IHE Outstanding Graduate honorees pose with UF officials, pictured from left : Dale Campbell (IHE co-coordinator), Ian Neuhard, Dennis Kramer (IHE co-coordinator), Lisandra De Jesus, Zaria Malcolm, Molly McIntire, Phillip Morris, Russ Rothamer, COE Dean Glenn Good and Lindsay Lynch. Not pictured: Paul Hutchins, Leslie Pendleton and Dan Rodkin.

The Institute of Higher Education (IHE) at the University of Florida only selects its Outstanding Graduate Award winners every five years, so it’s a big deal when the recipients are announced. That’s why the institute, part of the College of Education, announced this year’s 10 honorees recently at a national gathering of their peers. The winners were recognized at the IHE’s alumni reunion and awards banquet held concurrently with the annual meeting of the Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando.
The competitive awards program honors selected alumni professionals—all doctoral graduates of the UF College of Education’s Higher Education Administration program—for their effectiveness as community college administrators, participation in collegewide strategic planning, community involvement and professional activities at the state, regional and national levels.
The 10 recipients, chosen from among 30 nominees, hold myriad administrative posts in higher education ranging from college president, heads of veteran and military student affairs, academic program leaders and professors, campuswide student affairs administrators, enrollment consultants and student scholars program officers.
Here are the award recipients and summaries of their award-winning credentials:
Lisandra De Jesus, Ed.D.
Enrollment Management Solutions Consultant
Student Enrollment, Diversity, Retention and Completion Strategist (Fla.)
De Jesus, a higher education consultant living in the Tampa Bay area, uses her own experiences as a first-generation Latina college graduate from Puerto Rico and New York City to motivate students towards their success. She has served as dean of admissions/enrollment and vice president of student affairs at Albany Technical College, and the district student services coordinator at the Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. In 2010, De Jesus was showcased as one of Georgia Trend business magazine’s “40 Under 40: Georgia’s Best and Brightest.”
Paul Hutchins, Ed.D.
Sampson Community College (N.C.)
Hutchins has served as president of Sampson Community College in Clinton, N.C., since 2012. He previously worked for 24 years as an administrator at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., including stints as dean for education centers and dean of education centers and economic development. He has presented at numerous educational conference across the nation.
Lindsay Lynch, Ed.D.
Director, Grants Development and Federal Relations
South Florida State College
Lynch is a recognized higher education professional with 17 years of service in the Florida College System. She currently serves as the grants development officer and federal legislative liaison for South Florida State College in Avon Park, Fla. For the last nine years, Lynch has focused on the resource development and advancement functions, which have raised substantial grant and endowment funds and have positioned the college’s foundation for long-term success.
Zaria Malcom, Ph.D.
Vice Principal/President, Academic Affairs and Institutional Advancement
Excelsior Community College, Jamaica
Since returning to her home institution in Jamaica, Malcom has advanced to become the college’s vice principal and president of academic affairs and institutional advancement. She is responsible for all academic programs and institutional accreditation, strategic planning, research and partnerships including international exchanges.
Molly McIntire, D.Ed.
Dean, Behavioral and Social Sciences
Valencia College (Fla.)
McIntire provides leadership across nine disciplines in support of Valencia College’s mission and strategic planning. She has been involved as the college’s co-chair of the hybrid learning committee, co-chair for credit for prior learning, chair-elect of the instructional affairs committee, learning leadership council, executive council member, and the West Campus leadership team. McIntire lends her teaching experience to serve her community as a public school volunteer.
Phillip Morris, Ph.D.
Program Director, Veteran and Military Student Affairs
University of Colorado
Morris has more than tripled the size of the University of Colorado’s Veteran and Military Student Affairs program through skilled fundraising and an enrollment growth campaign. He led the development effort to remodel campus space and launch the most comprehensive veterans success center in Colorado. In 2014, Morris was nominated and selected to be a member of the CU Excellence in Leadership program. He has led multiple universitywide policy initiatives to support student veterans and received the 2015 CU Diversity and Excellence Champion Award.
Ian Neuhard, Ed.D.
South Campus President/Executive Chair Florida State College at Jacksonville (Fla.)
Neuhard has over 30 years of experience as an educator and administrator including service to public schools, public community colleges, private universities and the Florida Department of Education. He has held several key executive leadership roles at FSCJ including president of its Kent Campus and the Cecil Aviation Center, and provost/chief academic officer.
Leslie Pendleton, Ph.D.
Director, Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program
University of Florida
Pendleton was an original member of the advisory committee for the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program, which began in 2006, and is a comprehensive scholarship and support program for first-generation and low-income undergraduate students. In 2009, she became the program’s first full-time director. Under her leadership, the program has continued to thrive due to the creation of programmatic support and Pendleton’s work with advancement offices through fundraising.
Dan Rodkin Ed.D.
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
Santa Fe College (Fla.)
Rodkin has worked in student affairs for 21 years, with the last 17 at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. He serves as associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, international student services and student conduct. Rodkin is chair of the enrollment management task force, disciplinary admissions committee, and student affairs assessment team, and he serves on the college’s behavioral intervention team.
Russ Rothamer, Ph.D.
Chief Academic and Student Affairs Officer
Alabama Community College
With more than 30 years of experience of higher education and business, Rothamer now serves as the chief academic and student affairs officer at ACC. Rothamer is tasked with building a strong academic and student affairs team to serve the communities, colleges and students of Alabama. He was also charged with leading and successfully completing the systemwide strategic planning process that created goals and measurable performance indicators.

ABOUT THE UF INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida College of Education partners with higher-education institutional leaders and policymakers nationwide on paradigm-shifting studies to advance state and national policy development and identify best practices in higher education administration to increase students’ access, retention and degree completion. 
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FUTURES ASSEMBLY: The national Futures Assembly, created and coordinated by the UF Institute of Higher Education, convenes annually as an independent national policy forum for key opinion leaders to work as a “think tank” in identifying and addressing critical issues facing the future of community colleges. The group also conducts the nationally recognized Bellwether Awards to showcase and promote trend-setting community colleges.

   SOURCE: Dale F. Campbell, Professor & Coordinator of the Higher Ed Leadership in Education Administration Doctorate (LEAD) Ed.D. program; Co-coordinator UF College of Education, dfc@coe.ufl.edu; 352-273-4300
   WRITER: Larry Lansford, Director, COE News & Communications, UF College of Education llansford@coe.ufl.edu;  352-273-4137