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Businesswoman set to lead Patrick Henry
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Dr. Angeline D. Godwin, a Mississippi businesswoman who has experience in both higher education and economic development, has been named the new president of Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC).
Godwin was one of three finalists to be interviewed by the college’s board and to meet with students, faculty, staff and the public during recent open forums. Her appointment as the college’s third president was announced Tuesday by Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois.
Effective July 1, Godwin will succeed Max Wingett, who is retiring after more than 33 years at PHCC’s helm.
Godwin, 52, currently is a managing member of The Nicolette Co. LLC, a family-owned business in Hattiesburg, Miss. She was president of the Ashland Community and Technical College District in Ashland, Ky., from 1997 to 2000.
Previously, she was vice president for research and development at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg from 2002 to 2004 and president and chief executive officer of the Mississippi Technology Alliance and the Institute for Technology Development from 2000 to 2002.
Before that, Godwin was dean of arts and sciences at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tenn., and held other administrative and teaching positions in Michigan and Florida.
Godwin “brings to Patrick Henry a wide range of accomplishments in higher education and in community economic development,” DuBois said. He added that she is “an extremely good fit” for the college.
Other finalists were Dr. Bruce R. Scism, interim president of Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., and Dr. Ralph G. Soney, president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College in Ahoskie, N.C.
Victor Williams, chairman of the PHCC Board, said all three candidates were outstanding.
Yet based on Godwin’s interview, conversations with college employees and public feedback received after the forums, “everybody was pretty unanimous that she’s the No. 1 choice ... to take us to the next level,” Williams said.
Along with her many years of higher education experience, he said, Godwin is “well-rounded in economic development.” He said community colleges and economic development go hand-in-hand because the colleges supply the training needed to develop a skilled work force that will attract companies.
College officials also were impressed with Godwin’s fundraising abilities, said Williams. He noted that the college needs to raise private funds to help meet its financial needs as state revenues decline in tough economic times.
During a phone interview Tuesday, Godwin said she is impressed with PHCC’s “long-term, solid reputation” in providing quality academic programs — many of which have been recognized nationally, she emphasized — as well as its use of “cutting edge” educational technology.
“You see a lot of pride” when visiting the college, she said, such as through numerous employees having made long-term commitments to work for PHCC and efforts to keep both older and newer buildings in top-notch condition.
Buildings are so clean that “you can literally eat off the floor,” she said.
She said that she and her husband, Jim Hatten, a retired community college biology instructor, are equally as impressed with the community.
Having come to visit a few days before her interview, they stopped at locally owned stores and restaurants and met people anonymously, she recalled.
“Everybody was just very, very gracious,” Godwin said. “I just saw a real passion. People care” about the area, despite its economic problems.
“It showed me something about the character of the community,” she said, adding that the couple’s decision to move here upon accepting her new job “felt right to us.”
Godwin said she looks forward to helping PHCC develop partnerships to help the community grow and prosper.
“I’ll spend a lot of time learning and listening and looking for opportunities,” she pledged.
As PHCC’s new president, Godwin will earn $142,000 annually. Wingett is earning $178,948, said college Public Relations Director Kris Landrum.
Godwin has a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan; a doctorate in English and a master’s in English education from Florida State University; a master’s degree from the University of Alabama; a bachelor’s degree from Troy State University; and an associate degree from Gulf Coast Community College in Florida.