Higher-ed leaders who have been recently appointed or promoted
Lonnie L. Howard has been announced as the next president of Lamar Institute of Technology (Texas). Howard brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education to LIT, but he also brings a wealth of life experience. A first-generation college student and the beneficiary of a technical college education make him an outstanding fit for LIT. The son of a Southeast Texas sharecropper, Lonnie was born in a 4-room shack with no indoor plumbing. Placed in remedial classes and not viewed as college material, he had few options after high school except to join the U.S. Army. Following his honorable discharge but having no employment skills, his first job was as a janitor in an industrial shop. Life continued to be difficult. At times, he was almost homeless, had no reliable transportation, and only ate a half can of ‘sweet peas’ in the morning and the other half that evening. Despite these hardships, Lonnie never forgot his mother’s optimistic saying, “It doesn’t matter where you start…the important thing is where you finish.” Fortunately, he did work his way up from being a janitor to become a certified welder, crane operator, QC inspector, computer-aided drafter, and senior HR/staffing recruiter. Today, Howard is in his second college presidency and has achieved remarkable outcomes increasing enrollment, completion rates, governance, and helping to generate $15.7M in auxiliary revenue. He first served as the president of Clover Park Technical College (Wash.) He earned associate degree at age 36; less than 12 years later, he had a total of five college degrees: AAS, AGS, BS, MS, and PhD (University of Texas at Austin).
Ferita Perna Carter, has been appointed as vice president of student services at Riverside City College, (Calif.) As vice president, she’ll oversee many of the student resource divisions as well as athletics. Carter earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering and a certificate in health systems from Georgia Institute of Technology. She went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University at Montgomery and a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University. Prior to coming to RCC, Carter served as a political science faculty member and dean for the School of Business and Technology at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C.
Denise Whisenhunt has been appointed interim president of San Diego City College. Whisenhunt brings more than 15 years experience in a variety of leadership positions in the San Diego Community College District, most recently as City College’s vice president of student services. She will lead the district’s flagship college as a national search is conducted for a permanent president by July 2017.
Whisenhunt earned her bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego and her juris doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. Whisenhunt has served as acting president of City College since May when former President Anthony Beebe resigned to take a position as superintendent/ president of Santa Barbara City College. Kate Alder will serve as the vice president of instruction at San Diego Continuing Education (Calif.), pending approval by the San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees. As the current dean of career technical education at Cuyamaca College in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, Alder oversees 14 instructional programs in nine disciplines. SDCE is the largest provider of noncredit adult education in San Diego. In addition to her administrative experience, Alder has been a faculty member in both adult education and community colleges for 15 years. Her leadership includes using innovative approaches to growing relevant adult education programs; establishing enrollment management priorities based on careful data analysis; regional collaboration, and student-centered instruction. Her education includes a doctorate of philosophy and a master of science degree in educational leadership and policy analysis, with a focus on career technical and adult education, from the University of Wisconsin- Madison; a bachelor of vocational education from California State University-Long Beach; and an associate of arts from the City College of San Francisco.
Wendy Knight is Northeast Iowa Community College’s new vice president for institutional effectiveness. In this role, Knight also oversees the offices of institutional research, marketing, grants, organizational development and coordinates the College’s strategic planning process. Knight previously served as the executive director of Business and Community Solutions, the customized training, workforce development and continuing education division at the college. Knight earned an M.S. in health administration in 1999 and M.S. in business administration in 2001 from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. She received a B.A. in health arts in 1997 from University of St. Francis. She is a 1986 graduate of the NICC Respiratory Care program at the Peosta campus.