Nicole Roades has been selected as the next president of Southern State Community College, effective July 1, 2022. She is currently the Ohio college’s vice president of academic affairs, a post she has held since 2016. Roades joined Southern State, her alma mater, in 1998 as enrollment coordinator.

“Having been a part of the institution most of my professional career, I have the advantages and the challenges of institutional history, but, most importantly, I have a keen understanding and passion for the college’s vision,” Roades said in a release.

Roades noted the challenges the college faces but also the opportunities it can provide.

“It is imperative we positively impact the value proposition associated with higher education. We must contribute to developing a competitive workforce that advances our local economy. Further, we must convince students and the community of our relevance and build a reputation grounded in results as an institution,” she said.

CEO retirement

Bill Seymour, who has served as president of Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee since 2014, has announced his plans to retire next summer.

Seymour has worked in higher education for 43 years at large state universities, small private colleges and community colleges. Thirty of those years have been in vice president and president roles.

As a national leader in the guided pathways reform movement, Cleveland State has been on the cutting edge of teaching and learning and student engagement initiatives. During the past eight years, the college has doubled its graduation rate, and the annual number of students completing degrees and certificates have been some of the highest in the school’s history.

Under Seymour’s leadership, Cleveland State has added several new buildings, such as a new health and science center and a higher education center, and it has started to renovate its older buildings.

Among his kudos, the College System of Tennessee named Cleveland State as College of the Year in 2019. Seymour also received personal recognition from Phi Theta Kappa when he was selected for the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, the organization’s highest award for a community college president.


Theresa Felder with her family.

Theresa B. Felder, president of Harford Community College in Maryland, has been honored by The Baltimore Sun as one of the 25 Women to Watch: Best in Advocacy, Business and Health. Felder joined the college as its leader in January and has been responsible for overseeing the operation of the college during the pandemic. The health and safety of the campus community has been her top priority. Another important area of focus has been enrollment, recruitment and retention focusing on engaging students who may have delayed the start of their college careers or stopped out because of the pandemic.

Nick Neupauer is the longest-serving president in the history of western Pennsylvania’s first community college. He has served as president of Butler County Community College for more than 14 years. It is also longer than that of any current president among Pennsylvania’s 14 other community colleges, its 14 public four-year institutions and its four state-related institutions.

Holyoke Community College (HCC) and its president, Christina Royal, have been named one of the top women-led businesses in Massachusetts for 2021 by the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit that supports female business leaders. Royal and HCC were ranked at number 50 in the institute’s 21st annual rankings of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts.

Karen Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream (ATD) and a former president of Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, has been nominated by the Biden administration to serve on the National Council for the Humanities. At ATD, Stout focuses on strategies to improve student success and completion, accelerating and scaling innovation, and revamping community college fundraising. The Senate must confirm the nomination before Stout officially join the council.


Meghan Hughes, president of the Community College of Rhode Island, will serve as the next board chair of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, effective January 1. She has served on the chamber’s board since 2017.

“No doubt, the ongoing labor shortage is a top concern for businesses, consumers and policymakers. The chamber is laser-focused on workforce development which will be a central theme to our work in the coming year. Dr. Hughes’ leadership is an ideal complement to these efforts,” Chamber President Laurie White said in a press release. “The Community College of Rhode Island is an engine of workforce development with success in collaborating with the business community to respond to the needs of today’s employers and students seeking a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

Stephanie Droker will serve as interim deputy chancellor and chief operating officer at the Peralta Community College District, effective January 10. She currently is president and CEO of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Christopher Howes, has been named vice president and chief information officer for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, where he will lead the strategic vision for technology solutions for the 16 colleges in the system. He most recently served in a similar position at Morehead State University.

Debra Roach is the new vice president for workforce development at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. She previously was director for workforce development and continuing education at Pennsylvania State University, a position she had held for six years.

James “Jay” Sullivan has been named vice president of instruction and chief academic officer at Nash Community College (North Carolina), effective January. He currently is vice president of academic affairs at Beaufort County Community College.

Timothy “Tim” Thomas is now director of public safety at the Peralta Community College District in California. Thomas has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, including service as a police officer and private security manager.

Teera Wilkins is the new project director of Grand Rapids Community College’s first TRIO Educational Opportunities Center. Over her career at the Michigan college, she has served in various roles, including college navigator, head of its peer-to-peer program and as a member of the Promise Zone team, which provides city students interested in GRCC with information and resources to help them pay for college.

Johannah Williams has joined Nashville State Community College in Tennessee as its dean of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Most recently, Williams was associate vice president of STEM and workforce programs at Phi Theta Kappa, the nation’s largest honor society for community college students.

Jill Norton Woodruff has been named director of annual giving and alumni relations at Tennessee’s Cleveland State Community College, her alma mater. Previously, she worked at the University of Tennessee’s chancellor’s office and, more recently, as coordinator of civic engagement.

Clark College (Washington) has hired two new members of its executive cabinet. Michele Cruse is now vice president of student affairs, and Paul Wickline will become vice president of instruction on January 3. Cruse has served as interim vice president of student affairs at Clark College since October 2020. Prior to Clark, she was vice president and dean of student affairs and associate dean of student affairs and experiential education at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Pennsylvania. Wicklaine comes from the College of the Canyons in California, where he has served in various positions since 2008, most recently as associate vice president of instruction.

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.