10 community college presidents who have mastered Twitter
In the world of higher education, four-year universities tend to grab all of the major headlines and accolades, making it fairly easy to overlook community colleges, which still have plenty to offer. This holds true not only in media coverage, but on Twitter, as well.
In September, we spotlighted 10 college presidents who are effectively using Twitter, including University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono, who is considered by some to make the best use of the platform of any college president. Though no community college presidents landed on the list, that isn't to say that the sector doesn't have "Santa Ono," or perhaps a "HipHopPrez," of its own.
So who among two-year school heads is really making the most of the platform? Whether they're engaging students or just keeping followers updated on the latest issues facing the school and higher ed, these 10 community college presidents are doing Twitter right.
1. ANNE KRESS, MONROE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @MCCPresident
Anne Kress's Twitter feed features many of the same traits on display by those who made our list of four-year college presidents on the platform. She promotes her institution, displays her active involvement in student activities and interacts with leaders from other schools, as well as businesses, politicians, journalists and more.
2. MARK FRISON, ASSINIBOINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @markfrison
Assiniboine Community College, located in Manitoba among the prairies of western Canada, has another of Twitter's most prolific community college presidents. Mark Frison's feed is filled almost entirely with the back-and-forth between the community college president and students, policy organizations, journalists and more. While viewers will immediately notice Frison's sense of humor on display, he's serious about the right things and even stays in touch with former students.
3. RONNIE NETTLES, COPIAH-LINCOLN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @CLCCPresident
The president of Mississippi's Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Ronnie Nettles, manages to stay active on Twitter despite overseeing three campuses in Wesson, Natchez and Simpson counties. His tweets and retweets are informative, whether they cover developments at any of the three campuses, general higher ed information or what he's read recently—and he's pretty good about keeping up with students and staff, as well.
Here is the new Natchez Campus maintenance building. Replaces building that burned in August 2012. pic.twitter.com/Riu5KBPVTi— Ronnie Nettles (@CLCCPresident) November 11, 2013
4. KATHY KINLOCH, VANCOUVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @VCCKK
Much of the information found in Vancouver Community College President Kathy Kinloch's Twitter feed, at least recently, focuses heavily on trades, a relevant area where community colleges are stronger than four-year schools. That's not to say that's all Kinloch uses the platform to promote, though. She retweets almost as much as she tweets, primarily sharing posts from the college's primary account and local government bodies and their officials.
5. JO ALICE BLONDIN, CLARK STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @clarkstate
Jo Alice Blondin, president of Ohio's Clark State Community College, keeps things fairly simple with her tweets. Many of her posts feature links to articles and presentations, though she also spotlights student achievements and important events, whether they be a speech by writer Wendell Berry or a chamber of commerce breakfast with local college presidents.
Meet Tramassa White, winner of the CAEL Learner of the Year award. It's all about the students. pic.twitter.com/lUcjzNteJZ— Clark State Dr. Jo (@clarkstate) November 6, 2013
6. MATT REED, HOLYOKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @deandad
OK, so Matt Reed isn't the president of Holyoke Community College, but as its academic vice president, he represents the school well to his more than 1,400 followers. Aside from his day job, he also pens a blog for InsideHigherEd, "Confessions of a Community College Dean." There's a good deal of humor mixed in among his tweets, and he frequently interacts with followers ranging from journalists to other educators.
@BendProf My first day as dean, a colleague said "congratulations, and may God have mercy on your soul." Seemed about right.— Matt Reed (@deandad) November 9, 2013
7. JOHN J. "SKI" SYGIELSKI, HARRISBURG AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @HACCSki
John Sygielski—or "Ski," as he's known—became president of Central Pennsylvania's Harrisburg Area Community College in July 2011, but it wasn't his first time leading a two-year school. He previously served as president of Oregon's Mt. Hood Community College and Virginia's Lord Fairfax Community College, as well as vice chancellor for workforce and economic development for the Virginia Community College System. He's also a first-generation college graduate, a detail that can't be underestimated since community colleges are often a good solution for students in the same position. He frequently tweets links to articles, as well as updates and developments at HACC.
10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science http://t.co/mndawhnUPo— SKI - HACC prez (@HACCSki) November 12, 2013
8. DAVID A. SAM, GERMANNA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @dasam
Like Ski, many of Germanna Community College President David A. Sam's tweets feature links to articles and developments at the Virginia institution, as well as stories related to students. Mixed in among those posts, however, are bits of "wit and wisdom" that make giving his account a follow even more worthwhile. Additionally, he posts links to his Goodreads reviews of books he has read, and in October, several of his tweets spotlighted famous people who attended community colleges. You can also find him on Blogspot.
9. DERIONNE POLLARD, MONTGOMERY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @DrPollard_MC
Whether you're a community college or a university, it makes sense for your biggest advocate to be your president. At Maryland's Montgomery College, DeRionne Pollard embodies that notion as she tweets about the latest initiatives and student/faculty achievements that make her school a better place to be.
Student veteran speaking at the Veterans Education and Benefits Partnership Press Conf. Through MC to USG! pic.twitter.com/2VoTehCnJT— Dr. DeRionne Pollard (@DrPollard_MC) November 12, 2013
10. MARILYN LUSCOMBE, NEW BRUNSWICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Twitter: @nbccpres
New Brunswick Community College President Marilyn Luscombe is intermittently active on the platform, but her periods of activity are worth the follow. Her activity between Oct. 21 and 23 is especially informative for anyone wanting a glimpse into the current climate facing colleges in Canada—and how that might compare to here.
Canada has 8% youth unemployment and Germany has 3% youth unemployment yet very few less youth in university.— Marilyn Luscombe (@nbccpres) October 21, 2013
Would you like to see more education news like this in your inbox on a daily basis? Subscribe to our Education Dive email newsletter! You may also want to read Education Dive's look at 7 arguments against Obama's college plan.
Follow Roger Riddell on Twitter