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From top left: Bill Pink, Christina Royal, Kennon Briggs, Eileen Holden, Marty Brown and Bill Ingram
Bill Pink has been named president of Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Michigan. He is currently president and dean for workforce development at the college. Prior to joining GRCC in 2015, Pink was vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. He has been an educator for more than 25 years and has taught or coached in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Oregon.
Christina Royal will serve as the next president of Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. She is currently provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota, a position she has held since 2013. She has more than 15 years of experience in education administration. Previously, Royal was associate vice president of eLearning and innovation and executive director of distance learning at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio. Prior to that, she served in director and manager positions at various public and private higher education institutions.
Kennon Briggs is now interim president of College of the Albemarle in North Carolina. Briggs retired as executive vice president and chief of staff at the North Carolina Community College System in 2012 and currently serves as an adjunct instructor at Western Carolina University and an education consultant.
Eileen Holden, who has served as president of Polk State College in Florida for more than a decade, will retire in July 2017. She has led the college through a period of unprecedented growth both in terms of its degree offerings and physical footprint. In 2010, Polk State launched its first bachelor’s degree, the bachelor of applied science in supervision and management. Since then, with Holden’s leadership, it has added five additional baccalaureate programs, including ones in nursing, criminal justice, aerospace sciences, early childhood education and elementary education.
Also during Holden’s presidency, the college’s enrollment has increased 55 percent and its foundation assets have nearly doubled, from $16 million to more than $30 million. In 2008, the foundation received a $12 million gift to build the Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center, the largest gift in the history of the Florida College System.
Prior to Polk State, Holden was vice president for academic affairs at Broward College and dean for academic affairs at Palm Beach State College, both in Florida.
Marty Brown, who has served as executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) since 2012, plans to retire on June 30, 2017. During Brown’s time at SBCTC, the state won several grants that moved its community and technical college system into the national spotlight. As a result, colleges are organizing courses around distinct career paths so students have clearer, simpler choices. The system also brokered new transfer agreements to make it easier for students to transfer credits to universities, and launched more applied bachelor degree programs.
Brown caps a long-term career in state government in which he shepherded policies, budgets and negotiations under two governors, the state legislature and the community and technical college system.
Bill Ingram, president of Durham Technical Community College in North Carolina, has received the 2016 I.E. Ready Distinguished Leader Award from North Carolina State University for his outstanding achievements both in leadership and innovation in the community college sector. The award is conferred to graduates of the adult and community college education program at the university. Ingram was appointed president of Durham Tech in 2007, after serving in several administrative roles at the college.
Chris Gray will be the new vice president of academic and student affairs at McHenry Community College, effective January 9. He is currently assistant vice president and dean of the Jasper Campus of Vincennes University in Indiana. Previously, he was dean of arts and communication at Illinois Central College and division chair at Lincoln College in Illinois.
Molly Lynch has been named provost for Northern Virginia Community College’s Manassas Campus. She has served in an interim role since February. Lynch joined the college in 2003 as a faculty member in the psychology program and quickly became involved in campus, college and statewide initiatives. Since 2014, she served as dean of the Manassas Campus communications technologies and social sciences division.
Bruce Jackson, a long-time faculty member and nationally renowned forensics DNA scientist at Massachusetts Bay Community College, passed away on Nov. 18. Jackson has won numerous awards for his work as a scientist and scholar, including a 1995 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a 2008 Fulbright Award and 2011 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Engineering Mentoring, which was awarded to him at the White House by President Obama. He was also featured on PBS’s web series “The Secret Life of Scientists” in 2012 about his work as a forensics DNA scientist. He is responsible for introducing MassBay and UMass Lowell, where he also taught, with multiple high-profile collaborations, including the U.S. Army, the FBI and other national forensic organizations.
“For all of his accomplishments, he considered himself, above all, a mentor and teacher to his students,” said MassBay President David Podell. “He mentored students typically underrepresented in the STEM fields to encourage them, support them, and help them see the vast potential in themselves.”
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