Advisory Board Members

Photo of Advisory Board Members on Panel at Community College Showcase

Role of Advisory Board

The role of the advisory board is to provide guidance and feedback to program coordinators on current issues and trends in the community college sector.  The advisory board collaborates with university faculty, staff, students, and administration to facilitate external engagement, providing guidance and advice, and supporting and advocating for the doctoral program in Community College Leadership.  NJCU is thrilled to have community college leaders and experts from across the nation on the advisory board for the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership.


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Karen Archambault, Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Success, Rowan College at Burlington County, NJ
Dr. Karen L. Archambault has been working in higher education for more than two decades and currently serves as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success at Rowan College at Burlington County, a community college serving approximately 8000 students in New Jersey, just east of Philadelphia. In her current work, Karen oversees the areas that impact student enrollment and success including admissions, financial aid, registration, athletics, student life and activities, and the college’s retention programs including programs for honors students, low income students, military and veteran students, and students with disabilities. A historian by training, Karen teaches history of higher education at the graduate level, with a focus on historical equity in higher education, and writes on transfer students, first year advising, and cultural competence for advisors. She has been an author on 7 book chapters on these and related topics and is the editor of an upcoming text on Advisor Training and Development. Professional points of pride include the development of the LGBTQ Ally Program at Brookdale Community College, receipt of the Barbara K. Townsend award from the National Institute for Transfer Students for her dissertation on transfer student preparedness, and launching of the Task Force on Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion (now the Race, Ethnicity, and Inclusion Work Group) during her NACADA presidency, which led to her receipt of the association’s “Leading Light” award. She has also led RCBC’s Enrollment Management and Student Success division to several successful grant submissions at the state and federal level that support student success initiatives.


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Debra Bragg, Director, Community College Research Initiatives, University of Washington, WA
Debra D. Bragg is the director of Community College Research Initiatives at the University of Washington in Seattle and founding director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a position she held from 1989 to 2015. In 2013, Dr. Bragg was named a Gutsgell Endowed Professor in recognition of her career-long pursuit of research on the transition of youth and adults to and through postsecondary education, especially community colleges. Her 25-year tenure at UIUC produced over $17 million in external funding from federal and state governments and numerous private foundations. In 2015, Dr. Bragg was named a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA,) and on November 11, 2016, she was recognized with the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). She is also the recipient of the Career Teaching award from the College of Education at the University of Illinois and the Senior Scholar and the Art Cohen and Florence Brawer Distinguished Service awards from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges. Dr. Bragg currently serves as the director of the Community College Research Initiatives group at the University of Washington.


MICHELE CAMPAGNA HEADSHOT

Michele Campagna, Assistant Dean, Learning Initiatives & Student Success, Westchester Community College.
Dr. Michele Campagna has 30 years of experience leading campus-wide curricular and co-curricular student success initiatives Reporting directly to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, she serves as Assistant Dean of Learning Initiatives and Student Success at Westchester Community College where she provides leadership for student learning, retention, and completion efforts. Dr. Campagna also manages grants at WCC, including Title V and Strong Start to Finish, and serves on the Guided Pathways Leadership Team.

Dr. Campagna is a published author with research interests in student success, first-generation students, and Latinx students and the co-author of Thriving in College and Beyond: Research Strategies for Academic Success and Personal Development. She has presented at numerous statewide and national conferences on student engagement, academic advising, first-year experience, retention initiatives, strategic planning, assessment, and equity and inclusion and has been interviewed by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, and other publications. Dr. Campagna is the recipient of the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award from the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Dr. Campagna is a proud first-generation college student with a B.A. in Anthropology from New York University, an M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from The University of Alabama.


Elizabeth Cox Brand

Elizabeth Cox Brand, Executive Director of the Oregon Student Success Center.
Originally from Iowa, Elizabeth received her doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership from Iowa State University in 2007. After graduation, she accepted the position of Assistant Director of the California Community College Collaborative, a community college research and policy center at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Brand came to Oregon in 2011 as Director of Communications and Research for the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development and moved to the Oregon Community College Association in 2014 to assume the position of Director of Student Success and Assessment. In August 2016, grant funding from The Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation provided the opportunity for Elizabeth to become the first Executive Director of the Oregon Student Success Center. Elizabeth has professional experience in K-12, community colleges, and universities, with a particular emphasis on student services and enrollment management.


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Greg DeSantis, Executive Director of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) Student Success Center and Academic Initiatives, CT
Greg DeSantis is the Executive Director of the Student Success Center and Academic Initiatives for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) System. His primary focus is the implementation of guided pathways across CSCU with the goal of helping students earn degrees and certificates more quickly and at a lower cost. As part of his leadership of the Center, Greg chairs the Guided Pathways Task Force, which includes CSCU faculty, staff, and administrators with diverse perspectives and skills who help oversee the guided pathways initiative. Greg received his M.S. in College Student Personnel from the University of Rhode Island in 2006 and is currently working on his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at New England College, with a research focus on state and national policy related to satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients.


DAVID EDWARDS HEADSHOT

David Edwards, Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Camden County College, NJ
Dr. Edwards has more than three decades of higher education service in both the baccalaureate and community college sector. He holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Texas and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Rowan University. He has taught at baccalaureate and community colleges, including Columbia University, Pace University, Pratt Institute, and Savannah College of Art and Design. An early adopter and committed advocate for the Guided Pathways to Student Success model, Dr. Edwards has led successful GPS implementation teams on three different community college campuses. Among other institutional leadership positions, he chairs the Social Justice Education committee of the Camden County College President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Edwards is co-founder with Princeton University of a Teaching Fellowship program in New Jersey, matching Princeton doctoral candidates with senior community college faculty for higher education mentorship and teaching experience in the community college sector.


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Yolanda Farmer, Executive Vice President for Student Development, Joliet Junior College, IL
With over 26 years of student services experience in higher education, Dr. Yolanda Farmer is currently the Vice President of Student Development at Joliet Junior College.  Dr. Farmer oversees a comprehensive student support division and provides visionary leadership focused on student learning, student development and student success. She has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. Dr. Farmer serves on a number of institutional committees and belongs to several national and community organizations.  At the state level, Dr. Farmer is the president for the Illinois Community College Chief Student Services Officers.


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Eric Friedman, President, Bergen Community College, NJ
Dr. Eric Friedman became the eighth president of Bergen Community College in 2020.  Prior to this role, he served as Executive Vice President and Provost of Hudson Community College. He oversaw the college’s credit-bearing divisions as well as workforce development, community education, online education, and the landmark Culinary Conference Center. Dr. Friedman has taught at community colleges and baccalaureate institutions including Drew University, Passaic County Community College, Hudson County Community College, The New School, and The Art Institute of New York City. He has presented at numerous national conferences including AACC, STEMtech, NISOD, and HACU. Prior to coming to work in higher education, Dr. Friedman held significant managerial positions in hospitality management.

Linda Garcia headshot

Linda García is the Executive Director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT).

Prior to this role, she served as the Assistant Director of College Relations at CCCSE. Previously, Linda was Vice President of Community College Relations at the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University, and she has worked at Lone Star College, Maricopa Community Colleges, and The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. Linda’s experience includes student development, instructional support, grant writing, and teaching. She served as a coach for the American Association of Community Colleges Pathways 2.0 and continues in this same role for the Texas Pathways Project.

Linda earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a concentration in broadcast and a doctorate in higher education administration with a specialization in community college leadership from The University of Texas at Austin. Her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree is from The University of Texas at Brownsville.


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Demond Hargrove, Vice President for Student Development, Union County College, NJ
Dr. Demond T. Hargrove, a Hartford, Connecticut native, and Union Township resident currently serves as vice president for student development at Union County College (UCC). Dr. Hargrove holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration & Leadership from Seton Hall University, a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from NJCU, and earned his B.S. in Political Science at Jersey City State College.

Dr. Hargrove is a published author who has made presentations to professional organizations and student leadership programs regarding student retention, goal setting, leadership development, and emergency management. He has also developed minority male empowerment programs designed to promote the healthy development, persistence, academic achievement, and attainment of college men. Dr. Hargrove’s research interests include retention, persistence, and collegiate experiences of minority and underrepresented populations.


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Samuel Hirsch, Vice President for Academic and Student Success, Community College of Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Hirsch is the vice president for academic and student success at the Community College of Philadelphia.  He has over 30 years of leadership experience in a variety of roles at CCP.  He is leading Achieving the Dream and Guided Pathways efforts.  Hirsch has a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University, a Masters of Arts in Education from Arcadia University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wilmington College.


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Hana Lahr, Research Associate, Community College Research Center (CCRC), NY
Hana Lahr is a Senior Research Associate at the Community College Research Center, at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her current research includes several projects related to the implementation and evaluation of guided pathways reforms, including the AACC Pathways Project; the California Guided Pathways Project; and state-based projects working with the community colleges in Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington. Her previous research at CCRC examined the implementation of state-level performance funding programs in Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee and the unintended impacts the programs have on colleges and universities within their systems. Hana holds a BA in music performance from the University of Florida, an MS in counseling from Shippensburg University (PA), an EdM in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College, and a PhD in education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining CCRC, Hana worked in student affairs at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College and at the Metropolitan College of New York.


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Mark McCormick, President, Middlesex County College, NJ
Dr. Mark McCormick began serving as Interim President of Middlesex County College in June 2018. Prior to that, Dr. McCormick served as Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at MCC. Dr. McCormick is the first person in his family to earn a college degree and holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania, a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, and a Bachelor’s Degree in French from Davidson College. He has worked in higher education for over 30 years, including as Vice President for Academic Services at Salem Community College, Dean of the Division of Business and Technology at Mercer County Community College, and as a faculty member at Mercer, Community College of Philadelphia, and Peirce College.


ANTHONY MUNROE HEADSHOT

Anthony E. Munroe was appointed as BMCC’s 11th President and began his leadership role on September 1, 2020. A nationally recognized executive with more than 30 years of experience leading education and health-care organizations, Dr. Munroe has since 2017 been president of Essex County College, one of the most diverse colleges in New Jersey and a national leader in boosting the social mobility of its graduates. He was previously president of Malcolm X College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago system.

A first-generation U.S. citizen who grew up in the Bronx and attended New York City public schools, Dr. Munroe holds a doctorate in education from Columbia University Teachers College with a concentration in health education.

His extensive experience includes serving as associate vice president of health systems affairs at Ross University School of Medicine in New Jersey and as president of Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. He was also executive director of Family Health Services in the New York City Department of Health, overseeing an agency with a $200 million budget and more than 100 service sites.

Dr. Munroe is an international expert on cultural competency and disparities in health care and was named one of the top 25 minority health care executives in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and on the Commission on Student Success with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He was recently named a winner of the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Paragon Award for New Presidents, which recognizes college presidents who have shown strong support for student success at their schools.

Building Momentum
Since arriving at BMCC, Dr. Munroe has been leading the College to create effective academic and student support programs that advance students’ educational and life success; to cultivate the innovation of faculty research, and to encourage a culture of care across the college that embraces equity, inclusion and diversity.

Most recently, Dr. Munroe presented BMCC’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 – Designing for Success: Taking What Works to Scale, which over the next five years will move BMCC towards achieving its mission and realizing its vision of offering all students the opportunity to earn a college degree.

In addition, Dr. Munroe established the President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation at BMCC, following a $30 million gift presented to BMCC by philanthropist, author and activist Ms. MacKenzie Scott. The fund will support proposals and projects with respect to the donor’s intent of elevating initiatives that include addressing food insecurity; equity, race and inclusion; economic mobility; support for Black, Latino and LGBTQ communities. This gift reaffirms BMCC’s on-going commitment to advance these initiatives in significant ways, primarily through education and training.


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Lawrence A. Nespoli retired as President of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC), the statewide coordinating organization for New Jersey’s community colleges, in 2018 after 27 years of service. Upon retirement, he received the inaugural NJ Community College Legacy Award. Nespoli has also served in a number of campus and state-level positions in Maryland and Pennsylvania and in national community college leadership positions including the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors, the Center for Community College Student Engagement National Advisory Board, the Jobs for the Future Policy Leadership Trust Fund for Student Success, the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, and the College Board’s Community College Advisory Panel, which he chaired for several years. He has published extensively in the area of college governance and finance, served as a member of the editorial board of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, and presented frequently at national, regional and state conferences. Dr. Nespoli serves as a faculty member in several higher education and community college leadership doctorate programs and was recently appointed to the board of trustees at Mercer County Community College.


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Carlos Nevarez, Chair and Professor, Graduate and Professional Studies in Education, California State University and Executive Editor, The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies, Sacramento State, CA
Dr. Carlos Nevarez received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies where he was awarded the Kellogg Foundation Doctoral Fellowship He serves multiple roles: Professor with the Doctorate in Educational Leadership, and Executive Editor for the Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies. His scholarship is broadly in leadership and organizational change, with particular expertise in community college leadership and equity in student success. Dr. Nevarez has authored three books on community college leadership and is currently working on a fourth book with an emphasis on developing an institutional change model. His productivity with this line of scholarship has afforded him opportunities to regularly share his research with a regional, state, national, and international audience.


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Paula Pando, President, Reynolds Community College, VA
Dr. Paula Pando was appointed the 4th president of Reynolds Community College in Richmond VA in September 2018. Reynolds is a majority minority institution, serving 15,000 students each year in the greater Richmond region on three campuses. Prior to this role, Dr. Pando had a distinguished 25 year career in higher education in NJ, with over 15 of those years at Hudson County Community College where she served as Senior Vice President for Student and Educational Services. In 2017, she was one of 38 educational leaders from across the country selected to participate in the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. She holds a BA from Stockton University, an MA from Saint Peter’s University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Rowan University. The daughter of Chilean immigrants, Dr. Pando is fluent in both Spanish and English and was the first in her family to attend college.

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Christopher M. Reber has devoted his entire 40-year career to higher education. On July 1, 2018, he became the eighth president of Hudson County Community College (HCCC) in Jersey City, Union City, and Secaucus, New Jersey. Located in one of the most densely populated and diverse areas of the United States, HCCC serves more than 18,000 credit and noncredit students and 1,000 employees annually on three urban campuses near New York City.

Dr. Reber has led the development of “Hudson is Home,” HCCC’s 2021-24 Strategic Plan that is focused on the College’s mission to provide its diverse communities with inclusive, high-quality educational programs and services that promote student success and upward social and economic mobility. The College’s updated vision statement embraces the offering of consistently best-practice, transformative educational and economic opportunities for students and all residents of Hudson County. The College’s values are anchored to its growing culture of care, which has resulted in students coining the phrase, “Hudson is Home.”

Dr. Reber holds a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa; a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, where he was named “Graduate Student of the Year;” and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds a post-graduate certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. 


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Christopher W. Shults, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning, Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY
Christopher W. Shults is the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Christopher is responsible for oversight of all institutional effectiveness, planning, assessment, institutional research, analytics, and accreditation activities. Previously, he served as the Executive Director for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at Suffolk County Community College; in Acting Associate Provost and Assistant Provost positions at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), and as a Research Associate at the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC).  He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, and his B.S. in Psychology from Morgan State University.

Over his career, he has authored or co-authored more than one dozen books and journal articles, presented nationally on nearly 50 occasions, assisted in the development of a national leadership program for aspiring presidents, conducted professional development at multiple community colleges and for regional accrediting bodies, consulted for colleges, national agencies, and associations, keynoted educational conferences, lectured in multiple universities, taught as an adjunct instructor, and worked with national leaders on an African-American Male initiative. The proud son of two Navy Veterans and a former lead chief for a Single Mom’s ministry, this married father of three is also the Vice-President of the Board for the Association for Higher Education Effectiveness.


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Bette M. SimmonsVice President of Student Development & Enrollment Management. County College of Morris  
As the senior student affairs administrator on campus, Dr. Simmons supervises the staff and programs in Academic Advisement, Accessibility Services, Admissions, Athletics, Campus Life, Career Services & Cooperative Education, Counseling Services, Dean of Students, Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, Health Services, Records & Registration, Student Support Services, Transfer Services, and the Testing Center.

Dr. Simmons has sat on the Board – nationally and regionally - of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and held many volunteer positions within the association, of which she has been a member for 30 years.  Additionally, she serves as a college evaluator for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.  She has taught post-graduate level courses at Rowan University College of Educational Leadership; graduate level courses in the Masters Program of Supervision, Leadership & Administration at Seton Hall University; and has been a guest lecturer in the Board Leadership Institute at Seton Hall as well as in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program at Montclair State University.  Dr. Simmons holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Seton Hall University and a Masters of Arts in Counseling from Montclair State University.


DEKIA SMITH HEADSHOT

Dekia Smith currently serves as the Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention at Bucks County Community College. In this role, she oversees the Student Services Center, which includes Counseling, The Accessibility Office and the KEYS Program, and coordinates and manages the Bucks Care Team. She also previously served as Director of Counseling Services, where she oversaw all counseling needs across all campuses and worked with community social services organization to coordinate services for students. As a campus partner, Dekia takes an active role on many faculty-administration committees including, but not limited to: The oversight and management of the Academic and Behavioral Intervention Teams, chairing the Academic Performance Committee, is a member of the Title IX committee and is currently part of the Bucks Middle States Steering Committee, where she is the Co-Chair of Standard IV. Dekia believes in the power of interdepartmental collaboration across campus, and believes it is the most impactful way to create institutional change for student success. Dekia’s career is grounded in social services and education. Prior to her career at Bucks, she worked for many community-based organizations, and served as a county-wide adolescent trauma consultant in New Jersey. Dekia has experience as a faculty member, having taught at Cairn University as a part of the Graduate Counseling Program and currently serves as adjunct faculty at University of Maryland Global Campus and Wilmington University. Dekia values the role she plays in the lives of students, and appreciates the role they play in her life as she has grown professionally. Dekia is a Licensed Professional Counseling in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and considers her vast experience in social services as the foundation for where she is professionally. Dekia educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from The College of New Jersey and a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Cairn University and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Innovation from Wilmington University.


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David Stout, President, Brookdale Community College, NJ
Dr. David Stout is the 7th president of Brookdale Community College.  Previously, he served in a variety of roles including Brookdale’s chief student services officer and vice president for student success,  a student counselor, a full-time faculty member, department chair of the psychology and human services department and dean of the college’s Freehold campus.

He holds a Ph.D. in behavioral medicine and health psychology from Northcentral University, a master’s degree in psychological counseling from Monmouth University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Richard Stockton College, now known as Stockton University.