CEO on the move

Tammeil Gilkerson will serve as the next chancellor of the Peralta Community College District (California), beginning in January. She is currently president of Evergreen Valley College (California), where she has worked since 2020. The chancellor post represents a return to the Peralta Colleges for Gilkerson who previously was president of Laney College from 2017 to 2020.

“I call Oakland my home, and my roots run deep in the East Bay. These communities, our communities, hold immense significance for me,” Gilkerson said in a release. “Within Peralta, I see a wealth of brilliance and remarkable progress happening at the colleges and across the district. I’m eager to play a role in enhancing a multitude of outstanding programs and services, all guided by a commitment to equity and social justice.”

The district noted Gilkerson’s life-long commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion, and her continued efforts to find innovative ways to create learning environments and services that promote student success.

Over her career, Gilkerson also has served as vice president of academic and student affairs at Contra Costa College, and as the inaugural diversity, inclusion and innovation officer for the Contra Costa Community College District. In addition, she was vice president of academic affairs at San José City College and dean of counseling and matriculation at Evergreen Valley College. Gilkerson started as a faculty member in psychology counseling at Chabot College.


Sandra L. Kurtinitis, president of Community College of Baltimore County, has been named one of Maryland’s 2023 Most Admired CEOs by the Daily Record newspaper. The designation honors talented business CEOs, higher education leaders and nonprofit executive directors throughout the state whose leadership and vision are admired by those around them. A panel of judges selects the winners based on professional accomplishments, community service and the letters of references submitted by co-workers, board members and community leaders.

“The 2023 Most Admired CEOs have gained the respect and praise of those around them, making a positive impact on the lives of others. Their integrity, values, drive and commitment to excellence show why they make a difference in the lives they touch each and every day,” Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of BridgeTower Media/The Daily Record, said in a release. “They are truly admired by their peers, teams and in the community, and The Daily Record is pleased to recognize them.”

Lester Rápalo, president of Rockland Community College (New York), has been accepted into the prestigious Forbes Business Council. He was selected based on his extensive experience and proven impact on business growth metrics and has already had his first article published on the site. As a council member, Rápalo will engage with accomplished leaders from diverse industries, share his expertise through articles on and contribute to expert panels.

“This recognition not only reflects our commitment to excellence but also opens doors to collaborate with global leaders, fostering growth and innovation. I am excited to leverage this platform to share insights, learn from peers, and further our mission at RCC. Together, we will continue to impact positive change and set new benchmarks for success,” Rápalo said in a release.

Mark Sorrells, president of North Carolina’s Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC), was recently honored by the NC TECH Association as its Tech Difference Maker of the Year. He was recognized for his work as FTCC president, which includes his role in helping to found and launch the Carolina Cyber Network, a collaborative workforce development initiative through which select cybersecurity educational institutions in North Carolina work together to meet the growing talent needs of the state’s public agencies and private businesses.

“Our job is to put a talent development pipeline out there to help secure the interests of our public and private companies across the state,” Sorrells said in accepting the award.

Amie Gallagher, director of the Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium, has been honored with the Thomas Fangman Award from the New Jersey Science Convention. The award is given to individuals who have had exemplary service to the convention. A member of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS) and the International Planetarium Society for more than 30 years, Gallagher serves as secretary of the society, is a member of the MAPS Education Committee, and has been honored as a MAPS fellow for service to the organization. She also has authored two volumes of a children’s encyclopedia on space; has acted as an editorial consultant for various publications for children and adults about space and the solar system; and has co-created educational guides for teachers.


Lisa Armour is the new executive vice chancellor and provost at Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona. She previously was vice president for institutional effectiveness and strategic planning at Santa Fe College in Florida.

At the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), Joe Hopkins, formerly the college’s interim police chief, has been named director of public safety and chief of campus police, and John Araujo is now the inaugural director of CCRI’s one-stop student services (formerly the enrollment services office).

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.