Newsmakers

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Appointments

Nicole Bouknight Johnson is the first vice president for advancement and communications at Hudson County Community College in New Jersey. She previously was national director of development and communications for A Better Chance, a nonprofit that helps students of color attend college preparatory schools.

Lee McChesney has started his role as director of development at Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee. His background stems from holding several leadership positions with a local YMCA, including program director, district vice president and executive director.

Felicia Riffelmacher is now senior development director at Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) in Massachusetts. As a former development director for a state university, the QCC alumna has more than 10 years of fundraising experience in the non-profit and education sectors, as a fundraiser and instructor.

At Alabama’s Gadsden State Community College, Aletta Williamson is the new dean of enrollment and retention, and Becky Watson will serve as the new resource development officer, effective October 1. Williamson most recently was a psychology instructor at Wallace State, a position she held since 2011. Watson comes from Troy University, where she was associate vice chancellor for development, senior director of major gifts and vice president/secretary of the Troy University Foundation.

Obituary

Scott Lay, who served as president and CEO of the Community College League of California from 2006 to 2014, passed away this month. He was 48. Lay, who starting as an intern at the League in 1995 and worked his way up to CEO, was known as a tireless advocate for public two-year colleges. The Orange Coast College graduate pushed for more state funding for community colleges and to make community colleges more affordable for students. He also sought to significantly increase the number of two-year graduates through more structured services such as mandatory orientation sessions, mandatory assessments and guidance of students.

After the League, Lay tapped his passion for California politics and technology to start several newsletters and podcasts that dove into state politics and policy. “The Nooner” was recognized by the Washington Post as one of California’s top political blogs.

“Scott was a passionate advocate, brilliant budget analyst, and sophisticated observer of California politics,” the League said.

About the Author

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