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News Release

Date: July 17, 2009
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Marcus Rosano, 240-567-4022

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Three New Trustees Named to Montgomery College Board
Maryland Governor O’Malley Appoints Montgomery County Residents Gloria Aparicio Blackwell and Marsha Suggs Smith, and Student Kenneth Massada

Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, Marsha Suggs Smith, and Montgomery College student Kenneth Massada have been appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to serve on the Montgomery College Board of Trustees. Blackwell and Smith will complete the terms of two trustees who resigned from the board. Blackwell will serve five years and Smith will serve one year. As the student member, Massada will serve one year.

“I look forward to working with our new trustees, whose diverse experiences and perspectives will benefit our board and Montgomery College,” said Dr. Michael Lin, chair of the Montgomery College Board of Trustees. “With our new trustees, the board looks forward to furthering the College’s commitment to accessibility and excellence in higher education.”  

Dr. Michael Lin took office as the chair of the Montgomery College Board of Trustees on July 1, 2009. Stephen Kaufman will serve as first vice chair and Georgette (Gigi) Godwin will serve as second vice chair. The officers are elected by their board colleagues. Members of the Board of Trustees, who are appointed by the Governor of Maryland, exercise general oversight for the College and are empowered to establish policies for implementing the College’s mission.

The board’s other responsibilities include setting the salaries and tenure requirements for the College president, faculty, and other employees of the College, as well as establishing entrance requirements, course offerings and tuition rates. Members serve six-year terms, with the exception of the student member, who serves for one year.

Gloria Aparicio Blackwell
, a Gaithersburg resident, currently serves as the assistant to the vice president of administrative affairs at the University of Maryland. She oversees community relations for the university and collaborates with area organizations and nonprofits. In her role, she worked with an elementary school to open a community center for low-income children and families. Blackwell also volunteers her time as a board member for the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless and the Montgomery County Lions Club. 

A native of Venezuela, Blackwell earned an associate’s degree in fire science at the Instituto Tecnologico de Seguridad Industrial before moving to the United States, where she attended Montgomery College to improve her language skills and receive additional career training. Blackwell earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland University College.

Marsha Suggs Smith
, a resident of Olney, recently completed six years as an executive committee member of the National Education Association, where she worked with members around the world to develop and support initiatives that focused on quality teaching and learning in public schools. Smith also worked for more than 30 years as a team leader resource teacher and assistant athletic director in Montgomery County Public Schools.

Smith has served as a member of the board of directors for several organizations, including the Montgomery County Education Association, Maryland State Teachers Association, Teacher Advisory Board at Coppin State University and chair of the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board in Baltimore. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Phi Delta Kappa. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Tuskegee University.

Kenneth Massada
, the new student trustee, is a computer engineering and computer science major at the College’s Rockville Campus. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and participates in several student organizations, including the Robotics Club, Math Club and the African Caribbean Student Union. In the Rockville Campus Student Senate, Massada served as president during the 2007-2008 academic year.

Originally from Togo, Massada now lives in Rockville. He interns with an IT contractor and volunteers his time to fix and repair computers. He also created a blog about the Linux Operating System, where he provides technical support to his readers. By next summer, Massada expects to transfer from Montgomery College to pursue degrees in engineering, politics and law.

Dr. Michael Lin
, chair, was reappointed to the board in 2006. He recently retired as the national executive director of the Organization of Chinese Americans. Previously, he worked at the National Institutes of Health for 30 years. A resident of Potomac, Lin holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

Stephen Kaufman
, first vice chair, began serving his second six-year term in 2007. He is a senior partner with the law firm Linowes and Blocher. Kaufman, a resident of Brookville, has a J.D. from the University of Baltimore Law School and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.

A resident of Rockville, Georgette (Gigi) Godwin was appointed to the board in 2006. She currently serves as the president and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. She has a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College.

For more information about the Montgomery College Board of Trustees, visit http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/exploremc/bot or contact the Board of Trustees Office at 240-567-5272.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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