New CEOs

Jay Carraway will serve as president of James Sprunt Community College in North Carolina, effective April 29. He is currently vice president of continuing education at Lenoir Community College (North Carolina). Carraway previously was dean of that division, associate dean of satellite campuses, associate dean of campuses at the college’s Greene County campus, and director of the Greene County Center.

Laurie Chesley has been named president of Central Oregon Community College, beginning July 1. She has served as provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs at Grand Rapid Community College (Michigan) since 2014 and has been with the college since 2005. Chesley taught English at a variety of higher education institutions for 14 years, including five years at Northwestern Michigan College. She has 18 years of administrative experience, including as interim dean of learning at Northwestern Michigan, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University, dean of humanities at Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, and then associate dean and dean of arts and sciences at GRCC.

Jessica Howard will assume the role of president/CEO of Chemeketa Community College in Oregon on July 8. She is currently campus president of the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College in Oregon. Previously, Howard was vice president of academic affairs at San Antonio College (Texas).


John Carstens has been promoted to dean of engineering technologies at North Carolina’s Forsyth Technical Community College. He previously served in an interim role since June 2018. Prior to that, he was program coordinator/instructor in project management technology at Forsyth Tech since 2014.

Kimberly Gold has been named senior vice president and chief academic officer of the North Carolina Community College System, effective July 1. She has served as president of Robeson Community College since 2017 and also worked at Isothermal Community College for more than 20 years, rising through the ranks to become executive vice president and chief academic officer.

Anna Krupitskiy is now vice president for human resources at Hudson County Community College, a new leadership position at the New Jersey college. She previously was director of faculty appointments at Borough of Manhattan Community College (New York) since 2015. Prior to that, Krupitskiy worked in the education and corporate sectors.

Lea Occhialini is the first ombudsperson and chief culture officer at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. She is the former faculty and staff ombudsperson at Hampshire College and mediator/trainer in the Smith College Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.

Paula Tropello is the new dean of health professions at Florida SouthWestern State College. She was the founding dean of Wagner College’s School of Nursing in New York, and she started the first doctorate for nurse practitioners program at Wagner. She has also taught associate, bachelor’s and master’s level courses.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.