Hudson County Community College Senior Vice President Paula Pando One of Just 40 Nationwide Admitted to 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellowship

May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has announced that Paula P. Pando, Ed.D., the College’s Senior Vice President for the North Hudson Campus and Student & Educational Services, has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. The highly selective leadership program is aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders who will be capable of transforming student success at community colleges throughout the U.S. The announcement of Dr. Pando’s admission to the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows was recently made by the Aspen Institute, the educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

“We are very pleased to make this announcement. This is a distinct honor for Dr. Pando, one that speaks to the quality of leadership at Hudson County Community College, and our dedication to furthering successful outcomes for our students,” said HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D.

Dr. Pando and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will begin the year-long fellowship in July, 2017. The program is delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders. It focuses on a new vision of leadership that aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to dramatically change student outcomes in four areas: learning; completion while in community college and of bachelor’s degrees after transfer; employment and earnings after graduation; and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students. 

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts over the past year. This staggering rate of turnover is happening at the same time that increasing numbers of students – including growing numbers of minority, low-income, and first-generation to college students – are flocking to community colleges to earn degrees that lead to good jobs.

Dr. Pando was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access. The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges of varying sizes.

Born and raised in Hudson County, Dr. Pando earned a bachelor’s degree from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (now Stockton University) and a master’s degree from Saint Peter’s College (now Saint Peter’s University).

She began her career in higher education as Director of Campus Activities and Programs at Saint Peter’s College nearly 25 years ago, and in 2003, Pando joined Hudson County Community College as Associate Dean for Student Services. She was promoted to Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students at HCCC in 2006, and in 2009 was named Vice President for North Hudson Center and Student Affairs. A year later, she was awarded her Ed.D. in Education Leadership from Rowan University. In June 2016, she was named Senior Vice President for the North Hudson Center and Student & Educational Services by the HCCC Board of Trustees. Dr. Pando has been recognized for her commitment to students and the community college mission by various organizations including the New Jersey Council of County Colleges with their Community College Spirit Award.

“I am honored to have been awarded this opportunity, and look forward to joining a group of talented professionals from across the country to explore important issues related to student success, and the future of American community colleges. It is indeed an opportunity of a lifetime!” Dr. Pando said. “Further, I am very grateful to President Gabert and the Board of Trustees for supporting me in this amazing journey.”

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.