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Chancellor Joe Garcia has announced three finalists in the running for president of Community College of Aurora (CCA).
The Presidential finalists will meet virtually with the CCA community April 19 - 21. CCA faculty, staff, students and interested community members are invited to meet the finalists during the virtual, public forums. All who interact with the finalists are invited to share their feedback with the CCCS Chancellor through the feedback surveys - linked below with each bio and on the Virtual Open Forum schedule page.
Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee currently serves as the Vice President for Student Success at St. Philip's College, the only college in the nation federally designated as both a historically Black college (HBCU) and a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), located in San Antonio, Texas. During his tenure as vice president, Dr. Brownlee has led St. Philip’s to record enrollment of over 13,500 students and the college’s four largest degree and certificate awarding classes in its 123-year history. Mordecai also serves as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University School of Education & Urban Studies and the University of Charleston School of Business and Leadership where he teaches business management, human resources, social justice, and community college leadership. In addition, he is a higher education columnist for EdSurge.
Dr. Brownlee is an inclusive educator committed to the intellectual and economic empowerment of diverse communities by collectively partnering with all stakeholders to create a safe and equitable learning environment that promotes student inclusion, student engagement, and student success.
Mordecai honorably serves as a leader in several of national, statewide, and district/system initiatives that empower the academic pathways of students and promote student success. Those initiatives include the guided pathway model, strategic enrollment management, Baldrige Performance Excellence, online education excellence, Alliance for Innovation and Transformation, institutional accreditation, Achieving the Dream, active military and veteran support services, financial literacy, student advocacy, and workforce development. Recently, Dr. Brownlee was featured by EdTech Magazine as one of the 30 most interesting voices in higher education who are shaping the conversation around technology and education.
Dr. Brownlee has served in key roles of several multi-million-dollar capital construction projects in support of academic instruction, student support services, and collegiate sports programs to the tune of over $155 million. Mordecai’s operational portfolio includes operational support to two primary instructional sites, three Joint Base San Antonio military installations, and over 50 high school program service locations. As for grant management, Mordecai co-manages over $6.7 million in Title III funding and over $13 million in other federal, private, and state-issued grants. In addition, Dr. Brownlee has been instrumental in key initiatives that have secured multi-million-dollar funding opportunities designed to ensure quality academic pathways and economic mobility for every student served.
Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife of 14 years, Daphne, their son, Mordecai Jr., and their daughter, Lauren Machelle.
Dr. Stephanie J. Fujii is a passionate, outcomes-oriented leader who has dedicated her career to advancing the community college mission of access and student success through a lens of equity. With over 30 years in higher education, she has demonstrated expertise and leadership in instruction, student services, and workforce/career and technical education. She has built partnerships and programs to increase the outreach, access, and retention of underrepresented populations. Her advocacy efforts have resulted in the provision of almost three million dollars for workforce development and faculty innovation projects.
Stephanie is currently in her fifth year as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Scottsdale Community College, one of the ten colleges in the Maricopa Community College District (AZ), where she provides leadership in the areas of instruction, strategic planning, institutional research, and learning support. She also served the Maricopa district as Faculty Recruitment Coordinator and as the District Director of Academic Affairs Support Programs and Services. Earlier in her career, she was a tenured counseling faculty, with responsibility for both teaching and supporting students at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). As faculty, she assumed key leadership roles within the college, including Faculty Senate President, Faculty Co-Chair for the college’s reaccreditation team, and Division Chair.
She has presented nationally on the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion; student retention/persistence; college counseling; and student development. She authored a column for the national newsletter of the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) and is published in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. She is on the Board of Directors for the National Asian/Pacific Islander Council (NAPIC), an affiliated council of the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC).
Stephanie has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Arizona State University, a MA in Counseling & Educational Psychology, and a BA in Speech Communication, both from the University of Nevada, Reno.
In her current role as Vice President of Student Services at the HSI designated College of Southern Idaho, Dr. Schutt brings a unique combination of experience, skills, and recognition about students, their lived experiences, and what matters most for their academic success. She has a proven track record for orchestrating student success initiatives in collaboration with diverse faculty and staff college-wide.
Her focus on holistic services and her strong social justice conscience has led to several transformative and highly impactful college-wide initiatives. Standard services such as student orientation, advising, and the campus food bank, have all been redesigned to better benefit underserved students in cooperation with faculty and staff. In recognition of her passion to address societal inequities, she has been appointed to lead the first faculty and staff Equity and Inclusion committee. With a deep sensitivity to equity, her accomplishments include securing bilingual staff in all student affairs areas, employment of a full-time multicultural coordinator, full-time veterans’ coordinator, and establishment of a Gay-Straight Student Alliance.
As an educator first and foremost, Dr. Schutt recognizes the power of teaching and learning and believes that what goes on in the classroom personifies the heart and soul of the collegiate enterprise. She seeks opportunities to interact with faculty and regularly teaches courses in English and social justice. Moreover, she is an active contributor to the field through her presentations at national conferences and mentorship of Ph.D. student practicums.
She currently administers a budget of $9 million and oversees the additional distribution of $7 million CARES funding. As part of her commitment to community service, her lobbying on behalf of a local school district resulted in the passage of a supplemental $800,000 levy and recently wrote a successful $240,000 grant proposal to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, which will fund a new charter school in fall 2021.
Dr. Schutt holds a B.A. from Upper Iowa University in English Education, a Master Teacher M.S. from Emporia State University, an M.S. in Social Responsibility from St. Cloud State University, and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources from Colorado State University. Her credentials strengthen Dr. Schutt as an educator and administrator to a diverse campus community. She leads students and staff toward the future using modern ideas and solutions.