Graham set to chair AACC board

Daniel Phelan, president of Jackson College and current chair of the AACC board of directors, at the AACC annual convention last month.

Mary S. Graham, president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC), will become chair of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) board of directors on July 1, succeeding Daniel Phelan, president of Jackson College (Michigan).

Sandra L. Kurtinitis, president of the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Maryland, will serve as chair-elect of the 32-member board. She was elected to the position at the AACC annual convention in April.

“We are so fortunate to have these talented and respected leaders at the helm of our board,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC president and CEO. “Their proven leadership will help us to implement key national strategic initiatives in the coming years.”

Mary Graham

Graham, a graduate of MGCCC, has served as its 12th president since 2011. She previously was vice president of the college’s Perkinston Campus for 13 years. Graham joined the college in 1987 on its Jackson County Campus, where she held several administrative positions, including director of admissions/registrar, director of institutional relations and vice president of community campus.

Graham was elected to the AACC board of directors in 2014 and has served on its executive committee and as chair of the committee on public policy and government relations and chair of the commission on college readiness.

Graham has a “proven track record of promoting innovation and collaboration on a national level, which is critical to the role of board chair,” Bumphus noted.

Sandra Kurtinitis

Kurtinitis, who heads the largest community college in Baltimore, is an experienced and respected educator, administrator and author, with more than 40 years of experience in the field. Under her leadership, CCBC has made significant strides in improving service to students while strengthening its operational areas to best support instruction.

Kurtinitis joined the AACC board in 2014 and currently serves as chair of AACC’s committee on directors and membership services.

New college representatives to the AACC board, also elected during the AACC convention in April, include:

Sunita Cooke, superintendent/president, MiraCosta College (California)
Maria Harper-Marinick, chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges (Arizona)
James Henningsen, president, College of Central Florida
Merrill Irving, Jr., president, Hennepin Technical College (Minnesota)
Vicki Karolewics, president, Wallace State Community College (Alabama)
William Serrata, president, El Paso Community College (Texas)

The board’s new council representatives will be Kevin Boys, president of Southern State Community College (Ohio), and Ronald Rhames, president of Midlands Technical College (South Carolina).

Steven L. Johnson, president of Sinclair Community College (Ohio), will serve as the new institutional at-large representative, and Roberto Zarate, a trustee at Alamo Colleges (Texas), will represent the public-at-large.

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