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OACC Selects Clark State’s Dr. Robert Derr, Desiree Williams for 2022-23 Leadership Academy Cohort

OACC Selects Clark State’s Dr. Robert Derr, Desiree Williams for 2022-23 Leadership Academy Cohort

August 11, 2022

Dr. Robert Derr, associate professor of English and Desiree Williams, director of the Clark State Center for Teaching and Learning, were selected by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) to represent Clark State College in the 2022-23 Leadership Academy for Student Success cohort. This Academy is modeled on the Aspen Institute’s Leadership program.

“Dr. Derr and Williams have admirably demonstrated their laser focus on student success,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “They excel in ensuring their students have the knowledge and skills to be successful in subsequent coursework or in their careers.  I look forward to their participation and the strategies that they bring back to campus to improve the student experience.”

Derr has been teaching at Clark State since 2019 and has taught English at the college level for the past 17 years. At Clark State, he serves as an Associate Professor of English and the English and Developmental English Coordinator. He earned a Doctorate in Education with concentrations in Higher Education Leadership and Continuous Improvement from Concordia University – Wisconsin. His M.A. and B.A. are both in English and are from East Carolina University. 

“I feel very honored to have been nominated and selected to participate in the Third Cohort of the OACC’s Leadership Academy for Student Success,” he said. “I am looking forward to getting to know and learn from colleagues across the state. Student success is vital to our mission at Clark State College, and I am looking forward to being able to share what I learn through participating in the leadership academy with my Clark State family.” 

Williams joined Clark State as the Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning in January 2022. She received her BA from Wright State University, her MBA from Ohio Dominican University, and a graduate certificate in Instructional Design from Bowling Green State University.  

“I am always happy to blend my experiences in learning, development, education, instructional design, and business to inspire a culture of learning,” she said. “I am both honored and excited to have been selected to participate as a 2022- 2023 Fellow of the OACC Leadership Academy. I have spent 20 plus years in leadership roles, and this Pathways Project opportunity will empower me to partner with other leaders to continue to inspire a greater student experience." 

The OACC established the leadership academy in 2019 to encourage mid-level administrators and faculty to develop leadership skills and promote student success.

The OACC Leadership Academy for Student Success is spearheaded by the association’s Success Center for Ohio Community Colleges.

The fellows convene six times over a year to participate in sessions designed to help them strengthen their college’s ability to accomplish its mission of sustaining pathways to student success.

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