Jack Bermingham, president of Highline College (Washington), has announced that he plans to retire effective in August. For the past several months, Bermingham, 68, has been on leave from the college to recuperate from open-heart surgery, which he underwent in December.
Bermingham was only the sixth president in the college’s 55-year history. His passion for promoting access, diversity, social justice and student achievement brought him to the community college system. He came to Highline in 1994 as academic vice president, a post he held until his appointment as president in 2006.
Bermingham started his postsecondary career as a faculty member at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He came to Washington state as a faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University, where he earned tenure and later became dean of social sciences.
Since taking over leadership at Highline more than a decade ago, Bermingham has strengthened collaborations with business, industry, K–12 and baccalaureate institutions, and community-based organizations, resulting in successful partnerships and expanded economic development efforts. He served on several regional and national boards and committees where he was especially active in advancing international initiatives and education, believing in the importance of preparing students to live in a multicultural world and global economy.
Under Bermingham’s leadership, Highline has received an Award of Excellence from the American Association of Community Colleges twice in the past three years. In 2016, the AACC recognized Bermingham and the college’s five-member board of trustees for their exemplary collaboration and working relationship, and in 2014 Highline was recognized as a leader among the nation’s community colleges for increasing diversity as well as educational and social justice equity.
Tricia Johnson has joined the Community College of Aurora (CCA) in Colorado as vice president of academic affairs. She previously led programs at the Colorado Department of Education and in postsecondary education and training institutions, focusing on high quality teaching and learning and connection with workforce.
Anton “Tony” E. Wohlers has been named dean of behavioral and social sciences at Harford Community College in Maryland. Most recently, he served as a tenured faculty member and director of academic enrichment at Cameron University in Oklahoma.
Jacqueline Peña, dean of faculty at Miami Dade College’s North Campus, has been selected as a 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honoree. The award recognizes Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of the country and making strides in the leadership pipeline for an increasingly diverse America.