Tavarez Holston will serve as the new president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, effective September 10. He is currently vice president of academic affairs for Lanier Technical College (Georgia), where he has served since 2013. Holston has more than 18 years of experience in higher education, having served over his career as a technical instructor, director of instruction, director of online instruction and vice president for institutional effectiveness at Moultrie Technical College (now Southern Regional Technical College).

CEO retirement

Shirley I. Metcalf, president of Central Oregon Community College (COCC), has announced her plan to retire as of July 1, 2019. Metcalf, who has worked in higher education in Hawaii, Washington and Oregon for 46 years, has been at COCC since 2011 and has served as president since 2014.

Metcalf is credited with providing stability and a strong sense of community, both on and off the campuses of COCC. She oversaw the completion of both a strategic plan and a facilities master plan, the successful accreditation mid-cycle report, and was instrumental in helping the college secure its largest ever federal grant, a $2.3 million U.S. Department of Education Title III grant to increase student success. Under Metcalf’s tenure, the COCC Foundation has continued to grow. The endowment is now at more than $22 million, up from $16 million four years ago. The amount of scholarship money awarded each year has grown from $1.1 million to $1.6 million during that time.

Prior to COCC, Metcalf held the positions of executive vice president for instruction and vice president for advancement at Lake Washington Technical College in Washington. At Hawaii Community College, she was dean of instruction (chief academic officer) and dean of outreach.


Pamela Luster, president of San Diego Mesa College in California, is the new chair of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association, a collaboration between six community college districts in a two-county area. The organization works closely with San Diego State University, UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos and other four-year universities to develop and maintain effective programs that ensure student success, serve the community and train workers.

Pete Hoffman is now vice president for student affairs at Savannah Technical College in Georgia. Previously, Hoffman was director for community engagement and government affairs for Georgia Southern University and for Armstrong State University.

Christopher J. Kuchta is now director of athletics at Prairie State College (Illinois), where he has served as coordinator of sports information since 2010.

Karen M. Kuhn has been named executive director of the College of DuPage (Illinois) Foundation. She previously was assistant vice president for development at the college.

Jennifer Merlic is the new vice president of academic affairs at Santa Monica College in California. Since 2014 she has served as dean of instructional services at the college. Merlic joined the college in 1991 as a chemistry professor.

At Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee:

  • Barsha Pickell is now dean of fine arts, humanities, social sciences and education. Pickell comes from Shorter University in Georgia, where she was chair of the department of social sciences and taught political science, history and other related disciplines.
  • Mike Hodges is director of the Cleveland State Law Enforcement Training Academy. He previously was chief of campus police at the college.
  • Nancy Thomas is director of the college’s nursing program. Previously, she was an associate professor at the college and evening coordinator for the nursing program.


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