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First Doctorate of Community College Leadership Students to Graduate from Ferris

The inaugural class of students empowered to lead community colleges into the future will graduate Friday, May 10 with a Doctorate in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University.

Cohort One’s 23 graduates, who began their studies in the summer of 2010, will participate in commencement ceremonies at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center (Wink Arena) in the Ewigleben Sports Complex on Big Rapids campus.

“Members of this leadership group expressed their trust in Ferris State University when they enrolled in a brand new doctoral program. The university earned that trust by delivering a high-quality, responsive and relevant program that prepares the group for future leadership opportunities in a variety of contexts,” said associate provost and program director Roberta Teahen.

Many of the Cohort One graduates report that they have not only taken on broader responsibilities and leadership roles within their colleges, but they also find themselves interpreting situations in their colleges from a more global view and informed perspective.”

Ferris created the three-year doctoral program for students seeking key leadership roles at mission-driven, 21st century community colleges nationwide. The practice-informed-by-theory program addresses issues leaders will face in an evolving education environment.

“The curriculum is designed to provoke inquiry, increase the ability to problem-solve and to encourage action,” said student Kathryn Mullins. “The DCCL program prepared me to effectively advance the community college mission, and I am excited to transfer this passion and knowledge into my current – and future – leadership roles.”

Mullins, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from Baker College, is executive deputy to the president and board liaison at Grand Rapids Community College. Her “ultimate” goal is to serve as a community college president, she said.

“The decision to enroll in the DCCL program was simple,” she said. “I wanted an application-based program that included extensive exposure to experienced community college leaders, including presidents, and I also needed a program that could be completed in three years and allowed for immediate application of the concepts and skills learned.”

Many DCCL students have transitioned into new roles while completing the program due to their growth and professional development, said assistant director Andrea Wirgau.

“One student got a new job that was a step up the administrative ladder specifically because one of our classes, the Practica, provided experience and exposure to those leaders who noticed her abilities and talents,” Wirgau said. “Ferris has many reasons to be extremely proud of this first graduating class.”

This is a list of the Cohort One graduates:

  • Lillian Anderson, of Allendale, Associate Dean of the Lakeshore Campus, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Yolonda Barnes, of Big Rapids, Senior Advancement Officer for Annual Giving, Ferris State University
  • David Butke, of Midland, Automotive Technology instructor, Mott Community College
  • Susan DeCamillis, of Traverse City, Director of Academic Affairs and Business programs, Northwestern Michigan College
  • Naomi DeWinter, of Petoskey, Dean of Student Services, North Central Michigan College
  • Chris Engle, of Birch Run, Dean of Enrollment, Retention and Registrar, Mott Community College
  • Robert Ewigleben, of Grand Rapids, Director of International Development, Ferris State University
  • Kathryn Flewelling, of Petoskey, Director of Learning Support Services, North Central Michigan College
  • Fiona Hert, of Ada, Dean of Workforce Development, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Linda Holoman, of Midland, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Delta College
  • Tina Hoxie, of Grand Rapids, Dean of Student Affairs, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Janis Karazim, of Battle Creek, Dean of Career and Occupational Education, Kellogg Community College
  • Kimberly Klein, of Bay City, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Delta College
  • Patricia Konovalov, of Big Rapids, DCCL graduate assistant, Ferris State University
  • Tanya McFadden, of Grand Blanc, Director of Student Services, Oakland Community College
  • Kathryn Mullins, of Coopersville, Executive Deputy to the President/Board Liaison, Grand Rapids Community College
  • David Peruski, of Auburn, Health and Wellness Chairman, Delta College
  • Cindy Seel, of Granger, Ind., Director of Education and Training, HRS
  • Bradley Shaw, of Fort Gratiot, Professor of Criminal Justice, St. Clair County Community College
  • DeeDee Stakley, of Coloma, Transfer Services Center Director, Ferris State University
  • Joseph Vitanza, of Dowagiac, Professor of Computer Information, Southwestern Michigan College
  • Daniel Wanink, of Big Rapids, Associate Professor of CAD, Drafting and Tool Design, Ferris State University
  • Mari Yancho, of Goodrich, Adjunct Professor and Academic Adviser, Mott Community College

The DCCL students are among 1,850 Ferris students who are candidates for degrees this spring. Graduates will be honored during five commencement ceremonies May 10-11.

Applications are being accepted for Cohort 4, which will begin Friday, May 17. Cohort 2 has 13 members on track to graduate in 2014, and Cohort 3 has 25 scheduled to graduate in 2015. The program will accept about 26 students each year, Wirgau said.

For additional information on the DCCL program, visit here.