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Finalist for PHCC president fields questions at forum
Godwin has background in economic development
Angeline Godwin, one of three finalists for the president’s position at Patrick Henry Community College, visited the college Monday to meet staff, students and community members. Above, Godwin speaks during a question-and-answer session Monday evening at West Hall. (Contributed photo by Kenny Webster)
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
Dr. Angeline D. Godwin said Monday that her diverse background of experience as a teacher; college dean, vice president and president; state and regional economic developer; and family business executive, among other positions, makes her a good fit to be Patrick Henry Community College’s next president.
Godwin, one of three finalists for the job, spoke at an open community forum at West Hall on campus. About 25 people attended.
A first-generation college graduate, Godwin, 52, of Hattiesburg, Miss., was president of Ashland Community College (now Ashland Community and Technical College) in Ashland, Ky., from 1997-2000, serving through the transition from governance by The University of Kentucky Community College System to the newly formed Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
Godwin drew from that challenging transition experience to respond to a question during the forum Monday from a woman who said she was speaking on behalf of faculty and staff. She asked if Godwin would have an open-door policy as PHCC president and noted that PHCC employees have not had a raise in several years, and if morale is slipping, what would Godwin do to address that?
Godwin said there were a lot of morale problems at Ashland Community College during the transition in governance. She has an open-door, open-mind, open-dialogue policy, she said, and her experience as a teacher helped her have a common bond with faculty during the transition. She pointed out that when she was a college dean, vice president and president, she also continued to teach, in part because it helped her to know students better.
According to Godwin’s résumé, among her achievements as president at Ashland Community College were:
• Leading a major enrollment management initiative, resulting in a 14 percent enrollment increase;
• Leading initiatives to assure greater alignment between high school curriculum and college entrance placement;
• Building extensive partnerships with state and regional colleges and universities;
• Creating an on-campus preschool program — KinderCollege— as part of enrollment growth and student retention program;
• Advancing technology;
• Expanding student support services;
• Building, expanding or participating in cultural, educational, economic development and civic and charitable partnerships.
Godwin was vice president for research and economic development at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, from 2002-2004, and dean of arts and sciences of Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tenn., from 1994-97. From 1990-94, she held a number of positions at Michigan State University in East Lansing. She has more than 20 years of classroom teaching experience at the community college, university and 7-12 secondary grade levels.
As an economic developer, Godwin has led both statewide and regional economic development organizations. Having served on numerous development and chamber boards and committees while an academic administrator, she was recruited to Mississippi in 2000 to become the founding CEO/president of the Mississippi Technology Alliance, the state’s science and technology-based economic development organization.
She most recently served as president of The Area Development Partnership (in Hattiesburg), a three-county regional economic and chamber of commerce organization. “During her tenure, she created community development and cultural development divisions, expanding the focus of the organization to better serve the region’s diverse communities; the Pinebelt Young Professionals for rising junior leaders; ADP Learns, a comprehensive professional development series in collaboration with local schools and professionals; and a nonprofit partnership foundation to promote regional development projects and activities,” a bio says.
She also has more then 25 years of experience in private fund-raising, grant writing and public funding resource development, her résumé says.
Key in economic development, Godwin said, are such things as having public-private partnerships in place to meet needs and opportunities that arise, as well as having ongoing dialogue; doing extensive research; matching gaps and resources; and providing training to meet the needs of business.
And creative, sometimes unusual, thinking is important, she said. One example of her successes in economic development was helping an existing company that was having troubles because of its wastewater partner with a company being recruited to the area that could use the wastewater in its operations, she said.
She said she thinks this region may have economic development possibilities in such areas as advanced (or technology-driven) manufacturing, health care, agribusiness, polymer science, motor sports and technology support centers.
Some of the places she has worked in economic development have had similar economic challenges as Martinsville-Henry County, she said, such as business closings and high unemployment.
Since late 2008, Godwin has been the managing member of The Nicolette Co. LLC in Hattiesburg, a family-owned and managed multifaceted small business enterprise.
Her strengths include having a vision, innovation and passion, she said.
She received a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., graduating cum laude; a Ph.D. in English and a master’s degree in English education from Florida State University; a master’s degree in English from the University of Alabama; a bachelor’s degree in English from Troy State University; and an associate degree from Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla. She has done post-graduate work.
Her having a law degree, she said, could help PHCC save money on legal expenses, money that could be spent for educating students, she said.
Godwin and her husband, Jim Hatten, a retired community college biology instructor, have three grown children. Her interests include reading, collegiate sports, floral design, music and “the prettiest dog in the world.”
“I see lots to build on here (in this community), or I wouldn’t have applied for this job,” Godwin said. She said, for instance, this area has survived the textile and furniture industries being virtually “wiped off” the map; it is not polluted; it has a cultural infrastructure, such as the Virginia Museum of Natural History and Piedmont Arts Association; and employees in the area have a strong work ethic. She also said she is impressed by the quality and passion of employees at PHCC.
William Wampler, executive director of the New College Institute, said during the forum he was “mightily impressed” with Godwin’s experience and depth.
The next open community forum, with PHCC presidential finalist Dr. Ralph G. Soney, will be from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 127 of West Hall. Soney is the president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College in Ahoskie, N.C.
The third finalist, Dr. Bruce Scism of Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, visited PHCC last week.