Newsmakers

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Interim CEO

Mike Muñoz, vice president of student services at Long Beach City College (California), is now interim superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College District. Muñoz, who joined the college in 2018, has helped to: increase enrollment in the Long Beach Promise program by more than 30% from fall 2018 to fall 2019; increase the number of Pell Grant recipients by 27% in 2019-20; expand services in mental health and basic needs; and increase completions through the implementation of completion counseling efforts. He also serves as an adjunct professor of higher education at the University of Southern California, teaching a leadership course focused on the community colleges.

CEO retirement

Jerry Faulkner, president of Volunteer State Community College (Tennessee), has announced that he will retire on August 31. He will have served as president for more than nine years.

Under Faulkner’s leadership, the college added a new health sciences building, which provided labs for five programs, and a new humanities building, which brought new classrooms, studios and performance spaces to the Gallatin campus. In academic programs, notable additions included the registered nurse associate degree program and expanded mechatronics program.

Most recently, Faulkner led the college through the Covid pandemic. That included quickly moving to online learning and developing a comprehensive screening and tracking program on its campuses. The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the college will be marked this year with virtual events because of the pandemic.

“In the 50 years Vol State has served the citizens of north middle Tennessee, the college has awarded more than 30,000 degrees and certificates,” Faulkner said. “That is 30,000 lives that have been changed and 30,000 families that have been impacted. We hope people join us in celebrating that achievement.”

Faulkner served as vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State Community College from 2008 to 2012. Prior to that, he was a faculty member, then department head for life sciences and later teacher education coordinator at Chattanooga State Community College (Tennessee). He also held a two-year term as associate vice president for academic affairs at Tennessee Temple University.

Obituary

Allana Hamilton, who served as the fifth president of Jackson State Community College in Tennessee, died on February 23 at age 55. She had suffered a stroke in October and extensive cancer was discovered afterward, according to the college.

Hamilton served as Jackson State’s CEO for nearly three years and later was named vice chancellor for academic affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and chief academic officer for the College System of Tennessee.

Hamilton began her career as an adjunct professor of biology in 1991 at Northeast State Community College, where she became a full-time faculty member the following year and rose through the ranks to become the college’s vice president of academic affairs in 2008. She was named president of Jackson State in 2017.

“Her professionalism, knowledge, sweetness and collegiality were genuine and ever-present, and she shared them liberally with all who knew her,” said TBR Chancellor Flora Tydings. “Every word, every action and every day of her life was filled with joy for her work, her colleagues, her family and her students.”

Kudos

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), will recognize nine college presidents with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at its annual convention next month, which will happen virtually. The presidents are recognized for their work over the past year to mentor and develop student leaders in completely unfamiliar circumstances.

“Racial and political unrest and a global pandemic made 2020 the most challenging year in recent history — one that you have worked exceptionally hard to overcome,” PTK said in a letter to the selected presidents.

AACC-member presidents who are among the 2021 recipients include:

Appointments

Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, has joined the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation‘s board of directors. As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation focuses on enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts.

Tracy Fisher is now director of the Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties at Riverside Community College District in California. Previously, she was a professor at the Fielding Graduate University, taught courses at Scripps College and Pitzer College, and was on the faculty at the University of California, Riverside.

William Gary, executive vice president of workforce community and economic development at Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio), will serve on the Health Care Industry Recovery Panel, which will advise President Joe Biden’s administration and congressional leaders on healthcare sector needs following Covid. The panel is one of four convened by the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships to address economic recovery following the pandemic.

Nicole Robinson Gauthier, executive director of Lone Star College Foundation (Texas), has been elected president of the Texas Association of Community College Foundations. She will serve a two-year term.

Carlecia Wright has been named Lone Star College‘s chief diversity officer. Wright previously was vice president for strategic partnerships and business development at BiasSync.

At College of DuPage in Illinois, Marji Swanson joins the college as assistant general counsel. She will serve as chief labor negotiator. Roberto C. Valadez is the new director of pathways. He comes to the college from California’s San Diego City College, where he was dean of student equity. Swanson previously was a partner in a law firm, focusing on government and municipal law, as well as labor and employment law.

At Columbus State Community College in Ohio, Desiree Polk-Bland is now vice president of student affairs, and Charles W. Noble III is chief of staff. Polk-Bland previously was the college’s executive dean for advising and student support. Noble joined Columbus State’s Office of Talent Strategy last year.

About the Author

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