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Dr. Smith Goes to Work

Dr. Smith Goes to Work
March 08
11:00 2016

Dr. Colleen Smith seems to be enjoying her first few weeks as President of Coconino Community College. She stopped-by Lake Powell Communications the other day, along with Jim Hunter, the Page campus’ Instructional Site Director.

Dr. Colleen Smith

Dr. Colleen Smith

Dr. Smith has spent her entire career with community colleges in Wyoming, Texas, and now here in Coconino County, Arizona.

“In seeing the students, not only blossom, but discover their own talents and gain self-confidence, and then go on to do just great things. That’s what ignited my passion,” said Smith.

The new president said that driving to Page in the high desert makes her feel right at home.

“Living in Wyoming for twenty-two years, I love it. I just think it’s absolutely beautiful; seeing the beauty of the cliffs and the sage brush,” she added.

When she saw the Page CCC campus the first time, while still being interviewed for the position, her thought was that it’s fantastic.

“This is a great facility,” she said. “And having worked in small community colleges, and sometimes it really lacked funding, I just didn’t expect it to be as nice at it is; the Page campus.”

She mentioned its’ warm and wonderful feeling within the walls.

“What I would really like to see is the Page campus full of students,” said Smith.

But she says filling the building has everything to do with resources. She says they need to work hard, to partner and be a team so that they can find the necessary resources.

“The idea is that the community college is ‘this’ community’s college,” she said. “I feel strongly and passionately about that. We have to work hard. We have to be creative. We have to think outside the box. We have to find the resources so that we can serve our rural communities. I don’t have the answers, but I’m going to work real hard to find solutions.”

Dr. Smith referred to “a lot of great people at the college.” One of the ones she was referring to was Jim Hunter.

Hunter said the feeling is mutual.

“We’ve just gotten to know each other and I’m trying to answer her questions as well as I can,” said Hunter. “I think she paints a very accurate picture and a hopeful picture about community college in general. And I think we’re poised to do some wonderful things here.”

In getting to know the Flagstaff and Page communities, Dr. Smith told us she’s been talking to, and asking questions of, faculty, students, residents and anyone else she can, so that she can attain a complete knowledge of the area and the college.

Hunter agrees with Smith, that there are good things ahead for the Page campus of Coconino Community College.

One thing the president wanted to share with the community of Page is that if anyone has any thoughts or ideas about the Page campus, please share.

“Tell us how we can partner, how we can work together, how we can serve this community,” she said. “We’re going to be out there in the community trying to figure out how to make the college just as vibrant, and maybe more so, than it ever was before.”

Listen to Dr. Smith’s full interview here.

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