CEOs on the move

Madeline Burillo-Hopkins will lead Brookhaven Campus of Dallas College. She comes from Houston Community College (HCC), where she was vice chancellor for workforce instruction since 2020, as well as president of its Southwest College campus since 2016.

Over more than 20 years, Burillo-Hopkins has focused on innovative educational credit and continuing education, workforce partnerships, the development of prior learning assessment procedures, and many federal and state workforce grants. She has held various advancing positions at HCC, where she started in 1999 as director of continuing education and corporate training. Over her career, she has also served as director of student and business services at Lone Star College and director of the Texas School of Business.

In 2021, Burillo-Hopkins received the Hispanic Women in Leadership Award for outstanding service in education. Two years later, HCC honored her with the Chancellor’s Medallion for Outstanding Service. In 2010, she was an HCC Eagle Award recipient for Administrative Leadership. D’Mars Magazine selected her as one of Houston’s Top 30 Influential Women. 

Melanie Dixon has been named president of California’s College of Alameda (COA), effective July 15.

Dixon previously was president of American River College (California). Prior to that, she was associate vice chancellor of educational services and student success at the Los Rios Community College District.

“Ms. Dixon’s depth and breadth of experiences in the California Community Colleges system, her laser focus on student basic needs and success, and her demonstrated commitment to leading from an authentic grounding in diversity, equity and inclusion, are what COA and the Peralta District need at this time to inspire students to fulfill their highest aspirations and to ensure the college and community continue to thrive,” said Tammeil Gilkerson, chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, which COA is part of.

New CEOs

Aracely Aguiar is now the permanent president at Los Angeles Pierce College after serving as its interim president for the past two and a half years.

Over her career with the Los Angeles Community College District, where she started in 1987, Aguiar has served in several roles in the system, from adjunct faculty, professor and department chair, to dean and vice president of academic affairs.

“President Aguiar has strengthened the academic profile of the college through strategic hires, through strong community and industry partnerships and securing of federal grants and laying the foundation for the district’s fifth baccalaureate degree in biotechnology,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez.

Aguiar attended Los Angeles Valley College and West Los Angeles College and became a licensed dental assistant before shifting her career to education. In 2014, as acting vice president of academic affairs and dean of academic affairs, career and technical education at West Los Angeles College, she helped to develop the college’s bachelor’s in science in dental hygiene, one of the first community college baccalaureate programs in the state.

Macario Hernandez is now president of Dallas College‘s Mountain View Campus. He comes from the University of North Texas, Dallas, where he served as chief of staff since 2022.

Prior to that, Hernandez worked for 23 years as a bilingual teacher and school administrator in the Dallas Independent School District, including serving as principal of the Trinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School at the Mountain View Campus. Under Hernandez’s leadership, the school earned recognition as a National Title-I Distinguished School in 2018 and received a National Blue-Ribbon Award from the U.S. Education Department in 2021. Hernandez, who received an associate degree in 1996 from Dallas College, was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.

Known as a public education advocate, Hernandez will lead Mountain View’s campus culture and local business community engagement and advancement, according to a release from the college. Among his other duties, he will work with industry partners and business leaders to develop and expand workforce opportunities in Dallas’ southern sector.

Hernandez is a board member of the National Latino(a) Education Research and Policy Project and is a past local president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Craig Lamb will become president of Genesee Community College on August 1. He currently is provost and vice president for academic affairs at the New York college, which he joined in 2013 as dean of distributed learning.

Lamb previously held positions at the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Empire State University for eight years, serving as interim director of outreach and director of academic support, and at the University of Connecticut as senior academic advisor.

“Having held various leadership and administrative roles, Dr. Lamb is a believer in the transformative power of a high-quality, affordable, and accessible college education, especially for individuals who have been historically underrepresented and underserved,” according to a release from the SUNY board of trustees. “Dr. Lamb’s efforts are driven by his commitment to inclusivity, intellectual and social growth, shared governance, fiscal responsibility and the development of life-long learners.”

Avi Zaffini will head the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC), effective July 15. He most recently served at the Ohio Business Roundtable as senior vice president of business engagement and strategic initiatives.

“Avi Zaffini’s experience and commitment to helping drive education and workforce solutions makes him uniquely qualified for this role, and we are excited for the skills he brings to help our community colleges become an even stronger piece of the critical workforce puzzle,” said Clark State College President Jo Alice Blondin, who also serves as the incoming vice chair of OACC’s board and chair of its Presidents Council.

The U.S. Marine veteran previously was chief of staff in the lieutenant governor’s office and in various roles for Ohio’s secretary of state office.


Adenuga Atewologun, president of Riverland Community College from 2013 until his retirement in 2023, has received president emeritus status from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board of trustees.

Under Atewologun’s leadership, Riverland reviewed its academic programming and saw significant growth in transfer pathway programs, according to the system. The college also strengthened its ties with the Hormel Foundation, which created a scholarship to allow all students of a local high school to attend Riverland tuition-free. Atewologun was also recognized for being instrumental in creating the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research in Minnesota, a public-private partnership bringing together the University of Minnesota, elected officials and leaders from the private sector to provide a range of educational offerings.

Brent Knight unveils new signage for Lansing Community College’s renamed Brent M. Knight Arts & Sciences Building. (Photo: Kevin W. Fowler)

The arts and sciences building at Michigan’s Lansing Community College will now carry the name of its former long-time president, Brent Knight. During the 2012–2013 academic year, Knight renovated the original structure that was built in 1968 as part of his vision for an ambient learning environment that included installing more than two dozen sculptures on campus.

Paula Pando, president of Virginia’s Reynolds Community College, is among 38 women in the state receiving the 2024 Leadership Award from Virginia Business magazine. All the winners are senior executives who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievements, including breaking glass ceilings, mentoring others, engaging in civic work and bringing their leadership skills to nonprofit and company boards, according to the publication.


Robert “Doc” Marshall Boggs, who served as president of McDowell Technical Community College (MTCC) in North Carolina from 1984 until his retirement in 1999, died on May 28 at the age of 83.

Boggs got his start in education teaching English and history and coaching wrestling at a North Carolina high school before becoming superintendent of public schools. In 1984, he transitioned to head MTCC and would occasionally teach classes, too. His most significant achievement at the college was passage of a local $2.4 million bond campaign that helped to significantly expand the college facilities, including a 32,000-square-foot Industrial Skills Center with lab and classroom facilities for vocational and technical programs, and an 11,200-square-foot classroom and daycare building with space for an auditorium, continuing education programs and faculty offices, according to MTCC.

Boggs also was an innovator. In 1990, he partnered with leaders at Isothermal and Cleveland Community Colleges and their respective boards of trustees in a collaborative agreement to establish a consortium to offer an associate degree nursing program, a first for the college.

Upon his retirement, Boggs continued with his love of acting in community theater and returned to teaching history and English and coaching wrestling at a local high school.


Lutricia Harrison, interim president of Houston Community College‘s Coleman College for Health Sciences, has been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to serve on the inaugural Healthcare Workforce Task Force for the State of Texas. The panel will address healthcare workforce shortages in the state.

“Increasing the number of highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals in our state is not just about improving community health outcomes; it’s also about empowering individuals to achieve better financial stability,” said Harrison, who holds a doctor of nursing practice degree. “By focusing on both aspects, we can significantly enhance the overall quality of life in our communities and state.”

Carol A. Rothstein, president of Tennessee’s Jackson State Community College, will join this year’s cohort for Leadership Tennessee, a collective with a mission to foster non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance. Over the course of 10 months, beginning next month, the cohort will visit various parts of the state, analyze challenges that Tennessee faces, and work together to identify solutions and opportunities. An anonymous selection committee picks the cohorts based on: leadership experience, a history of addressing statewide issues in both a personal and professional capacity, and a strong understanding of Tennessee’s challenges.

Denise Douglas is now provost and vice president for academic affairs and student success at Lorain County Community College. He previously served at the Ohio college as dean of social sciences and human services.

Jennifer Mezquita will become the new vice president of enrollment management and student success at Reynolds Community College in Virginia, as of August 1. She currently is provost of student and academic success at North Shore Community College in Massachusetts.

Laura Rittner has been promoted to the new position of vice president of operations and student success at the Ohio Association of Community College (OACC). She previously was executive director of OACC’s Success Center since 2015.

Ty Stone is now executive vice president for finance and administration at Maryland’s Howard Community College. She previousy was president at Cleveland State Community College (Tennessee) and Jefferson Community College (New York).

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.
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