College News: Chancellor King Announces 34 SUNY Fellows Complete the Inaugural New York State Community College Leadership Academy Program


Chancellor King Announces 34 SUNY Fellows Complete the Inaugural New York State Community College Leadership Academy Program

Program Designed for Emerging Leaders is Funded by Ascendium Education Group, the ECMC Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation

Photos of Inaugural Class Are Available Here

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Contact: Conall Smith,, (518) 565-9580

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor John B. King Jr. today announced the completion of the inaugural New York State Community College Leadership Academy. Thirty-four fellows—both faculty and staff—from across SUNY’s community colleges participated in the leadership development program designed for emerging leaders to strengthen their critical skills and knowledge to build their campus’s capacity and improve student outcomes.

New York State, along with Ohio, Michigan, and Texas, were selected to launch and scale up leadership development programs for college practitioners through a year-long curriculum from the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. The program is funded by the Ascendium Education Group, the ECMC Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation, to strengthen the pipeline of leaders within community colleges who can implement evidence-based reforms that help more students succeed.

“We are very proud of the knowledge and skill of the talented faculty and staff across SUNY’s community colleges,” said SUNY Chancellor King. “The New York State Community College Leadership Academy reflects SUNY’s commitment to developing the next generation of leaders who will strengthen our communities, elevate student success, and ensure New York State has a pipeline of talented and visionary leaders.”

SUNY Board Trustee Robert J. Duffy said, “Investing in leadership is critical to the success of SUNY campuses and ultimately, the success of SUNY students. These fellows were selected for this fellowship thanks to their potential to become our next generation of leaders, guiding campuses wisely to ensure every New Yorker has an affordable, accessible and welcoming place at SUNY that positions them for success.”

Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor of Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline, who oversees this program stated, “the exceptional talent and expertise of this inaugural cohort is unparalleled. We thank these outstanding fellows for their commitment to this important work and are excited about their future impact on SUNY’s community college campuses.”

The fellows were nominated by senior leaders on their campuses based on their proven leadership and experience. The first class of the NYS Community College Leadership Academy Fellows program are:

SUNY Adirondack

Christine O’Connor, Professor of Chemistry

Jenny Postlethwaite, Director of College Access & Students Success

SUNY Broome

Stephanie Malmberg, Assistant Dean

Cayuga Community College

Virginia Rudnick, Director of Institutional Research & Planning

Columbia-Greene Community College 

Andrew Ledoux, Dean of Student Development

SUNY Corning

Sarah Tronkowski, Librarian

Finger Lakes Community College

Lindsey Chamberlain, Executive Director of FLCC Association

Ryan McCabe, Associate Vice President of Academic Technology and High Impact Practices

SUNY Fulton-Montgomery Community College

Daniel Fogarty, Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs

Pamela McCall, Associate Dean of Student Success, Retention and Opportunity Programs

Emily Towne, Director of Behavioral Health Workforce Education & Training

Genesee Community College

Christa Aldrich, Executive Director of Human Resources, Genesee Community College

Jennifer Wakefield, Executive Director, Workforce Development, Genesee Community College

Hudson Valley Community College

Ian LaChance, Vice President for Student Affairs, Hudson Valley Community College

Ronalyn Wilson, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Hudson Valley Community College

Jamestown Community College

Laura Parmenter, Director of Online Learning

Mohawk Valley Community College

Michael Adamo, Assistant Director, Financial Aid

Jake Mihevc, Dean of the School of STEM

Monroe Community College

Kelsey Bright, Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs

Quent Rhodes, Associate Vice President, Facilities

SUNY Niagara

Alissa Shugats Cummings, Vice President of Student Services

Onondaga Community College

Dana Acee, Director of Career and Transfer Services

Ryan Nellenback, Director of Student Onboarding

SUNY Orange

Gabriella Ammiano, Program Director, PROSPERAR/Title V

Jean Leandre, Vice President for Workforce, Strategy and Innovation

Adrienne Victor, Director, Center for Student Involvement

Rockland Community College

Joseph Falco, former Executive Director, Student Success

SUNY Schenectady County Community College

Mark Bessette, Assistant Dean of Financial Aid and Access

Suffolk County Community College

Carol Wickliffe-Campbell, Chief of Staff

Tompkins Cortland Community College

Tracey Brunner, Office of Diversity Education & Support Services Program Coordinator

Anndrea Mathers, Assistant Provost

SUNY Ulster

Penny Rifenburgh, Assistant Professor and Chair of the English, Language, and Philosophy Department

SUNY Westchester Community College

Dave Arons, Division Coordinator of Career & Technical Education

Abigail Morrison, Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Academic Programs


The NYS Community College Leadership Academy Advisory Board members include:

  • Randy VanWagoner, President of Mohawk Valley Community College, Chair of the Advisory Board
  • Ed Bonahue, President, Suffolk County Community College;
  • DeAnna Burt-Nanna, President, Monroe Community College;
  • Dante Cantu, Vice President & Dean of Student Affairs, SUNY Westchester Community
  • College;
  • Erika Hackman, Vice President for Academic Affairs, SUNY Orange;
  • Lew Kahler, Vice President for Learning & Academic Affairs, Mohawk Valley Community College;
  • Amy Kremenek, President, Tompkins Cortland Community College; and
  • Carol Ross, Vice President for Student Development & Chief Diversity Officer, SUNY Broome.

The National Center for Inquiry & Improvement is leading this national scale-up project with colleagues at the Aspen College Excellence Program and the Success Center for Ohio’s Community Colleges. The curriculum for this project draws on Aspen’s Curriculum for Community College Excellence and includes the following content sessions: The Essential Roles of Leadership in Student Success; Keeping Students’ End Goals in Mind; The Student Experience; Leadership Traits to Drive Change; Managing and Advancing Institutional Change and Effective External Partnerships & the Leadership Journey. The project partners will support the selected states as they replicate Ohio’s successful program over the next three years.

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit