The Central New Mexico Community College Governing Board unanimously selected Tracy Hartzler to become the sixth president of CNM in November 2019; she began her presidency on Jan. 1, 2020.
Before becoming CNM President, Ms. Hartzler was CNM’s Vice President for Finance and Operations and has been at CNM since 2015. She has served the public sector for more than 25 years in education, government, and policy roles. Since 2011, Ms. Hartzler has played a significant role in shaping postsecondary education in New Mexico, first with the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, and later with CNM.
Before becoming CNM President, she served as treasurer for both CNM Ingenuity, Inc., and CNM Foundation. She has held various positions at the College, overseeing budgeting and finance, strategic planning, accreditation and research, human resources, facilities, information technology, and other operational functions. She also served on the state’s Complete College America team, advocating for policies that improve student retention and completion. In 2019, President Hartzler served as the Governor’s appointee to the New Mexico State Investment Council.
Previously, Ms. Hartzler served as Special Assistant Attorney General for the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and as Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.
President Hartzler earned a Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America, a Master of Education Degree from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.
Dr. Bárbara M. Medina comes to the Office of the President at Northern New Mexico College with a background in teaching and administration.
She is a graduate of Coronado High School (Gallina, NM), taught at St. Catherine’s Indian School (Santa Fe, NM), and completed her master’s degree at St. John’s College-Santa Fe. She has been actively involved in language and literacy for diverse populations, cultural and linguistic diversity, and school reform at district, state, and national levels.
She began her career serving students in a rural migrant summer program, then as a social studies classroom teacher and Coordinator of Secondary Second Language Programs. After completing her doctorate in Educational Policy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she became a professor and Department Chair of Teacher Education at Adams State College, Alamosa, CO. Recruited to serve as Director of Language, Culture, and Equity at the Colorado Department of Education, she then became Assistant Commissioner.
Her accomplishments include the renegotiation of the modified consent decree with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights for the Denver Public Schools, consulting with the Interstate Migrant Education Council, development and implementation of federal grants, and membership in a National Academy of Science research group. She was an associate with the Migration Policy Institute-Washington DC.
Dr. Medina’s board service includes the Christine Duncan Heritage Academy Board, the Colorado Association of School Executives and Education Specialists, the Colorado Association of Bilingual Education as well as the City of Denver’s Denver Human Rights Council and Latino Commission.
Dr. Charles Nwankwo became the fifth President of Clovis Community College in February 2020, prior to the onset of the covid-19 Pandemic. President Nwankwo’s leadership has focused on not only leading the institution through the pandemic but on solidifying a “Caring College” culture, focused on student access and success.
President Nwankwo is passionate about community college education, with its access-driven mission, commitment to student success, and commitment to equity for all students. He has a proven record of success as a transformational and visionary leader committed to developing comprehensive supports that foster college completion. Throughout his career, Dr. Nwankwo has partnered with businesses, community organizations, and other educational institutions to advance relevant programs that promote workforce and economic development. He believes in building a strong cooperative, team-centered environment. Dr. Nwankwo’s leadership style is rooted in the core values of authenticity, integrity, respect, trust, and personal growth.
In addition to his time at CCC, Dr. Nwankwo has broad experience in community college districts in Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas. He has served on the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Academics and Student Success and participated in AACC Workforce Development Institute, White House Summit on Educational Excellence for Minority Students, and chambers of commerce.
He holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration, with emphasis in Community College Leadership, from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science degree in Environmental Toxicology, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology from University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass joined San Juan College as President in 2012. Dr. Pendergrass began working in community college administration in 1995. She understands and embraces the community college philosophy and is committed to continuing to advance student success, community partnerships and economic development.
Previously, Dr. Pendergrass served as Vice President for Learning at San Jacinto College, South Campus in Houston, and as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success at El Centro College in Dallas.
Dr. Pendergrass serves on the board of the American Association of Community Colleges, New Mexico Independent Community Colleges, Higher Education Research and Development Institute, Center for Legislative Energy and Environmental Research University Advisory Board, San Juan College Foundation, Four Corners Innovations, Four Corners Economic Development, Four Corners Economic Development Foundation, Four Corners Educational Council for Student Success, San Juan Safe Communities, Leadership San Juan, and the Farmington Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Pendergrass received the 2014 Excellence for Student Achievement Award presented by the New Mexico School Boards Association in cooperation with the Farmington Board of Education. She led the effort of San Juan College being selected to participate in the American Association of Community College’s Pathways 2.0 program.
She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration with a specialization in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics and Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Business, both from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Gregg Busch serves as the fifth President of Mesalands Community College, Tucumcari, New Mexico. He was named President for Latino Student Success with Excelencia in Education. He is ranked among the top 4% of college and university presidents nationwide and has nearly 40 years’ experience as a chief executive officer in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors as well as more than 20 years, in higher education leadership and administration. He is a proud community college advocate and is a scholar, researcher, author, and educational theorist having his research cited more than 5,000 times worldwide. He is a seasoned culturally inclusive community college leader, and a recognized local, state, national, and international authority on student success, access, and community college leadership.
Before entering administration, he was an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Psychology, and Philosophy at West Virginia University at Parkersburg where he also served as founding Director of the Honors College, led study abroad, and taught in 14 countries. He was thrice recognized as Professor of the Year, twice recipient of SBR Distinguished Professorship, ranked among the top 2,000 professors worldwide by Cambridge University and a 2008 recipient of the national award for Teaching and Leadership Excellence from NISOD. In 2020, 2021, and 2022 he was recognized among the Global Top 100 Leaders of Education. He is a founding member of the Ohio Diversity Officers Collaboration, served on the Ohio Statewide Transfer Council and was an elected member of the first West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board of Governors. He has served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Washington State Community College (Marietta, Ohio), Dean of Liberal Arts and the Honors College at North Central State College (Mansfield, Ohio) and Vice President for Instruction, Guided Pathways, and Dual Enrollment and a Chief Academic Officer of Pima Community College (Tucson, Arizona). In addition to his presidency at Mesalands Community College, he currently serves on the doctoral faculty for St. Leo University (St. Leo, Florida), is a member of the Peer Review Corps with The Higher Learning Commission, and serves on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation national advisory committee for improving student success at Minority Serving Institutions as the only presidential representative for Hispanic Serving Institutions.
He is a national leader of educational reform having led statewide initiatives to improve student success, access, reduce student debt, and close the equity gap for minority students including Hispanic and Native American students of the southwest. He has long been affiliated with Complete College America where he serves as a National Student Success Content Expert and was the founding State Team Lead of Complete College Arizona for postsecondary education reform resulting in improved success and access for more than 400,000 Arizona students. He is very engaged with statehouses across the country and has spoken several times before Congressional subcommittees as an advocate for various aspects of community college education and working directly with lawmakers in shaping the Congressional and state agenda for community college education. He is currently collaborating with The White House on improving rural community college success.
He is a first-generation, low-income, rural student who credits the local community college for changing his life. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University, School of Medicine, and a Doctor of Education from West Virginia University, College of Human Services and Education. He has additional post-graduate studies from Marshall University, University of Louisville, and West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.
As a person living with Parkinsons Disease, he is dedicated to research and finding a cure in collaboration with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research, Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinsons, and the Parkinsons Disease Foundation.
Santa Fe Community College President Becky Rowley, Ph.D., is a leader in higher education and a champion for students. Rowley is chair of CHESS (Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services). She has served as chair of New Mexico Independent Community Colleges since 2015.
At SFCC, Dr. Rowley cultivates a collaborative environment with students, faculty, and staff to develop innovative programs and provide equitable learning environments for all students. She supports administrative efficiency and transparency; strong relationships with business, education, and government; and being responsive to the needs of the community. An advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion, she oversees the President’s Diversity Advisory Committee. She advances the College as a community hub for higher education and economic development.
Dr. Rowley is an ex officio member of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Board and chairs the Higher Education Advisory Committee. She has served on the New Mexico State Workforce Development Board, Eastern Area Workforce Development Board, New Mexico Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee, and New Mexico Higher Education Governance Committee.
Previously, Dr. Rowley was president of Clovis Community College (NM), where she also served as Executive Vice President of Academics and Student Services and was a full-time English faculty member.
She holds a Ph.D. in English from University of New Mexico, a master’s degree in English from University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in English and Latin with a minor in Political Science from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.