Newsmakers

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CEO on the move

Larry D. Johnson, Jr., will serve as the next president of Guttman Community College in New York City, effective July 1. He is currently president of Phoenix College, where he was the first African-American to head the Arizona college in 2018. Under his leadership, Phoenix College has increased enrollment by partnering with the city of Phoenix, which has provided educational opportunities to workers in the community. The college also has received multimillion-dollar grants from the National Science Foundation and U.S. Education Department to support experiential learning programs and undergraduate STEM research.

Johson previously held full-time faculty appointments and served in academic leadership positions at community colleges in Missouri, Georgia and Florida. He began his career at Tallahassee Community College in Florida, where he taught developmental English and reading. He later taught at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and then Broward College (Florida), where he was associate dean for English and journalism, and championed innovative strategies that increased student success, particularly for men of color. He then served as provost and chief academic officer at St. Louis Community College’s Forest Park campus. Nationally, Johnson recently completed a three-year appointment on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on College Readiness.

Kudos

Pam Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) in Massachusetts, has been named a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2021 Pinnacle Awards honoree for outstanding achievement in arts and education. During a virtual awards ceremony last week, Eddinger shared her story of migrating to the U.S. with her parents and credited them for her leadership in the community college movement so the next generation of immigrants can have access to affordable higher education.

Jason Hurst, president of Cleveland Community College, was named 2021 President of the Year by the State Board of North Carolina Community Colleges. The board noted that Hurst has championed strong relationships with industry and community partners. His accomplishments include expanding the electrical lineworkers program to include CDL truck driver training, and renovating classrooms for basic law enforcement training and criminal justice programs, and overseeing the construction of an Advanced Technology Center to address local workforce training needs.

Retirement

Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College in California, will retire on July 1. She has served in the position for 13 years, serving as the college’s first woman president. Over her tenure, Perri has focused on improving student success through efforts such as the College of Completion initiative and new and expanded academic support programs. Those also include working with K-12 through dual enrollment and serving military veterans. In recognition of those efforts, Citrus was nominated for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence four consecutive times, received the 2015 California Community College Chancellor’s Student Success Award and was presented with the American Association of Community Colleges 2019 Award of Excellence in the student success category.

Another one of Perri’s priorities is to have strong community ties, which Citrus has done through campus tours, special events, outreach to prospective students, elected officials, local educators, business and industry leaders, and more. Perri also has worked closely to support the college’s foundation, which in fall 2020 had financial holdings of more than $11 million.

Perri also led efforts to improve the college’s facilities, including securing public support for funding. Among its new facilities were a sports field house, softball field complex, student services building, technician development and technology engineering facilities, campus safety building and visual arts building. Sustainability is also a hallmark of the college. Last month, Citrus was one of five institutions that received a California Community Colleges Board of Governors Energy and Sustainability Award.

Prior to joining Citrus, Perri was president of Cuyamaca College (California). She also served as vice president of instruction at San Diego Mesa College and dean of instruction/career education at Mt. San Jacinto College. Perri began her career as a dental hygiene faculty member and later served as an associate dean of academic affairs at her alma mater, Hostos Community College (New York). Among her personal accolades, Perri has received U.S. Rep. Judy Chu’s 2013 Educator of the Year award for the 27th congressional district; California State Senator Anthony Portantino’s 2017 Woman of the Year designation; and the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by the national Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Appointments

Stacy Atkinson will serve as chancellor for Ivy Tech Community College‘s new Hamilton County campus, effective March 1. She currently is chancellor of the Indiana college’s Richmond campus and Connersville site. In 2017, Atkinson moved from executive director of strategic initiatives role with the system’s office to serve as vice chancellor of academic affairs at the Richmond campus. In 2019, she served as interim chancellor and was later named permanent chancellor.

Gene Banks was named athletic director at Gaston College in North Carolina. Banks, a former National Basketball Association player and coach, previously served as athletic director at Bennett College. (Editor’s note: CCDaily inadvertently reported Banks previously served at another college.)

James Edwards is the new vice president of student services at Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina. Prior to this, he was dean of the Chesapeake campus of Tidewater Community College in Virginia.

Jona Hall joins Washington State Community College in Ohio as its new dean of transfer and public services. She previously served as director of curriculum and technology for Marietta City Schools.

About the Author

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