Dr. Kimberly Beatty, chancellor
Dr. Kimberly Beatty started her tenure as Metropolitan Community College’s eighth chancellor on July 1, 2017. She came to MCC from Houston Community College, the nation’s fourth-largest community college system, where she served as vice chancellor for instructional services and chief academic officer. Dr. Beatty led that institution through a major transformation of instructional services and provided visionary leadership through its strategic planning process.
A three-time graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Dr. Beatty received a B.A. in English, an M.A. in English, and an Ed.D. in higher education, with a specialization in community college leadership. She brings to MCC 28 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education, including 21 years of progressive leadership experience at community colleges in California, Virginia and Texas. She has also served as a tenured associate professor in English. Dr. Beatty has served on a number of boards at the state and national levels. She has a strong commitment to the community, student success and diversity.
Dr. Beatty has a passion for strengthening the pipeline of college-ready students entering community colleges as demonstrated through her development and implementation of the Black Studies Program at Cypress College in California; expansion of dual enrollment and First College programs at Tidewater Community College in Virginia, as well as the initiation of an Upward Bound program; and leadership of student success initiatives targeting underprepared students at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was associate vice chancellor for student success.
Dr. Beatty has been the recipient of the 30 Most Influential Women of Houston Award by the D-Mars Group, Houston; the Trailblazer Award by the Mason Lodge, Houston; Damiani Award for Commitment to Global Education, Tidewater Community College; and the Regina Standback-Stroud Award for Commitment to Diversity in Higher Education, California State Academic Senate.
Dr. Beatty is married to Kelvin Beatty. They are proud parents of three sons, Kelvin Jr., Michael and Ian. They also have five grandsons.
Michael Banks, vice chancellor, college and community relations
Michael Banks never imagined that the lessons he learned as a theater designer and director over the last 25 years would help shape his role as a leader of Metropolitan Community College’s Blue River campus.
Banks joined MCC in March 2012, and immediately saw his new role as an opportunity to help grow the campus and the communities it serves. It was a chance, he said, to pull together differing viewpoints and organizations, as he has done throughout his career, to rally them around the success of every student who attends MCC.
He was named MCC's vice chancellor for college and community relations in October 2017.
Before joining MCC, Banks served as vice president for academic and student affairs and vice president for academic affairs at St. Charles Community College (Missouri). During his tenure, he integrated the academic affairs and student services areas into a unified academic and student affairs area. He also chaired the campus security task force and led the campus security leadership team.
Banks served as dean/division chair of the arts and humanities division at St. Charles Community College (SCC) from 1994-2003.
Previous to his time at SCC, he served as an assistant professor of speech and theatre and director of performing arts at Urbana University (Ohio), and as theatre department chair and assistant professor of theatre and design/ technical direction at Xavier University (Ohio). He has taught full-time and part-time in speech and theatre at Xavier University, Urbana University, Lindenwood University (Missouri), and SCC.
Banks has a Ph.D. in American studies from St. Louis University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in design and technical theatre from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a bachelor’s degree in theatre from St. Louis University.
John M. Chawana, vice chancellor, institutional effectiveness, research and technology
John M. Chawana, Ph.D., became Metropolitan Community College’s vice chancellor of institutional effectiveness, research and technology in October 2017. Chawana joined MCC from Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was executive director of institutional effectiveness and compliance.
At MCC, Chawana oversees the areas of institutional research, effectiveness and planning, as well as technology. As a member of the College’s Executive Cabinet, he reports to Chancellor Kimberly Beatty.
At Tarrant County College, Chawana provided leadership in designing and developing institution-wide strategic imperatives for organizational effectiveness and planning, as well as ensuring overall institutional compliance with federal and accreditation requirements. Under his leadership, the college revamped and streamlined multiple organizational functions to achieve operational efficiency.
Prior to joining TCC, Chawana worked as a lead economic planner and analyst at North Central Texas Council of Governments, the metropolitan planning organization of Dallas/Fort Worth. His teaching and research experience spans Brookhaven College and Cedar Valley College, both in Texas, as well as University of North Texas, University of Texas at Arlington and University of Phoenix.
He holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning and a doctoral degree in urban planning, both from University of Texas at Arlington. He also has a master’s degree in sociology and public administration from University of North Texas.
Carlos G. Peñaloza, vice chancellor, instruction, and chief academic officer
Carlos G. Peñaloza, Ph.D., became MCC’s vice chancellor of instruction on Aug. 1, 2016. He came here from Schenectady County Community College, part of the State University of New York system, where he served as assistant vice president of academic affairs and acting dean of mathematics, science, technology and health.
Peñaloza, a former biology instructor, earned his doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the City University of New York. He came to New York at the age of 17 after being born and raised in Venezuela.
Peñaloza, whose first degree was from a community college, calls himself a "true believer" in the community college experience.
Peñaloza joined Schenectady County Community College in June 2014. His responsibilities there included oversight of academic assessment, academic offerings, program revisions, new program submissions and accreditation-related matters.
He previously served as dean of health sciences and chair of health-care administration for Briarcliffe College on Long Island, N.Y., overseeing three campuses and an online division. He also held various academic and administrative positions for the City University of New York, in instruction and administration.
Peñaloza’s teaching experience spans Queens College, LaGuardia Community College and York College, all in New York City, in the areas of general biology and developmental biology.
In addition to his Ph.D., he holds an associate degree in liberal arts sciences with concentrations in chemistry, biology and math from Queensborough Community College; a B.A. in biology with minors in chemistry and biochemistry from Queens College; and an M.Phil. (master of philosophy) in biology from the City University of New York.
Kathrine Swanson, vice chancellor, student success and engagement
Kathrine Swanson, Ed.D., became MCC's vice chancellor for student success and engagement
in August 2015.
Swanson came to MCC from Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Penn., where she served for 10 years as a member of the senior leadership team, last as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. In that role, she was responsible for areas including institutional research, admissions, registration, financial aid, child care, student leadership and involvement, advising, counseling, career services, dual-enrollment initiatives, testing and placement, transfer services, veterans services and many grant-funded specialty programs.
Swanson holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Northern Michigan University, a master’s in adult and higher education from Montana State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of North Texas.
Prior to her position at Montgomery County, Swanson was associate dean of students
at Collin County Community College in McKinney, Texas. She also held the positions
of executive director for community relations, acting provost and director of recruitment
and retention during her time at Collin County Community College.
At MCC, she is responsible for student access and success initiatives through leading strategic enrollment management planning and student financial services and collaborating with campus leaders to ensure student development areas such as counseling, disability services and campus life are providing opportunities for student engagement and success both in and out of the classroom.
Sandra Garcia, chief legal officer
Sandra Garcia became Metropolitan Community College’s chief legal officer in November 2017. She joined MCC from Houston Community College, where she served as an executive in the role of assistant general counsel.
At MCC, Garcia oversees the legal office. She provides support and services to the Executive Cabinet and administrators on various legal matters. As a member of the Executive Cabinet, she reports to Chancellor Kimberly Beatty.
Garcia’s area of responsibilities as an assistant general counsel at Houston Community College included labor and employment, equal employment opportunity (EEO), contracts, open records, policy, regulations, compliance and student matters. She says she was privileged to be a part of Imagine HCC 2019, a comprehensive strategic plan that focused on student success, organizational stewardship, performance excellence and innovation. As a project manager for numerous strategic initiatives districtwide, she was charged with overseeing the work of project teams.
Garcia holds a bachelor of arts in history from Baylor University, where she focused on women’s studies. She continued her history studies in the master of arts program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her interest in law peaked soon after, and she earned a juris doctorate from Texas Southern University.
Jacqueline Gill, president, MCC-Blue River and MCC-Business & Technology
Jacqueline Gill joined Metropolitan Community College as president of the MCC-Business & Technology campus in February 2016. She assumed leadership of a second campus, MCC-Blue River in Independence, in January 2018.
She came to MCC from Tarrant County College in Hurst, Texas, where she served as interim vice president for academic affairs for the Northeast campus and vice president of community and industry education services. She also taught social work and sociology courses at TCC and at Western Wyoming Community College.
She joined Tarrant County College, a comprehensive community college district with five campuses and more than 100,000 credit and noncredit students, in 1999.
Gill has worked with organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges, AARP and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Workforce Education Curriculum Maintenance project. WECM produces the statewide manual of courses in technical and professional training for all Texas community colleges.
Gill supported the Tarrant Literacy Project by offering free GED and English as a Second Language classes in the Northeast service area, and she hosted the annual Heart of North Texas business conference.
Gill earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at Texas A&M University, a master’s in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s in education from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a doctorate in education with a major in supervision, curriculum and instruction in higher education from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Utpal Goswami, president, MCC-Maple Woods
Before joining MCC-Maple Woods in July, Dr. Utpal K. Goswami logged more than 30 years of higher education experience as both a member of the faculty and administration at colleges in Texas, California, Arizona and Missouri.
Most recently, he served as vice president of instruction at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif. He also served as interim president and superintendent of the college in 2011-12, during which time he led the district in responding to accreditation challenges, development of a new mission/vision statement, development of the 2012-17 strategic plan and the 2012-17 education master plan and implementation of major capital projects.
Prior to his leadership at College of the Redwoods, Goswami served as vice president and provost at Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. Before that, he spent several years as dean of business administration and instructional operations at St. Louis Community College – Meramec. Goswami has been involved in many aspects of community college leadership, including program development, fostering shared governance, integrating technology into both the teaching and the learning environment, engaging community leaders and philanthropists and meeting high accreditation standards.
He holds a master’s degree in development economics from Boston University and both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in economics from Southern Methodist University. His board service includes the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross and Decade of Difference.
As MCC embarks on a targeted student success initiative, Goswami sees opportunities to build a campus culture of proactivity, solving issues facing student learning, completion and workforce preparation. He also plans to connect to the Northland community and secure philanthropic support for MCC-Maple Woods’ mission of preparing students.
Kirk Nooks, president, MCC-Longview
Kirk Nooks had a relationship with the Kansas City area long before occupying the president’s office at MCC-Longview. This relationship unfolded years ago when he attended a conference and fell in love with the area and its barbecue.
Now he’s become acquainted with the many attributes of Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City area. He considers the community a mecca of educational opportunity, beginning with the award-winning Lee’s Summit public school district and the quality higher education offered by MCC.
Nooks, who took the lead at MCC-Longview in July, 2013, began his tenure by establishing a presidential task force to explore the campus’s future. The approach involves establishing a model based on several ‘P’ initiatives, including philosophy, people, places, policies, programs, practices and progress.
With 15 years of experience in education, business and engineering, Nooks is building on the foundations laid by Longview’s last president, Fred Grogan, who retired after 15 years.
Nooks is making the most of his educational leadership background, which includes his last position at Georgia Highlands College, where he served as both campus dean and executive liaison for diversity initiatives. Under his leadership, the campus saw tremendous growth, including a 35 percent increase in enrollment and expanded academic and student services. Additionally, academic and office space more than doubled.
Nooks holds a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University, an MBA in marketing and a bachelor of science in industrial management from Mercer University. He is a graduate of the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership and a member of the inaugural cohort of the American Council on Education’s Spectrum Leadership Institute.
Locally, Nooks is involved with the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Community College Association. Nooks has also been involved with the Association for the Study of Higher Education, The Chair Academy, National Academic Advising Association, the National Association of College & University Business Officers, the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, the National Council on Black American Affairs and the National Council on Student Development, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Tyjaun A. Lee, president, MCC-Penn Valley
Tyjaun A. Lee, Ph.D., became president of the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus in midtown Kansas City in August 2017.
Lee, who has more than 20 years of progressive experience in higher education, was most recently vice president for student affairs at Prince George's Community College in Maryland. In that role, she was responsible for a range of administrative units and functions, including recruitment, enrollment, marketing, athletics and student auxiliary services, and she served as a member of the senior leadership team.
Before working at Prince George's Community College, Lee served as associate vice president for enrollment management and student services at Tidewater Community College in Virginia and as director of counseling at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, where earlier she was national director of the Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA). Throughout her career, she has taught at least one course a quarter and has been involved in curriculum development for master's and doctoral level programs.
Lee holds three degrees from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio: a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies; a master’s degree in education; and a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership with an emphasis in higher education administration.