Shawnee Community College has officially released the names and biographical information of the eight candidates to be interviewed for the vacant college president position. The Presidential Search Committee, with approval of Shawnee Community College’s Board of Trustees, has selected Dr. Denise Crews, Dr. Heather Bigard, Dr. Kathleen Curphy, Dr. Timothy Taylor, Dr. Scott Stallman, Dr. Carry DeAtley, Dr. Richard Pagan, and Dr. Paige Niehaus as the candidates to be interviewed for the position. Interviews are currently being scheduled to run through August, and dates for all presidential search candidates will be released as they are scheduled.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the committee is developing public forum options that will best allow for input from students, employees, and community members while ensuring state and federal safety standards are being met.
Denise Crews is a first-generation college graduate and has dedicated more than 20 years of her professional life to the mission of community colleges. She began her education career by teaching as a special educator in Metropolis, Illinois. As she transitioned into administration, Crews was director and associate dean at John A. Logan College, and is currently the vice president for academic services at Richland Community College. She is a graduate of Vienna High School, has a bachelor of science and a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and her doctorate is in Community College Leadership from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Heather Bigard is a transformational leader with an expansive career in higher education focused on strategic planning, enrollment management, program and resource development, and institutional improvement at public and private institutions.
Dr. Bigard is currently the Executive Vice President at Lake-Sumter State College, a public community college serving over 5,000 students in Central Florida. As the Executive Vice President, she provides strategic leadership to the areas of finance, facilities, information technology, institutional research and improvement, eLearning, human resources, athletics, financial aid, and security. She is also responsible for providing institution-wide leadership for strategic planning, employee development, and the recent response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Kathleen Curphy has a wealth of experience and achievements in the leadership of two-year colleges and in business and industry, including one year as Interim President at Shawnee Community College. She has over twenty-five years of experience as a two-year college administrator, fifteen at the senior level, where she provided executive-level leadership for rural and urban multi-campus institutions. Dr. Curphy has served as Provost, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and Vice President for Customized Training and Workforce Development, and as Interim President at SCC. In addition, she has owned her own business and served in corporate America as Vice President of Accelerated Learning. Her experiences’ have provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of higher education leadership and the business world. Dr. Curphy has gained expertise across a broad array of functional areas: academic and student services, strategic and academic planning, financial management, fundraising, and shared governance.
Dr. Tim Taylor brings tremendous depth and leadership focused on student success. He began his career in a faculty role and quickly moved to leadership positions in business, technology, skilled trades and agriculture.
Most recently, he served Oakland Community College (OCC) as Campus President with progressive responsibilities as chief operating officer for the College’s two largest campuses: Auburn Hills and Orchard Ridge (Farmington Hills) with responsibilities for campus administration and operations. In May 2017, he intensified his efforts to focus on student success and community need in a newly created academic officer position as Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at OCC where he provided leadership and support to one of the largest technical and career programs in the Midwest. While his focus was on manufacturing, engineering, health care, industrial technology, and emergency services, he had a leading role in the College’s strategic plan and led the Board of Trustees through a process to redesign Board Policy.
Scott Stallman currently serves as Vice President of Instruction at Lone Star College-Tomball, located in Houston’s northwest suburbs. Scott completed his M.Ed. at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at Illinois State University in 2015. Scott and his wife Jennifer, a Southern Illinois native, reside in Houston with their two dogs.
He manages the library and academic division with 4 Deans, 107 full-time faculty, over 300 adjuncts, 35 staff members, and a 19 million-dollar annual budget. Scott leads several innovative initiatives that continue to improve student success and increase enrollment at the college: a co-requisite model for developmental education, the first Early College High School in Tomball, TX, a High School Nursing Academy, an Associate Degree designed for students on the Autism spectrum, an equity in faculty hiring initiative, and an aggressive health sciences expansion plan.
Dr. Carry DeAtley most recently served as Provost, interim President, and Vice President of Instruction and Economic Development at Coastal Bend College (CBC) in Beeville, Texas. During her time at CBC, Dr. DeAtley advanced the Texas Pathways initiative by increasing student support programs, math pathways, program mapping, initiating inclusive access and working with faculty on open educational resources. Dr. DeAtley also signed several transfer agreements with regional universities to increase transfer opportunities and agreements with Independent School Districts to assist with increasing dual enrollment. Dr. DeAtley worked with Beeville Independent School District to assist them in obtaining a welding program grant. She collaborated with Delmar College to offer commercial driver license (CDL) training at CBC. Dr. DeAtley also assisted in the writing and submission of a special report in conjunction with a Fifth-Year Interim Report to SACSCOC. While interim president, Dr. DeAtley hosted a special onsite visit by SACSCOC. Dr. DeAtley established a partnership agreement with Education Service Center in the region to offer adult education and high school equivalency program at CBC campuses.
As a first-generation Hispanic college graduate, Dr. Pagan believes that people can transform their lives through education because education has transformed his life. Dr. Pagan’s extensive background includes business, community service and engagement, serving as deacon, and teaching in the K-12 public education sector. With an entrepreneurial spirit, he and his wife, Patricia, owned and operated a dinner theatre/events company and have restored historic properties while living in Fairmont, West Virginia. He is dedicated to the mission of the community college of providing opportunity and hope for students seeking a better life for themselves and their families. He and his wife have five adult children, eight grandchildren, and three dogs. Dr. Pagan speaks fluent Spanish, enjoys spending time with his family, loves to dance salsa, enjoys running, is an avid reader, loves all things aviation, and is a coffee connoisseur.
Dr. Paige Niehaus is a passionate leader with 29 years of community college experience. At the start of July, she was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Student Success, from her previous position as Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of the Design Center, at Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) in Detroit, MI. Prior to WCCCD, she was the Director for Workforce Development at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, IL.
For more information about the SCC Presidential Search or open forums, contact Emily Forthman, SCC.