadership, New York State Bursar’s and Business Administrators Distinguished Service Award, Genesee County Economic Development Council Partner of the Year award, as well as multiple Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards.

William Serrata

Dr. William Serrata was named the President of the El Paso County Community College District (EPCC), effective August 1, 2012. Dr. Serrata comes to EPCC from South Texas College in McAllen where he served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management for over seven years. During his career, Dr. Serrata has provided enrollment management leadership in fostering enrollment growth as well as increases in student retention, dual credit enrollment, and graduation rates, with an emphasis on first-generation and Hispanic populations and establishing a college-going culture.

Dr. Serrata has served on the Texas Workforce Education Leadership Committee and on the Executive Committee for the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. He has presented at numerous national conferences as well as state conferences on subjects including strategic enrollment management, student development, and the role of student affairs in facilitating student success. Serrata has been inducted as an honorary member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and is a recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award.

Dr. Serrata is an active member of the El Paso community and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande, the Board of Directors for the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the United Way of El Paso, the Executive Committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Directors for Sierra Providence hospital. On the national level, Dr. Serrata is a member of the Board of Directors of Excelencia in Education, Catch the Next, and the National Student Clearing House Advisory Council.

Dr. Serrata and his wife, Jessica, have been married for over a decade and are blessed with two wonderful sons, Nathan and Joshua. Dr. Serrata enjoys fishing, reading, and spending time with his family.

Dr. Serrata earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University, his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Brownsville, and his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Janet F. Smith

Dr. Janet F. Smith assumed the leadership role as President of Columbia State Community College in February, 2008.  Dr Smith returned to her native Tennessee following a distinguished career which has taken her to North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Kentucky, and Arkansas. She is very active in her community which includes service on the Nashville Symphony Council, Impact Center Inc. Board, Workforce Investment Board, Maury Alliance Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Williamson County-Franklin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Maury Advisory Board to the First Farmers Bank, and Family Support Center Board. She is Vice President of the Tennessee College Association and a member of the national advisory board for the Higher Education Research and Development Institute.

Mick Starcevich

Dr. Starcevich has served as President of Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa since November, 2004.  His first position at Kirkwood was Executive Vice-President of Instruction from July, 2003 until November, 2004. Prior to that he served 34 years in K-12 as a teacher, associate principal, athletic director, principal and superintendent.  In 2007 he received The Distinguished Alumni Award from Drake University.

Karen A. Stout

Dr. Karen A. Stout is President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc., the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success.

The former President of Montgomery County Community College (PA) for 14 years, Dr. Stout serves on the Advisory Board of the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a Commissioner and Executive Committee member with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and a past member of the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors (2011-2014).  Most recently, she served as Co-Chair of the AACC 21st Century Commission’s Implementation Steering Committee working with more than 100 leaders from across the country in developing a framework for the redesign of America’s community colleges.

Under Dr. Stout’s leadership, Montgomery County Community College was recognized nationally for its work in student success, receiving Achieving the Dream’s 2014 Leah Meyer Austin Award for significant institutional improvement supporting student achievement. The College is one of seven institutions in the country named to the Next Generation Learning Challenges Breakthrough Models Incubator national grant program.  Through the program, MCCC improves first-time students’ understanding of financial, civic, and digital literacies. The College has ranked among the top ten digital savvy community colleges in the country by the Center for Digital Education every year since 2004. A national leader in advancing sustainability, the College has earned the 2011 and 2014 Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature.

Dr. Stout led the development and implementation of three strategic plans and two facilities master plans that led to the expansion of the West campus in Pottstown, the expansion and near re-making of the Central campus, a new Virtual Campus, a Culinary Arts Institute, new occupational and transfer programs, strong relationships with community partners and new relationships with school districts and colleges and universities.

Before joining Montgomery County Community College, Dr. Stout served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Enrollment Services at Camden County College and as the CEO of Rohrer Campus in New Jersey. She also held positions at two community colleges in Maryland.

Dr. Stout is a frequent national presenter on topics ranging from leadership to strategic planning to fundraising to using data to support continuous improvement.  She wrote the forewords to Re-visioning Community Colleges: Positioning for Innovations and Getting the Green: Fundraising Campaigns for Community Colleges. She also wrote chapters entitled Leading and Learning: Structures and Strategies for Accelerating Innovation and Navigating the Relationship Between Governing and Foundation Boards.

Dr. Stout holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware. She was named to the University of Delaware’s Alumni Wall of Fame in 2005 for her outstanding professional and public service achievements and received a Presidential Citation from the University for her contributions to community colleges in 2012.

Debbie L. Sydow

Dr. Sydow was named president of Richard Bland College, Virginia’s only Junior College, on July 1, 2012. As a branch of the college of William & Mary, Richard Bland College in Petersburg, VA serves 1600 students. Since 2000, Dr. Sydow served as president of Onondaga Community College, which with nearly 13,000 students, 1,600 employees and nearly 50 academic programs, is one of the largest community colleges in the State University of New York System. With more than 20 years’ experience in higher education administration, Dr. Sydow has served leadership positions for national and regional industry associations, including the president of the New York Community College Association for Presidents, chair of the board of directors of the Institute for Community College Development at Cornell University, and chair of the Council on Education’s Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness.

John J. (Ski) Sygielski

John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D., is president of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, immediate past chairman of the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors and currently serves on the boards of the Council of Resource Development, MANTECH and the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and is a Harrisburg (PA) Rotarian.

Prior to assuming the presidency at HACC in July 2011, he served as president of Mt. Hood Community College (OR) and Lord Fairfax Community College (VA). An adjunct business faculty member, “Ski” has extensive experience in economic and workforce development and was an administrator of corporate training in a Fortune 500 business after beginning his career as an elementary and high school teacher in Chicago’s inner city.

Ski, who began his post-secondary studies at a community college, has an honorary associate degree and earned a bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees and a doctorate. A native of Cleveland, OH, Dr. Ski is the only member of his working-class family to graduate from college. A biking enthusiast, he currently resides in Harrisburg, PA.

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