AACC news: Parker to lead AACC board

By CC Daily Staff

Ava L. Parker, president of Florida’s Palm Beach State College (PBSC), will become chair of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) board of directors on July 1, succeeding Joe Schaffer, president of Laramie County Community College (Wyoming).

Sunita “Sunny” Cooke, superintendent/president of the MiraCosta College District in California, will serve as chair-elect of the board of directors.

Parker, the first female president of PBSC, leads with a strategic approach, emphasizing innovation, student success, and business and community collaboration. Growing with the county, the college now offers more than 130 programs of study, including bachelor’s and associate degrees, professional certificates and career training. Palm Beach State has earned national distinction as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College.

Under Parker’s stewardship, the college opened its fifth campus in Loxahatchee Groves in 2016 and has reached its highest enrollment in the institution’s history.

Before joining Palm Beach State in 2015, Parker was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Florida Polytechnic University, the state’s first public university focused on applied research in STEM fields. She also served for more than a decade on the Florida board of governors of the State University System and was a member of the University of Central Florida’s board of trustees.

Parker was a partner in the Jacksonville law firm of Lawrence & Parker, general counsel at Edward Waters College, general counsel for the 11th Episcopal District of the AME Church, assistant general counsel for the state Department of Transportation, and assistant public defender in Miami-Dade County. She currently serves on the board of directors of Orchid Island Capital, a publicly traded specialty finance company; the Advisory Board of the Community College Research Center; and a member of the Orange Bowl Committee.

New board members

New college representatives to the AACC board elected in February include:

The board’s new council representatives are Sunem Beaton-Garcia, president, Chippewa Valley Technical College (Wisconsin), representing the National Community College Hispanic Council, and Carlos Morales, president, Tarrant County College – Connect Campus (Texas), representing the Instructional Technology Council. The board of directors appointed John Enamait, president, Stanly Community College (North Carolina), as the new institutional at-large representative, and Rowena Tomaneng, president, San Jose City College (California), as the new public at-large representative.

This article originally appeared in CC Daily.