The College Graduation Virtual Summit:

Innovative Technologies and Strategies

October 29, 2009 | 10:30am – 4:30pm EDT

Summit Presenters

Ruth Ann Balla
Executive Director, Virtual College
Miami Dade College, Florida

Panel member: Innovative Strategies to Improve College Graduation

Bio: Ruth Ann Balla, the Executive Director of the Virtual College at Miami Dade College, has twenty-five years experience supporting technology in higher education. Previously as a CIO, she implemented student information systems and developed programs to provide technology and support for students and faculty. For five years, she provided technology consulting to higher education institutions across the country. At MDC, Balla works to improve student and faculty support for online courses. She established a helpdesk and implemented a new LMS. Under her leadership, the enrollment of the Virtual College has doubled in four years. Balla is active with Florida Distance Learning Consortium and the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

Abstract: Balla has a broad range of experience with learning technologies and serving diverse student populations, with particular emphasis on the role of the learning management system. She has studied changing student technology expectations and the rise of social software tools and social media along with traditional course management systems. In this context, she offers her insights about how innovative technology supports student success.

Bonnie Ann Dowd
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Palomar College, California

Panel member: Modernizing Community College Facilities

Bio: Bonnie Ann Dowd has been Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Finance and Administrative Services at Palomar College in north San Diego County, California since January, 2006. Prior to that time she served as a tenured faculty member at the college for nearly 16 years teaching in the Business Administration Department and serving in numerous faculty leadership positions including Academic Technology Coordinator. Dowd is responsible for providing leadership for all Financial, Facilities M&O and Construction, Technology and Business Services activities and rpgorams for the district including a large-scale master plan program undersway that is in excess of $1.0 billion and primariy funded by a voter-approved general obligation bond..

Abstract: Bonnie Ann Dowd oversees all new construction on campus and has expertise with funding strategies for modernizing the college campus. She'll present some of Palomar’s construction projects completed, underway, or in the planning phase, including a new Natural Sciences Building, a Multidisciplinary Instructional building, and an Industrial Technologies Center.

Geoffrey Fletcher
Editorial Director, Campus Technology
1105 Media, California
Event Moderator

Bio: Geoffrey H. Fletcher is Editorial Director for the Education Group of 1105 Media. He has responsibility for all content related to Campus Technology, T.H.E. Journal, their web sites and e-newsletters. Fletcher was Assistant Professor at Miami University and has been adjunct faculty at the University of Houston Clear-Lake. He also served as Assistant Commissioner at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with responsibility for Information Systems.

Ed Kelty
Vice President for Information Services
Rio Salado Community College, Arizona

Panel member: Innovative Strategies to Improve College Graduation

Bio: Edward Kelty is the Vice President of Information Services at Rio Salado College. Information Services is a centralized IT area responsible for almost every aspect of technology support for the college including; student and employee helpdesk, desktop support, networking, security, programming, training, project management, telephony, video production, college wide business process improvement and strategic planning. Rio has more than 60,000 students with over 32,000 online in almost every state in the U.S. and 40-plus countries worldwide.

Abstract: Rio Salado has a history of innovation serving a large, diverse student population. A few of Rio’s forward-looking strategies have been 50 starts per year—students can pick the week they will begin a course online, 24/7 online technical and academic help desks, a sophisticated system of alerts, and online advising. Ed Kelty will share how Rio concentrates its efforts on student success and what he’s learned about forming strategies that use technology to serve students well. He will also explore his institution’s use of predictive analytics aimed at student success.

Jim Potantus
Vice President of Business Development
Cuyahoga Community College, Ohio

Panel member: Engaging in Successful Business Partnerships

In May 2003, Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio’s oldest community college) launched Corporate College to drive the economy of Northeast Ohio by helping companies, organizations and individuals invest in the people of Northeast Ohio. Corporate College Vice President Jim Potantus now (since 2008) leads a team of business development professionals focused on developing and delivering customized contract training solutions. In addition to his passion for meeting the needs of his clients, Potantus is recognized for his devotion to community service. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for South Suburban Montessori School, the governing board of the Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland and has co-chaired various committees with the United Way of Northeast Ohio. He was recognized as the Akron, Ohio Urban League Volunteer of the Year in 2004. He is currently co-chairing the annual Combined Campaign for the Cuyahoga Community College.

Abstract: Corporate College and Workforce Solutions is the division of Cuyahoga C.C. that offers custom-designed training programs for corporations as well as training for individuals. Potantus has focused his career on strategic business alliances and assisted some institutions that are developing highly specialized divisions to work with industry partners. Potantus will share his insights about the Corporate College model.

Malik Rahman
Assistant Vice President for Technology and CIO
Central Piedmont Community College, North Carolina

Panel member: Modernizing Community College Facilities

Bio: Malik Rahman is the Chief Information Officer at Central Piedmont Community College, where he has managed the cross-discipline technology aspects of new construction projects covering over 1.5 million square feet at six campuses during the past 12 years. He has extensive experience in change management leadership, envisioning, planning, implementing, and delivering customer focused services at higher education institutions. Rahman currently serves on Google Apps Higher Education Customer Advisory Board, Charlotte CIO Forum Executive Advisory Council, has previously served on Microsoft/Compaq national advisory committee for community colleges, Datatel Web Client Advisory Team and state-wide technology committees in various states.

Abstract: Working in an area that oversees technology design and implementation for all facility development and new construction, Malik Rahman is in perhaps the best position on campus to understand first-hand how technology fits into to new facilities development, and how it supports the overarching goals of the institution. He has a clear, deep knowledge of the impact of IT on instruction and understands how a changing society means changing instructional models.

Steven G. Sachs
Vice President Instructional & Information Technology
Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia

Panel member: Modernizing Community College Facilities

Bio: Steven Sachs, Vice President for Instructional and Information Technology at Northern Virginia Community College, has been CIO for 13 years, responsible for technology, distance learning, and cable television. Before NVCC, he was at Michigan State University, the National Fire Academy, and Florida Gulf Coast University prior to its opening. He has a Ph.D. in Instructional Development and Technology. Sachs has authored numerous articles and presentations on technology, instructional development and distance learning.

Abstract: Sachs has been leading much of the effort in the area of new technology-enhanced facilities for NVCC, including the establishment of a medical campus. He brings not only the IT perspective to a discussion of modernizing facilities, but also offers insights about implications for instruction and meeting the needs of a changing academic community. Sachs has a truly practical view of technology-rich spaces.

Clyde M. Sakamoto
Maui Community College, Hawaii

Panel member: Engaging in Successful Business Partnerships

Bio: Clyde Sakamoto is Chancellor of UH Maui CC, where he previously held an appointment of Dean of Students in 1973 and Dean of Instruction in 1980. He has also served as Director of the Office of International Services for the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington DC, and as a legislative aide in Senator Inouye’s office. He has been awarded more than 260 grants over the past 10 years to advance institutional infrastructure, services, and programs and he created business partnerships to construct student housing, culinary services complementing the instructional program, and internships to strengthen college connections to employers. Sakamoto also led the first baccalaureate degree development at a UH Community College.

Abstract: Sakamoto has served on advisory committees at the federal level and has been very active during his career in workforce development initiatives. A savvy, seasoned leader at the chancellor level, Sakamoto will reflect on his experience with his local region’s workforce development.

William Serrata
Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
South Texas College, Texas

Panel member: Innovative Strategies to Improve College Graduation

Bio: William Serrata is the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management for South Texas College. He is responsible for leading all areas within the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, among them, Admissions and Records, Counseling and Advising, Student Retention Services, and Student Financial Services.

Abstract: STC’s Comprehensive Mission Statement includes the statement, “South Texas College leads the transformation of the region to a ‘college-going’ culture whereby attending and completing higher education is expected for all.” Leading Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Serrata incorporates technology as an important tool to support this strategic direction for STC.

Linda West
Director of Workforce Development
Henry Ford Community College, Michigan

Panel member: Engaging in Successful Business Partnerships

Bio: Linda West is Director of Workforce Development at Henry Ford Community College, responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships and collaborations with state and local workforce agencies and developing and implementing collaborative workforce initiatives and training with business and industry, labor, community, governmental, and educational agencies. These workforce development initiatives range from technical training to health care programs as well as academic skill building and organizational development. West is also director of the Michigan Technical Education Center of HFCC, responsible for marketing, financial development, advisory board recruitment and development, and supervision and development of M-TEC and workforce development staff. West is active in the Metro Detroit area and has served on the Board of Directors of Southwest Counseling Solutions for the past six years and is currently Chair of the Board.

Abstract: Henry Ford Community College is located in the Detroit area, right at Ground Zero of the current economic turndown and working to help the area’s struggling and displaced workforce. As director of workforce development, Linda West is deeply tied to the local region’s workforce initiatives. Using a case study, she will comment about building partnerships with corporations to benefit both the graduates and the region.