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RCC Leadership

Dr. Kennedy

Dr. Shannon Kennedy

Dr. Shannon Kennedy became Rappahannock Community College’s fourth President on July 1, 2019.   Before becoming President, Dr. Kennedy worked at Cleveland Community College, in Shelby, North Carolina for nearly 19 years.  She served in a variety of leadership positions there, including Executive Vice President. Prior to Cleveland Community College, Dr. Kennedy worked at Gardner-Webb University, the Uptown Shelby Association, and Shelby Headline News.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in English Education from Gardner-Webb University, and a Doctor of Education degree in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University.

In 2011, Dr. Kennedy was honored with the Athena Award, which recognizes women for leadership and community service. She has also received both the H. Eugene LeGrand Lifetime Achievement Award and the JT Scruggs Volunteer of the Year Award from the United Way; she received the Distinguished Woman Award from the Cleveland County Commission for Women; and, the Distinguished Rotarian Award.

Dr. Kennedy is married to Larry and they have three sons. She is the quintessential soccer mom, as all three children have played competitive soccer requiring travel all over the Southeast. Her two oldest sons, now adults, played Division I college soccer. Dr. Kennedy was also a college athlete, playing lacrosse for the Millersville Lady Marauders. When not traveling with children, she enjoys cooking, reading, and outdoor activities.

Shannon Kennedy’s Leadership Philosophy Statement

My leadership philosophy most closely aligns with the definition of servant leadership. According to Greenleaf, “A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the ‘top of the pyramid,’ servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.”

I believe it is the responsibility of the community college president to empower others and give them the tools they need to succeed. I understand the power of listening, thoughtfully considering ideas, and compromising. While I can be decisive when necessary, I like to take the time to reflect on the consequences of a decision thoroughly before moving forward. Decisions should be made with input from those that are impacted, when this is feasible. I believe in working closely with the local school system, other higher education institutions, and industry in order to create and grow programs. Outside funding from granting agencies and private gifts from donors are critically important to sustain and grow. I have significant fundraising experience and I believe that the president should be actively involved in fundraising for the college.

I believe that communication is critical for any leader. Individuals may not like a decision that has been made, but if the individual understands why the decision was made, he or she may more quickly accept it.

Community colleges are the most nimble higher education institutions and can adapt to the community’s needs. In order to meet the ever-changing needs of the community and business and industry, the community college must be ready to adapt and change.

Finally, I wholeheartedly agree with Harry S Truman when he said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit.” Those who accomplish great things should be recognized and a good leader gives the credit to the team. Building a solid team is extremely important.

Dr. Donna Alexander serves RCC as its Vice President of Instruction and Student Development and serves as the chief academic officer. She joined the college at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester, reports directly to RCC president Dr. Elizabeth Crowther. Dr. Alexander holds the degrees of bachelor of arts in English (graduating cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Honors Program), master of science in psychology, and doctor of philosophy in psychology, also from VCU. During her years as a graduate student at VCU, she worked part time as an academic and career counselor, instructor of English as a second language, and adult education tutor.

Before moving into her first full-time teaching appointment, she spent five years as a grant-funded research specialist at VCU’s Medical College of Virginia. In addition to these positions, her 22 years of experience in higher education includes administration, institutional effectiveness, training (including diversity and interpersonal skills training), public speaking, leadership development, curriculum development, assessment and planning, research, collecting and analyzing statistics, and technical writing.

Since 1992, Dr. Alexander has served the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in several roles. She has taught as an adjunct faculty member at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (as well as Virginia Commonwealth University, Randolph Macon University, and the University of Richmond) and has since held two full-time faculty appointments with the VCCS, first as an associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and then as a professor at John Tyler Community College, where she later served as the dean of arts and sciences, then dean of mathematics and natural and behavioral sciences.

Dr. Alexander is married, with three sons and one daughter.

Following a 38 year career in banking and financial services, Bill joined RCC in January 2016 as Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services. During his banking career, he served in a variety of line and staff leadership roles in major regional banks and community banking companies. Bill has previously led three publicly traded Virginia-based community banking companies, worked with organizing groups to start new community banks, and been engaged in financial services consulting.  Past community service has included United Way, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), MotherNet Healthy Families Loudoun, Midlothian Athletic Association, and Western Loudoun Optimist Club. Bill received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Old Dominion University and an MBA from Duke University, and is also a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, Leadership Charlottesville, and LEAD Northern Neck.

Bill is attracted to RCC and community college administration because of the community-based mission and purpose of the College.  Similar to community banks, RCC works in partnership with local governments and businesses to contribute to the economic vitality and quality of life in our communities.  As a unique resource and asset to the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck regions, RCC is in the “dreams and aspirations” business, helping local citizens and communities achieve their dreams and aspirations by providing high quality educational programs and workforce skills training, and actively supporting economic development in its twelve county service region. 

Bill and his wife, Pam, have three grown daughters and five grandchildren. They enjoy boating, fishing and other water sports with their family and friends.

Dr. Glenda Haynie serves RCC as its Dean of Research, Effectiveness, and Planning and has since July 2011.Dr. Haynie holds the degrees of bachelor of arts in mathematics from Lynchburg College and master of arts in mathematics from Penn State University, in addition to her doctorate, in mathematics education with a minor in statistics, from North Carolina State University.

As well as teaching math at the high school and college level for almost four decades, she has attained National Board Certification in adolescent and young adult mathematics, and has most recently been employed as senior administrator in the evaluation and research department of Wake County Public Schools in Raleigh, North Carolina (the largest school system in its state). A native Virginian, Haynie was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, near Staunton.

The Haynies have two grown children, a son and a daughter, both college graduates in math-related fields. In her spare time, Dr. Haynie enjoys needlework, reading, and traveling.

Jason earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from Old Dominion University and his doctoral degree in education from Virginia Tech in May 2017.  As a former high school and middle school technology educator, public school administrator, and career/adult education director, his knowledge and experience within K-16 programs including occupational technical training programs positioned him to become the Vice President for Workforce and Community Development at Rappahannock Community College in December 2009.

He serves on several community and governmental boards including the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, local chambers of commerce, Mathews County Rotary Club, and the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board. He is also actively involved in LEAD Northern Neck which is a local activist group focusing on leadership, regional economics and workforce development.

Jason oversees a variety of workforce development programs including Northern Neck Adult Education, Middle College, WIOA Youth, Adult and Dislocated Services, internships and the RCC Regional Education Consortium. Consequently, RCC Workforce Development has expanded exponentially during the past four years with increased staffing levels. Through leveraging of grants and foundation funding, the RCC Workforce Development Center has worked hard to meet the needs of participants in the region who may have multiple barriers to employment.

Jason lives in Mathews County with his wife, Kathryn and two sons, Mason and Jack where he enjoys boating and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay.

Sarah Pope serves as the Vice President of College Advancement and leads the efforts of the RCC Educational Foundation. She holds a bachelor of arts in art history from the College of William & Mary, a master of historic preservation from the University of Georgia, and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from George Mason University.

Sarah has 25 years of experience in non-profit board development, strategic planning, educational programming, and annual fund and capital campaign development.  She has worked for national, state, and local institutions that focus on community planning and heritage education, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, and the Virginia Main Street Program. Before coming to the College in 2015, Sarah served as the executive director of the Menokin Foundation in Warsaw and developed preservation trades and continuing teacher education classes in partnership with RCC’s Workforce Development unit.

A Middle Peninsula native, Sarah lives in Essex County with her son, daughter, and husband Nathan. She is honored to have the opportunity to make a difference in her community by helping residents access high-quality educational experiences at RCC, preparing them for success as learners, employees, and citizens of the 21st century.

Caroline Stelter serves Rappahannock Community College as the Director of the Human Resources Department, a role that she has filled since January of 2005. In her position, Caroline reports directly to the president and is responsible for implementing policies and procedures for faculty and staff, as well as providing strategic direction and consultation to administrative, professional, teaching faculty, support staff, retirees, and internal and external departmental customers.

Prior to this position, Caroline served Bon Secours Health System in Richmond, Va. from 1998 to 2004.

Caroline earned her BA from the University of Virginia, and her MS from Western Governors University. Caroline is certified both as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute and a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).

She enjoys watching football, biking, the beach and spending time with her family.

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