Open forum for new dean of student success

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Raphael Turner, dean of student success candidate, answers questions from faculty, students and community members in regard to his candidacy Feb 1. in Room 120 of the visual arts center. Turner is a substitute teacher from Montgomery County schools in Silver Springs, Md. Photo by Noah Acevedo

Second dean candidate declines interviews and the position will be re-opened.

By Michelle Delgado

Open forums were scheduled for two candidates Feb. 1-2 to fill the position for dean of student success.

Dr. Raphael Turner, substitute teacher for Montgomery County Schools, visited this college for an open forum and interviews Feb. 1.

The second candidate, Edward G. Robinson, vice president/executive dean of students at Blackhawk Technical College, was scheduled to attend open forums Feb. 2.

“He declined to get interviewed,” Dr. Lisa Alcorta, vice president of student success, said.

The reason was tied to salary, she said.

“In any position, sometimes people coming from other locations, when they apply for the position they are unaware of the salary.”

The position will be re-opened for additional candidates.

“The other candidate was an excellent candidate but we need to have other individuals to really go through the interview process with us,” Alcorta said. “Dr. Turner is still in the pool. He is being considered, but to be fair, we have to compare candidates.”

Turner has been working in higher education for 18 years.

He has been involved with advising, counseling, enrollment services, financial aid, wellness and student centers, TRIO programs and athletics.

An audience of 12 attended Turner’s open forum.

Marysa Torres, administrative associate, asked Turner what his view is on employees continuing their education.

“That’s important because I don’t think that people can be the best that they are if they are not continuously improving themselves,” Turner said. “I think that education is one of those ways that we do that.”

Another audience member, Nick Benedetto, workforce development support specialist, asked Turner what importance he puts on testing and assessment.

“I think testing is important because I think it gives you a level of where somebody is, but I think the back side of that is that there are students, of course, who are great test takers but not good in the classroom,” Turner said. “I think that you have to use the test for what it’s meant for, but I think there are some other things that as a faculty member, as an institution that you have to get to know about that certain student. Some students are good in certain areas but they don’t test well.”

Benedetto also asked Turner what he would do in the first 30 days of his employment.

“I think it’s important for me to understand the history and the culture about this institution, so I would be doing a lot of learning, a lot of walking, a lot of listening,” Turner said. “Really understanding what the needs are, what the college has to offer and how I can become a part of it.”

Turner said his passion for higher education and helping students is his greatest strength.


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