Robert Judson, Jr., who served as the second president of Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) and was the first African-American to serve as president of a Florida community college, passed away on September 17. He was 77. Judson began his career at the Florida college in 1972, when it was in the process of opening its doors. He was hired as the college’s first instructor and counselor/recruiter, subsequently teaching the first PHSC course at the college. The following year, Judson became PHSC’s first coordinator of financial aid. In 1977, he became dean at East Campus and five years later became campus provost, followed by college vice president and executive vice president. In 1994, Judson become the first African-American to be named president of a community college in the Florida Community College System. He retired in 2005.
Under his leadership, the college saw exponential growth. Judson opened a three-story health building and helped establish radiography and drafting and design programs, which are still popular today. Additionally, Judson led the building of a childcare center, opened the public service technology building, and purchased the land for a permanent Spring Hill Campus, which opened in 2010. He also facilitated a partnership with the University of South Florida to offer formal four-year degree programs on PHSC campuses.
“Bob Judson was a remarkable leader,” said Timothy L. Beard, current PHSC president. “He worked his way up the ladder, knew every inch of the college, understood our students and helped realize the college’s potential. He was admired and respected for his vision and his authenticity.”
In an interview for the college’s 30-year anniversary commemorative book, Judson said, “I want to be known as a president who intelligently expands the college for the good of all concerned…I hope I’m remembered as a president who was sensitive to the needs of our students, faculty and staff. Most of all, I hope I’ve distinguished myself as a president who helped make PHSC a great college and a wonderful place to learn and work.”
Josh Gerstman has been named vice president at Highline College in Washington. He will oversee the college’s institutional advancement division. For the past 19 years, Gerstman has worked for the Green River College Foundation, most recently as director of philanthropy.
Joseph Harbouk is now vice president for finance and administration at Harford Community College in Maryland. He previously served at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and as vice chancellor for administration and finance at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
At Hudson County Community College in New Jersey, Eric M. Friedman has been promoted to the newly created position of executive vice president and provost, and Veronica D’Alessandro Zeichner has been promoted to vice president for business. Friedman previously was the college’s senior vice president for academic affairs with oversight for all credit and noncredit programs. D’Alessandro Zeichner joined the college in 2015 as chief financial officer, a position she will retain.
Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), has announced her plans to retire effective November 30. She joined ICCB in 1999 and became the first ICCB staff person to be selected for the permanent position of executive director in 2013. Under Anderson’s leadership, ICCB has reduced remediation through the implementation of co-requisite mathematics instruction, adopted new strategic plans for adult education and workforce education, and developed an Integrated Career & Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) to transition adult education students into postsecondary vocational programs. Prior to the board, Anderson was the principal and president of Ursuline Academy in Springfield, and provost, registrar and acting president of Springfield College in Illinois. She also was a professor at universities and colleges in Illinois and Kentucky.