Tracy Hartzler will serve as the sixth president of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). She is currently the college’s vice president for finance and operations and has been at CNM since 2015. She also serves as treasurer for both CNM Ingenuity, Inc., the enterprise arm of the college, and the CNM Foundation. Hartzler also represents all New Mexico public higher education institutions as the governor’s appointee to the New Mexico State Investment Council.

Prior to CNM, Hartzler served the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee as its expert on higher education policy and funding, where she led the annual statewide higher education budget and policy initiatives. In this role, she participated in a major revision of the state’s institutional funding formula, staffed program and funding changes to the Legislative Lottery Scholarship Program, and expanded a statewide healthcare workforce initiative.


Billy Stewart, president of East Central Community College (ECCC) in Mississippi, has announced his plans to retire effective July 1, 2020. He has served as the eighth president of the college since 2012. Upon his arrival at the college, Stewart initiated a strategic planning process to shape and guide the future of the institution that resulted in the college’s 2020 Vision.

In April, Stewart received the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, which is presented to college presidents who have shown strong support of student success on their campuses by recognizing academic achievement, leadership and service among high-achieving students.

“I will treasure the continuing friendship and support of so many exceptional colleagues and students at ECCC,” Stewart said in a press release. “Working closely with all members of the ECCC family has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have been a member of the ECCC family and for the profound privilege of serving this college as its president.”

Prior to ECCC, Stewart was vice president for finance and administration at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He also served at the college previously as chief operating and financial officer and as chief personnel officer. Prior to that, Stewart was dean of community services and dean of the Simpson County Center for Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Stewart has served almost 30 years in various teaching and administrative positions in all levels of education in Mississippi.


John Cox, president of Cape Cod Community College in Massachusetts, has received the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations’ (NCMPR) 2019 Pacesetter of the Year award for District 1. The award recognizes a community college president or CEO who has demonstrated special leadership and support in college communications and marketing. It is awarded annually in each of NCMPR’s seven districts, who are nominees for the national award that will be given this spring.

Patty Scott, president of Southwestern Oregon Community College, received the Howard Cherry Award for Outstanding Community College Administrator of the Year from the Oregon Community College Association. Under her leadership, the college has increased its graduation rate by 29 percent over the last 15 years.

E. Ann McGee, president emerita of Seminole State College of Florida, is this year’s winner of the James L. Wattenbarger Award, presented by the Association of Florida Colleges and the Florida College System Council of Presidents. McGee is recognized as a dynamic and visionary leader and a passionate proponent of progress in education, business and the community in Central Florida. Under her leadership, Seminole State College grew from a single-campus community college into a higher education institution with four campuses enrolling nearly 30,000 students annually. She retired in 2018 after serving as president of Seminole State College for 22 years.


Brad Baine is now vice president of academic affairs at Black River Technical College in Arkansas. He comes from Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge where he was vice president of academic affairs and campus life.

Shantay Grays has been appointed vice chancellor of student services at Houston Community College (HCC). She previously served in the position in an interim role. Grays has been with HCC for more than 20 years and has served in numerous positions, such as associate vice chancellor for enrollment services, chief of staff for the chancellor and executive officer to the chancellor.

Rachel Rubinstein is the first vice president of academic and student affairs at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. Previously, she served for 16 years at Hampshire College in Amherst, where she was a professor of American literature and Jewish studies, and from 2010 to 2018 was dean of academic support and advising.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.