Academy Class of 2017

Crystal Bagby

Crystal Bagby Crystal currently serves as the Director of Financial Aid at Bellingham Technical College. She received her Master of Education in Student Personnel Administration from Western Washington University in 2003. She has served as chair of the Achieving the Dream initiative at Northwest Indian College, where she was the Associate Dean of Student Services. She is also a certified Title IX investigator and ELA instructor. Her focus on educating and funding students drives her work. Crystal lives in Blaine with her husband, son, and Australian shepherds.

Bill Belden

Bill Belden Bill Belden joined Clark College as Vice President of Student Affairs in 2010. He has more than 20 years of community college experience, having previously worked at Green River College and Northern Marianas College in Saipan. Bill received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Eastern Washington University and a master's degree in student personnel administration from Western Washington University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree from Oregon State University in Community College Leadership. In his role at Clark College he strives to help build and support strong institutional and community partnerships that support student success and goal attainment. Involvement in community and professional organizations has always been important to him and he currently serves on the board of directors and officer for the Vancouver Farmers Market. Bill lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife and two youngest daughters.

Thomas (Tom) Broxson

Thomas (Tom) Broxson Tom Broxson is the district dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Pierce College. One of the other hats he wears at Pierce is chairing the college's efforts with Achieving the Dream to improve student outcomes. Prior to moving to administration six years ago, he spent 17 years as a faculty member with stints at Oregon State University, Willamette University, Linn-Benton Community College, and Pierce College in geography and environmental science. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Oregon State Community College Leadership Program and is on schedule to defend his dissertation in September 2017. He is a passionate believer in the community college mission and its power to transform lives and communities.

Michelle Campbell

Michelle Campbell Michelle Campbell is the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Renton Technical College (RTC) where she oversees the following departments and functions: communications and marketing, institutional research, grant development, accreditation, strategic planning, and strategic initiatives. Michelle has 12 years of experience in education and the non-profit sector. She is an active member of the Renton and Kent communities, serving as a member of the Renton Rotary and the Communities in Schools of Kent Board of Directors. Michelle has served on the CTCLDA Executive Board since summer 2015. She is currently a doctoral student in Northeastern University's Ed.D. program. Michelle has a master's degree from the University of Waikato and a bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University.

Cathy Copeland

Cathy Copeland Catherine (Cathy) Copeland serves as the Director of Research and Grants at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Cathy leads all institutional research activities, grant development work (including serving as the lead grant writer on campus) in addition to supporting the college's planning and accreditation efforts. She previously worked at the University of Washington, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. She earned a Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Washington in addition to a BS in Biology and BA in French and Francophone studies at Santa Clara University. She is a Seattle native and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Saovra (Sy) Ear

Saovra (Sy)Ear Sy Ear is a strong believer in the mission of community colleges to increase and promote equitable student success. He experienced education through the lens of a first generation, low-income student. The experience of his family as refugees instilled in Sy the value of education as a way to move into the middle class. As a student, he struggled to navigate the complexities of community colleges and universities. His experience as a student and professional shaped who he is today as an educational leader. Sy is deeply committed to social justice. Throughout his professional career, he has intentionally worked to increase access and success for students from traditionally underrepresented communities to promote college readiness, course completion, persistence, and graduation.

Michelle Hillesland

Michelle Hillesland Michelle Hillesland serves as the Dean for Health, Client, Business and Human Services at Clover Park Technical College (CPTC), having been with the college since 2002. She has taught as both an adjunct and tenured faculty member, becoming an instructional administrator in 2011. Michelle has a Master's of Science in Curriculum and Instructional Design from Western Governors University and a Bachelor's of Biology from the University of Puget Sound. She is passionate about education, having both experienced and witnessed the power of self-efficacy that students embrace as they become successful in their studies. Michelle lives in Tacoma where she enjoys the rich variety of outdoor activities that are available in the Pacific Northwest.

Julie Huss

Julie Huss Julie Huss is the Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Centralia College. Julie has served in this role for five years. Julie has a BA in Communications with a focus in Media and law and a minor in political Science and a J.D. in law. Julie is licensed to practice in both California and Washington. Prior to coming to Centralia College, Julie worked in a civil litigation firm in Southern California.

Carli Schiffner

Carli Schiffner A Washington native, Carli Schiffner grew up in the suburbs of Seattle but spent the majority of her adult life living in Eastern Washington. Carli currently serves as the Vice President for Instruction at Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) where she has been since 2013. Prior to coming to WVC, she served in numerous progressive administrator roles, as well as being a faculty member. She earned her bachelor's degree in history and political science from Gonzaga University; her master's degree in history from Drew University in New Jersey; and her doctorate in American History, with a concentration on women's history, from Washington State University. Her research interests are in women's social groups during the Progressive Era in the Pacific Northwest. She resides in Wenatchee with her husband (a native from North Central Washington) and her two young daughters.

Holly Smith

Holly Smith Holly Smith believes in, and fights for, the social justice mission of community colleges. She is a first generation college graduate who has experienced the power that education has to change the lives of families and communities. Holly began her career as English faculty at Lake City Community College where she began her PhD in higher education after receiving tenure. Once completing her coursework at the University of Florida, she relocated to Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs to be an instructional chair. It is there that she began a new adventure in motherhood, welcoming her daughter Harper to the world. Soon after, she accepted the position of Dean of Arts and Humanities at Pierce. Her family has since expanded to include three nieces.

Nick Velluzzi

Nick Velluzzi Nick Velluzzi is the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Walla Walla Community College. Nick is co-chair of the Achieving the Dream committee and provides leadership to college-wide student success initiatives. Nick began his career as faculty at the College of Charleston, where he taught courses in economic geography and regional economic development, and served as the founding director of the Master in Public Administration's certificate in Urban Planning. In addition to academics, Nick has 10 years of experience as a union representative. Nick earned his B.A. in International Studies at the University of Oregon, a MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a PhD in Geography from the University of Washington. He lives in Walla Walla, WA with his wife and two children.

Kim Ward

Kim Ward Kim Ward serves as the Dean for Communication and Transitional Studies at Tacoma Community College and has administrative responsibility for the following: Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Developmental English, English for Academic Purposes, Communication Studies, and English Composition. She holds a Master's of Education in TESOL from Seattle University and has 20 year of experience as a faculty member and administrator in programs serving adult learners. She began her educational career in 1998 as an adjunct ESL faculty member at Clover Park Technical College. She then transitioned to a tenure track position and shortly thereafter began her administrative journey. Kim's connection to TCC and the Tacoma Community stem from the fact that she was born and raised in the very neighborhoods served by her college. She is a student-centered leader who places access, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of her personal and professional work.