Ce­cil Col­lege names VP of aca­demic pro­grams

Cecil Whig - - OPINION - SPE­CIAL TO THE WHIG

— For some­one who says she stum­bled into the field of higher ed­u­ca­tion, Kim­berly Batty-Herbert has had a steady climb through the ranks en route to her new po­si­tion as vice pres­i­dent of aca­demic pro­grams at Ce­cil Col­lege.

Batty-Herbert, who spent the last nine years as dean of arts and sci­ences at South Florida State Col­lege, has been hired to serve as Ce­cil’s chief aca­demic of­fi­cer and a mem­ber of its ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship team. She has lead­er­ship re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for plan­ning, im­ple­ment­ing and co­or­di­nat­ing the ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams of the col­lege.

Look­ing to ad­vance in her ca­reer to a vice pres­i­dent post, Batty-Herbert was at­tracted to Ce­cil for sev­eral rea­sons. In ad­di­tion to be­ing a small school in a ru­ral com­mu­nity just like SFSC, it also of­fered her the op­por­tu­nity to be closer to rel­a­tives in Charles County.

“My in­ter­view made me feel like not only would I have fam­ily in south­ern Mary­land, I would have fam­ily at Ce­cil as well,” said Batty-Herbert. “I could see right away that peo­ple re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated and liked work­ing with an­other.”

A na­tive of west­ern Penn­syl­va­nia, who is boldly dis­play­ing her Pitts­burgh Steel­ers “Ter­ri­ble Towel” in Bal­ti­more Ravens coun­try, Batty-Herbert be­gan her col­lege course­work at But­ler County Com­mu­nity Col­lege while she was still in high school. She then headed south­west to Eastern New Mex­ico Univer­sity, where she re­ceived a Bach­e­lor of Science in com­mu­ni­ca­tion in 1982 and a mas­ter’s in com­mu­ni­ca­tion seven years later. Batty-

NORTH EAST

Herbert ini­tially in­tended to use her ed­u­ca­tion to be a tele­vi­sion broadcaster but she ended up em­bark­ing on an un­planned path in­stead.

Shortly af­ter earn­ing her mas­ter’s, she be­gan serv­ing as an ad­junct in­struc­tor at Eastern New Mex­ico Univer­sity-Clo­vis, which later be­came known as Clo­vis Com­mu­nity Col­lege. Batty-Herbert was hooked right away. Not only did she en­joy the in­volve­ment with the stu­dents, but she knew com­mu­nity col­leges were where she wanted to be. A first-gen­er­a­tion col­lege stu­dent from a blue-col­lar fam­ily, Batty-Herbert felt an in­stant con­nec­tion with many of the peo­ple she was teach­ing and has been work­ing at two-year schools ever since.

“It was just a great ex­pe­ri­ence, and I re­al­ized this is what I want to do,” said Batty-Herbert. “I was al­ways at­tracted to the com­mu­nity col­lege, be­cause I think we are more im­pact­ful in what we do for stu­dents by trans­form­ing their lives.”

She quickly went from part-time to full-time sta­tus at Clo­vis and spent nearly 15 years as the school’s pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, mu­sic, lan­guages and theatre as well as an in­struc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. While work­ing at Clo­vis, Batty-Herbert con­tin­ued her own stud­ies and was awarded a doc­tor­ate in higher ed­u­ca­tion ad­min­is­tra­tion from New Mex­ico State Univer­sity in 2004. Shortly there­after, she trav­eled south­east with her hus­band, David, and son, Brax­ton, and made the tran­si­tion from fac­ulty to ad­min­is­tra­tion by tak­ing on the role of as­so­ciate dean of aca­demic af­fairs at Broward Col­lege. Fol­low­ing a three-year stint at Broward, she re­mained in the Sun­shine State, where she took the next stride for­ward in her ca­reer to her fi­nal stop be­fore Ce­cil, South Florida State Col­lege.

“It has been a series of small steps to Ce­cil,” said Batty-Herbert whose ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer have taken her on a jour­ney of more than 4,000 miles from her child­hood home. “Go­ing from an as­so­ciate dean to a dean to a vice pres­i­dent was just a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion, and every­thing I have done in the past has led me to this po­si­tion. All the dif­fer­ent com­mit­tees I have served on, and all the roles I have had within an in­sti­tu­tion and a com­mu­nity have led me to this po­si­tion and strength­ened my back­ground.”

Wher­ever she has worked and what­ever po­si­tions she has held, Batty-Herbert has most rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity to im­pact stu­dents’ lives. Shortly be­fore de­part­ing from SFSC, the stu­dents se­lected her as the ad­junct fac­ulty mem­ber of the year. She was men­tor of the year at Broward and, though it has been about 10 years, she still keeps in per­sonal con­tact with her mentee.

“Stu­dent-cen­tered awards mean the most to me,” said Batty-Herbert. “When I know I have helped a stu­dent to suc­ceed, that is my great­est ac­com­plish­ment.”

Batty-Herbert also feels strongly about be­ing in­volved in the com­mu­nity at large and has made a point to do so at each in­sti­tu­tion she has been af­fil­i­ated with. Her Ro­tary club in Florida named her Ro­tar­ian of the year be­fore she left, and she has al­ready trans­ferred her mem­ber­ship to the North East Ro­tary Club.

Batty-Herbert has a sign in her of­fice that says “Lis­ten,” and that is her first goal as she set­tles into her new role at Ce­cil. She said she is go­ing to lis­ten, watch and learn from the pro­fes­sion­als and find out how she can sup­port them and help grow what is al­ready be­ing done.

“I am a sup­port­ing cog in Ce­cil Col­lege and am here to back those as­signed to my area,” said Batty-Herbert. “My pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity is en­sur­ing com­pli­ance with gov­ern­men­tal reg­u­la­tions in ed­u­ca­tion and to make sure our cur­ricu­lum is ap­pro­pri­ate, meet­ing the needs of our com­mu­nity and mak­ing stu­dents’ lives bet­ter.”

While the nuts and bolts of the po­si­tion should be quite fa­mil­iar, her great­est chal­lenge thus far is learn­ing the ver­nac­u­lar, which comes with a whole new set of acronyms, names and ac­cred­it­ing bod­ies that change from state to state and re­gion to re­gion. She cred­its her sup­port team, and many oth­ers at Ce­cil, with bring­ing her up to speed.

In ad­di­tion to the ex­cite­ment for her new job, Bat­tyHer­bert is greatly look­ing for­ward to truly ex­pe­ri­enc­ing all four sea­sons for the first time in many years. She has es­pe­cially missed fall fo­liage and spring flow­ers, and is even ready to en­dure a snow­storm as long her dog Fritzy can han­dle it.

While the du­ties of an ex­ec­u­tive level col­lege po­si­tion can pull one away from reg­u­lar in­ter­ac­tion with stu­dents, Batty-Herbert is de­ter­mined to pre­vent that from hap­pen­ing.

“I love help­ing stu­dents, and I am go­ing to try real hard not to get stuck in my of­fice,” she said. “I still in­tend to be out there meet­ing stu­dents and con­tin­u­ally learn­ing how I can best serve them.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

Clerk of Court Char­lene Notar­cola ad­min­is­ters the judge’s oath to Clara Eva Campbell.

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