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CCCCD Launches Faculty, Staff Leadership Program


September 9, 2004 -September marks the beginning of a groundbreaking new program for faculty and staff at Collin County Community College District (CCCCD), the Academy for Collegiate Excellence (ACE).

Across the country, colleges and universities are facing shortages of candidates for presidents, vice presidents and deans because a large number of the nation's high-level administrators are retiring. CCCCD created this program to develop a proven, ready pool of higher education professionals for interim and permanent assignments as well as for special projects and possible leadership roles in the future.

"We are growing very fast right now," said Sam Roach, chair of the college's board of trustees. "Maintaining outstanding leadership in the face of this explosive growth is important for the district. We are also competing with other colleges for experienced administrators. This program will assure that Collin County Community College will continue to be a leader in higher education."

Professional faculty and staff with CCCCD who "demonstrate a passion for excellence and a commitment to professional growth and development" are ideal candidates for the academy.

"Our intention with this leadership academy is to develop additional skill sets and encourage some of our talented faculty and staff to venture into a new academic challenge," said CCCCD president Cary Israel.

The class begins in September and ends in May 2005. Eleven ACE "fellows" have been chosen to participate in the inaugural class:

Michele Boverie, interim associate dean for evenings and weekends, holds an M.A. degree from Amberton University and a B.A. from the University of North Texas. She began employment at CCCCD in October 1993.

Amina K. El-Ashmawy, professor of chemistry, holds an M.S. from Texas A&M University, College Station, a B.A. from Texas A&M, and an A.S. from Kilgore College. She began at CCCCD in August 1991.

Eugene C. Foley, professor and chair of developmental mathematics, earned two M.A. degrees from Wayne State University and a B.S. from Illinois State University. He began in August 2001. Dr. C. Frederick Jury, chair and professor of chemistry and physics, earned his Ph.D. and M.S. from Duquesne University and a B.S.Ed. from Slippery Rock State University. He has been with the CCCCD since August 1994.

Brenda Kihl, director of the College's Center for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development, earned M.Ed. and B.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She began her employment in February 2000.

Jim Merritt, program director in continuing education, holds an M.A. degree from Amberton University and a B.S. from Texas A&M - Commerce. He began in July 1998. Dr. Linda R. Qualia, director of counseling, earned a Ph.D. at the University of North Texas, an M.A. from University of Alabama and a B.A. from Rhodes College. She has been at CCCCD since August 1992.

Tatiana Shehadeh, international student advisor, earned an M.S., a College Student Development Endorsement and a B.A. from U.T. Arlington. She began in May 2001.

Sharon Steele-Blakeman, director of ACCESS, began employment at CCCCD in May 2003. She earned a master's degree in education from the University of North Texas, a B.S. from North Texas State University, and an A.S. from Grayson County College.

Dr. Donald Weasenforth, professor and chair of ESL, developmental reading & writing, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and an M.A. from the University of Illinois. He began in January 2003.

Pyeper Wilkins, grant coordinator, earned an M.S. from Amberton University and a B.S. from West Texas State University. She began her employment at CCCCD in 1999.

ACE fellows will undertake a nine-month program to enhance and strengthen leadership potential through six intensive, half-day sessions covering financing and budgeting issues, history and role of community colleges, motivation and interpersonal skills, strategic planning and more.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.