Dianne Van Hook, chancellor of Santa Clarita Community College District-College of the Canyons (COC) in California, has been named the 2017 National Pacesetter of the Year by the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations, an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. The award honors a community college chief executive officer who has demonstrated special leadership and support in college communication and marketing. Under the leadership of Van Hook, who has served as CEO of Santa Clarita Community College District since 1988, COC’s enrollment has grown from 5,000 to 32,000 students annually; 100 degree and certificate programs have been added to the curriculum; the college’s annual budget has grown from $8 million to $234 million; and the college’s scholarship endowment has increased from $50,000 to nearly $1.9 million.


Jean Hernandez, who has led Edmonds Community College (ECC) in Washington for more than six years, plans to retire at the end of the year. With more than 35 years in higher education, Hernandez began her community college career at Shoreline Community College as a multicultural studies teacher who was promoted to dean of health occupations and physical education. She then joined Cascadia College as executive vice president for student learning. Her next position was vice president for instruction at South Seattle College before becoming president of ECC in 2011. She also worked in career services at the University of Washington and human resources and admissions at the University of North Texas. Throughout her presidency, Hernandez has been recognized numerous times for her dedication to students. She received the Ruth Woo Citizen Activism Award presented by the Women of Color Empowered in 2009, Honorary Triton Award for Outstanding Administrator in 2011 and Oscar Eason Jr. Community Service Award in 2014. One of her biggest priorities has been to raise ECC’s visibility and she did so by working tirelessly to collaborate and foster partnerships in the community.


Erik Jesse is now director of emergency medical services at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee. He previously was an operations supervisor at Erlanger Health Systems and served for the last eight years as a critical care paramedic. Jesse also was a clinic manager and emergency medical instructor at Fort Campbell in Kentucky from 2007 until 2016.

Chandlee Johnson Kuhn will serve as director of work-based learning at Delaware Technical Community College, effective May 1. She currently is an attorney focusing on family law. Prior to that she was a judge and chief judge of Delaware’s Family Court.

Karen Miller will become the Cuyahoga Community College’s provost and chief academic officer after being named executive vice president of access, learning and success. She had served in the role on an interim basis since August. Miller has been part of the Ohio college’s leadership team since 1998 and was instrumental in developing and implementing its strategic plan.

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