Before becoming CNM President, Ms. Hartzler was CNM’s Vice President for Finance and Operations and has been at CNM since 2015. She has served the public sector for more than 25 years in education, government, and policy roles. Since 2011, Ms. Hartzler has played a significant role in shaping postsecondary education in New Mexico, first with the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, and later with CNM.
President Hartzler earned her Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. She earned her Master of Education Degree from the University of Virginia with highest honors; and she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.
She is a member of the New Mexico, Indiana (inactive), and District of Columbia Bars.
Dr. Becky Rowley has taught English at Clovis Community College since 1993, as a full-time faculty member from 1993-1999, and as an adjunct from 1999 through the present. In 1999, she became Vice President for Educational Services and in 2002 Executive Vice President. The Clovis Community College Board of Trustees appointed her the fourth president of CCC in 2011.
As a faculty member, Dr. Rowley focused on distance education, particularly with dual credit high school students. As academic/student services vice president, her interests centered on the integration of instruction and students services and on workforce development. She currently serves on the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board and as a consultant/evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission.
Dr. Rowley earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Latin from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of New Mexico in 1996. Dr. Rowley is also an avid marathon runner.
Dr. Charles Nwankwo was unanimously elected the fifth President of Clovis Community College (CCC) on October 16, 2019. He assumed office in February 2020. Before CCC, Dr. Nwankwo has twenty-four years of broad experience in three community college districts in the states of Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas.
In Arizona, Dr. Nwankwo worked at Chandler Gilbert Community College, a member college of the Maricopa Community College District. There, he served in various leadership roles, including Vice President of Technology and Business Partnerships, and Vice President of Academic Affairs (interim).
In Louisiana, he served as the Chief Information Resources and Technology Officer for SOWELA Technical Community College with responsibility for the following: online education, Center for Excellence Learning and Teaching, Library and Learning Resources, Institutional Research, and Information Technology. He was a member of the team that helped rebuilt SOWELA after the devastating Hurricane Rita of 2005 and also achieved that College’s first regional accreditation through SACS.
Charles is passionate about community college education, with its access mission, student success, and commitment to equity for all students. Throughout his career in community college, Charles has collaborated with businesses, community organizations, and other educational institutions to advance relevant workforce and academic programs that promote workforce and economic development. He has served on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Commission on Academics and Student Success, and participated in AACC Workforce Development Institute; White House Summit on Educational Excellence for Minority Students, and various chambers of commerce.
Charles holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration, with an emphasis in Community College Leadership, from the University of Texas-Austin, MS degree in Environmental Science, and a BS in Environmental Biology from University of Houston-Clear Lake.
The Board of Regents unanimously appointed Dr. Joseph Shepard the 15th President of Western New Mexico University (WNMU) on April 27, 2011. Dr. Shepard assumed the office on July 5, 2011 and now leads the Silver City campus, as well as learning centers in Deming, Gallup, Lordsburg and Truth or Consequences.
Prior to arriving at WNMU, Dr. Shepard served over 15 years in senior-level leadership positions at Florida Gulf Coast University. Throughout his years at FGCU he held the positions of Chief Student Affairs Officer, Chief Business Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. Among his many responsibilities, Dr. Shepard was one of the founding leaders in helping to build the State of Florida’s 10th university. When Dr. Shepard arrived at FGCU, there were no students, no classes, no athletics, no on-campus housing, no policies and no infrastructure. By Dr. Shepard’s departure in 2011, FGCU had grown to over 460 faculty with a total workforce of nearly 2,000 that served nearly 13,000 students.
Dr. Shepard has also remained active in the classroom and with research. His teaching areas have been at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in quantitative methods, public finance and business leadership. He has also taught internationally in Mexico.
Dr. Shepard earned his Ph.D. in Public Administration specializing in public finance from Florida International University. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Banking where he specialized in international finance from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Math Education from Northern Arizona University.
He has been married to his wife, Marcela, for 21 years and has two children. He is fluent in Spanish and enjoys mountaineering, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, golfing, and racquetball.
Northern President Richard J. Bailey, Jr. and his wife Diana joined the Northern family in October 2016, after a 24-year career in the United States Air Force. Dr. Bailey received a BS in Engineering Sciences from the U.S. Air Force Academy, his Masters in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, and a doctorate in Government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Before assuming the Northern presidency, Dr. Bailey served as associate professor of strategy and security studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He also served as the school’s first-ever Dean of Students. Prior to his position at Maxwell, Dr. Bailey served as Commander of the 429th Expeditionary Operations Squadron at Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) in Curaçao and Aruba. As commander, he directed all support of multi-national aircraft operations that conduct detection, monitoring and tracking missions for counterdrug efforts in the region.
Dr. Bailey received his commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1992. After completing Undergraduate Pilot Training, he served flying tours in the C-9A, C-141B, and UV-18B aircraft and has been an aircraft commander, instructor pilot, and flight examiner. He retired from the Air Force as a command pilot with over 3,500 flying hours.
After completing his PhD in 2006, Dr. Bailey served as a defense trade analyst at the U.S. State Department. He later served as Chief Air Operations Officer at the NATO Joint Force Command Brunssum in The Netherlands, where he oversaw air operations efforts for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan.
In 2014, Dr. Bailey was elected the first President of the Air University Faculty Senate, advising senior leaders on all issues pertinent to the university’s 600+ faculty members. He is the only faculty member in the university’s history to receive both the Faculty Excellence Award, given annually to the highest rated faculty member at the university, and the Muir S. Fairchild Award, for the most outstanding contribution to Air Force Education.
Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass joined San Juan College as President in 2012.
Prior to San Juan College, Dr. Pendergrass served as the Vice President for Learning at San Jacinto College, South Campus in Houston, Texas. Before San Jacinto College, she served as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, as well as the Executive Dean of Communications, Mathematics, Developmental Students, and Teacher Preparation. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration with a specialization in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Economics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural
Economics and Business, both from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Pendergrass began working in community college administration in 1995. She understands and embraces the community college philosophy and is committed to continuing to advance student success, community partnerships and economic development. In addition to serving on the New Mexico Independent Community College Board, Dr. Pendergrass also is a member of the following: Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI), Center for Legislative Energy and Environmental Research University Advisory Board (CLEER), San Juan College Foundation, Four Corners Innovations, Four Corners Economic Development, Four Corners Economic Development Foundation, Four Corners Educational Council for Student Success, San Juan Safe Communities, Leadership San Juan, Farmington Chamber of Commerce, Farmington Rotary Club, and the 30 th Street Education Center. Dr. Pendergrass was the Chair Academy’s 2006 International Exemplary Leader Award and received the 2014 Excellence for Student Achievement Award presented by the New Mexico School Boards Association in cooperation with the Farmington Board of Education. In addition, Dr. Pendergrass led the effort of San Juan College being selected as one of 13
community colleges to participate in the American Association of Community College’s Pathways 2.0 program.
Dr. Pendergrass and her husband Doug have three children.
Major General Jerry Grizzle, PhD, United States Army National Guard (Retired), became the 19th President/Superintendent of New Mexico Military Institute on July 1, 2009.
General Grizzle graduated in 1976 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a BS in Accounting. He received his MBA from Central State University and his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Previously, General Grizzle was the President/CEO of Orbit Finer Foods, Skolniks, CD Warehouse, and most recently AMS Health Sciences in which he was fully responsible for all aspects of business development in a highly competitive marketplace. Prior to his tenure with CD Warehouse, he was Vice President/Treasurer of Sonic Industries.
General Grizzle started his military career in 1971 as a Private and retired as a Major General in 2005. General Grizzle was appointed Commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade (Thunderbirds) of the Oklahoma National Guard, where he was responsible for all matters affecting the combat readiness of the command. Immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Major General Grizzle entered active federal service and took command of the Department of Defense Joint Task Force – Civil Support (JTF-CS), the only unit in the Department of Defense responsible for the planning and execution for the response to any possible Weapons of Mass Destruction attack within the United States.
General Grizzle and his wife, Shawn, a former high school Biology teacher, have two children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Kelvin W. Sharp currently serves as the sixth president of New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, NM. He has been with the college since July 2016. His previous position as president of South Plains College in Levelland, Texas for 12 years, as well as his experience with the unique economic characteristics of the Permian Basin, made him the exceptional candidate for NMJC.
Since arriving in Lea County, Dr. Sharp immediately began working with architects to design and build a new Allied Health Building to provide more space for the NMJC nursing program. He has represented NMJC as a major partner in the construction and opening of the Center of Recreational Excellence (CORE), a 158,000 square foot recreation center in Lea County. He speaks extensively to businesses and organizations to promote the college, its foundation and the workforce opportunities available through NMJC. He is also very involved on campus, engaging with students, faculty, and staff to ensure a positive educational experience.
Dr. Sharp holds a doctorate of education in higher education administration from Texas Tech University, and a Master of Arts in mathematics from Texas Tech. He received a Bachelor of Science in physics and mathematics from Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska.
Before his presidency at South Plains College, Dr. Sharp was Dean of Arts and Sciences, then Vice President for Academic Affairs. Previously he was at West Texas A&M University as an instructor in mathematics, coach of the rodeo team, and assistant in the University Development Office. Before that, he served as dean of instruction at Clarendon College, and a math and rodeo physical education instructor. He has taught in public schools in Tryon, Nebraska, and Claude, Texas. He and his wife Lissa have two children, Lindsey, a student at Texas Tech, and John, a student at New Mexico Junior College.
Texas Tech College of Education recognized Dr. Sharp as a Distinguished Alumni. He was inducted into the Chadron State College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dr. Kenneth Patterson, originally hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, joined Luna Community College in September 2019 as the Vice President of Instruction & Student Services. In June 2020, Patterson assumed the Interim President position at Luna Community College as is currently serving in that position.
Patterson’s higher education career spans over 30 years serving as professional staff, being a faculty member, and serving in several administrative positions during that expanse of time. As early as 2003, having served in different colleges and universities, Patterson has seen his career expand in institutional assessment and accreditation under such accrediting bodies as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Higher Learning Commission.
Education accomplishments achieved by Patterson are a Bachelor of Arts degree awarded from Howard College of Arts and Sciences at Samford University, Birmingham, AL., and a Master of Arts degree from the College of Fine Arts from the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL. Patterson’s terminal degree comes to him by way of earning a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education and Adult Learning from the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University in Minneapolis, MN. To that end, Patterson’s continuing research and practice agendas include the development of transformative learning models in higher education through pragmatic and the use of unorthodox learning using the Andragogy Model for higher education students through the faculty.
His Transformative Learning model of research and practice expanded into his personal history of education having worked directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, and the Lumina Foundation.
Luna’s ever-increasing success is based on Patterson’s mantra which teaches Team Luna to, “Always think big and always ask, What if…”
Dr. Patterson and his husband, Mr. Kevin Thomas, a regionally recognized opera performer, make their home and have established themselves as committed members of the Las Vegas, NM community.
Ms. Natalie Gillard became the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mesalands Community College in July 2010. Prior to serving as the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Ms. Gillard served as the Associate Dean of Instructional and Administrative Services for four years. Before that, Ms. Gillard began her tenure at the College serving as the Business Administration Lead Faculty Member and the Division Chair of Arts and Sciences for twelve years.
In addition to Academic Affairs, Ms. Gillard has been actively involved in all aspects of the College, with a primary focus on the regional accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission from candidacy to reaffirmation. Ms. Gillard has been working in higher education since 1994. Ms. Gillard earned both her M.B.A. and B.B.A. from East Texas State University now known as Texas A&M University-Commerce.
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