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2017 March 13 - 02:27 pm

Professional Notes

Higher-Ed Leaders Who Have Been Recently Appointed or Promoted

Orange Coast College (Calif.) welcomed back Derek Vergara in early February as its dean of students. He had previously been at Coast from 2013 until 2016, first as the acting dean of student services and later as dean of Title IX and student relations. Last year, he left OCC to become dean of student support services at Fullerton College. Before his first stint at OCC, Vergara was the associate vice president of student affairs and Title IX coordinator at Concordia University in Irvine. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University, and a doctorate in education from University of La Verne, with an emphasis in organizational leadership.

The (Ore) Board of Education approved Margaret Hamilton has been named the seventh president of Lane Community College (Ore.). Hamilton currently is vice president for academic affairs, institutional effectiveness and planning at Camden County College (N.J.) She has 28 years of experience in the community college system. Her background in nursing is an added plus for Lane’s thriving healthcare programs. Hamilton has a doctorate from Widener University, West Chester, Pa.; a master of science from the University of Delaware; and a bachelor of science from State University of New York at Plattsburgh, 1978.


Susan Rigo has been appointed executive director of the Montgomery County Community College Foundation. Rigo is be responsible for managing the daily operations of the foundation, managing project and comprehensive campaigns, and raising funds through her own major and planned gift portfolios. The former president of the Arnot Health Foundations in Elmira, N.Y., Rigo has 22 years of senior leadership experience in development. She has been involved in successful campaign management and setting up back office supports necessary to gift accounting, financial and donor reporting, marketing, and donor stewardship. She earned her master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University.


Bernard A. Polnariev is the new dean of curriculum, accreditation, and american honors at Union County College (N.J.). He brings more than 18 years of experience in higher education to Union, having previously served as an academic administrator, researcher, and an adjunct instructor. As dean, will be responsible for coordinating articulation agreements with other institutions and coordinating educational initiatives and events. Polnariev also served as an adjunct instructor at Wagner College, the College of Staten Island, and Hunter College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York- College of Staten Island; a master’s degree from Teachers College of Columbia University; and a PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center.


Columbia State Community College (Tenn.) announced John Cage as the college’s new financial aid director. Cage will be responsible for promoting a high-quality customer service environment, ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations and providing overall leadership and innovation in implementing financial aid policies, procedures and programs. Cage earned his bachelor’s in English literature from Tusculum College and his master’s in business administration from King University. Cage previously worked in financial aid at Tusculum College, Hiwassee College and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

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