Opening Plenary Session, Wednesday, October 24
Dr. Christine Darden, Former Researcher and Executive at NASA
Dr. Christine M. Darden retired as a member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service in March 2007 from NASA Langley Research Center, after nearly 40 years of service. At NASA, she worked five years as a “Human Computer” (Data Analyst) in the Re-Entry Physics Branch, twenty-three years as a researcher in supersonic flow and sonic-boom minimization, and 8 years as an executive.
During her NASA career, Darden authored over 57 technical papers and articles, primarily in the areas of sonic boom prediction, sonic boom minimization, and supersonic wing design. She is recognized as an international expert in these areas—having given technical presentations at many U.S. Conferences, in Germany, England, France, Greece and Japan.
Darden has been recognized with dozens of awards and honors—including two NASA Medals, one for her work and leadership of the Sonic Boom Program, and the other for her active involvement in working with and encouraging students to pursue careers in Math and Science. In addition, she received the Black Engineer of the Year Outstanding Achievement in Government Award and the Women in Science & Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award.
Darden was recently included in the book, “Hidden Figures,” by author Margot Shetterly as one who stood on the shoulders of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, NASA “Human Computers” who as members of the segregated West Computers contributed to the NASA Space Program in the early 1960s and who in 2016 were featured in the Twentieth Century movie of the same name.
Darden has the BS Degree in Mathematics Education from Hampton Institute (now University) in Hampton, VA, the MS Degree in Applied Mathematics from Virginia State College (now University) in Petersburg, VA, and the D.Sc. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University in Washington, DC.
She and her husband of 55 years, Walter, are the parents of 3 adult daughters, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Plenary Session, Friday, October 26
Dr. David T. Harrison, President, Columbus State Community College, OH
Dr. David T. Harrison became the fifth president of Columbus State Community College in July 2010. With more than 25,000 students, Columbus State is one of the largest and most comprehensive colleges in Ohio. Through its campuses in Columbus and Delaware County and its nine regional learning centers, the college serves students from all 88 counties in Ohio, provides more online learning opportunities than any college in the state, and contributes nearly a billion dollars in regional economic impact.
Under Dr. Harrison’s leadership, Columbus State has led the region in expanding access to affordable bachelor’s degrees through innovative university 2+2 partnerships. Students who complete freshman and sophomore years at Columbus State through the Preferred Pathway program realize higher education goals without the burden of daunting student debt. He led the formation of The Central Ohio Compact, a regional strategy among K-12 and higher education leaders to help more students succeed in college and in the workplace. These partnerships provide Columbus State students the opportunity to achieve their higher education goals while providing solutions for families by reducing financial barriers to degree attainment.
In 2012 Columbus State was named an Achieving the Dream college, a national initiative to help more students earn college credentials with an emphasis on first generation students, students of color, and low-income students; and in 2015 the college received Achieving the Dream’s esteemed designation as a Leader College. In addition, Columbus State was one of only 30 colleges nationwide selected to participate in the Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to design and implement guided academic and career pathways for all students.
Dr. Harrison came to Columbus State with extensive experience building successful community partnerships. As Vice Provost for Regional Campuses at the University of Central Florida, he worked with community colleges to create the Central Florida Higher Education Consortium and the nationally-recognized DirectConnect to UCF program, which guarantees the opportunity for a bachelor’s degree for graduates of partner community colleges. Under his leadership, the program significantly increased the number of transfer students earning bachelor’s degrees from UCF. He also developed partnerships with employers and community leaders to address workforce needs in information technology, architecture, healthcare, and other fields.
Prior to joining UCF, Dr. Harrison served in leadership roles at Seminole State College in Florida and at Sinclair Community College in Ohio, and was a consulting manager with Accenture in Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton.
Dr. Annette Parker, President, South Central College, MN
Dr. Annette Parker has been involved in manufacturing industry and workforce education for more than 35 years. She started her career at General Motors in Lansing, Michigan and moved into education as a faculty member and administrator at Lansing Community College. During this time, she worked on a number of innovative partnerships with the automotive industry.
Based on her successes in Michigan, she was recruited to the Kentucky Community & Technical College System as the System Director of Workforce Education. In this role, she also served as Executive Director and Principle Investigator of the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), a National Science Foundation Advanced Automotive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. A model for industry-education collaboration, AMTEC included partners from six of the world’s largest automobile companies, 25 automobile manufacturing plants and 38 community and technical colleges from 13 states. This partnership developed the national standars for multi-skilled maintenance/mechatronics technicians for the automotive manufacturing sector. Through the development of standards, competency-based modularized curriculum and assessments, and AMTECs collaboration of industry and colleges, a new kind of technical worker evolved. In 2010, the National Governors Association selected AMTEC as a model and national best practice in their case study A Sharper Focus on Technical Workers: How to Education a Global Economy. AMTEC’s work was also highighted in McKinsey and Company’s 2013 article “Breaking the US growth impasse,” as well as publications from the US Department of Education, Department of Labor and others.
Because of the collaborative work through AMTEC, which had recognition both nationally and internationaly. in 2012 Dr. Parker was invited to a US State Department meeting with the prime minister of India and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to assist in the establishment of a community college system in India based on the American model. On a global level, Dr. Parker in partnership with General Motors participanted in discussions with the United States Department of Education, which led to the creation of the Global Automotive Technical Education Network (GATEN), a partnership with the European Ministry that provides the European states with standards and guidance for Vocational Education and Training in the Automotive Sector (VETAS). She also worked closely with the American Association of Community Colleges to travel to China to share best practices and support tIndia and China’s vision of partnering with American community colleges. In April of 2013, Dr. Parker presented to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee demonstrating support on how to adddress the skills gap in the United States.
In July of 2013, Dr. Parker became the President of South Central College (SCC), a comprehensive community and technical college with campuses in North Mankato and Faribault, Minnesota. Part of the Minnesota State system, South Central College has a history of innovative industry partnerships and under her leadership has expanded its workforce development activities, which includes receiving a $15 million Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant for a 12 college consortium led by SCC.
Dr. Parker served on President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee 2.0 and co-chaired AMP’s “Demand-Driven Workforce Development” work team. She has also served on the Boards of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, Center for Quality People and Organizations, and Corporate Voices for Working Families, as well as the SkillsUSA Corporate Board and National Career Pathways Network Advisory Board.
She currently serves on the Center for Community College Student Engagement National Advisory Board, Council for Adult and Experiencial Learning Advisory Council (Vice Chair), National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education, The Presidents’ Roundtable (Vice Convenor), Minnesota Campus Compact Board of Directors (Vice Chair), Greater Mankato Growth – Chamber of Commerce and Regional Economic Development Board of Directors, Faribault Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Minnesota Agricultural Leaders Board of Advisors for the Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center – FarmAmerica and Faribault Main Street Board of Directors.
Dr. Parker holds her Doctorate in Education Leadership from Western Kentucky University, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Education from Ferris State University, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Drafting from Lansing Community College.
Dr. Edwin Massey, President, Indian River State College, FL
Dr. Ed Massey was appointed as Indian River State College’s 3rd president in 1988. He earned his Ph.D. in Zoology, with an emphasis in Marine Biochemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi and completed advanced studies in Evolutionary Biochemistry at Duke University.
Dr. Massey is a fixture of leadership on the local, state, and national level. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Florida Articulation Coordinating Council and as a member of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, in addition to being part of numerous boards and educational endeavors.
In addition to helming IRSC, Dr. Massey is a devoted family man to his wife, Jo, three children and six grandchildren.