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About Board Members

Board Members


The Honorable Michael J. Knapp


The Honorable Michael J. Knapp was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2020-2021 term. Mr. Knapp was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Martin O’Malley in March 2012 for the remainder of a six-year term that began on July 1, 2006. He was reappointed to serve a full six-year term in July 2012 and again in July 2018. Mr. Knapp served two previous terms as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2017 to 2019. 

Mr. Knapp is CEO and co-founder of SkillSmart, a technology company that uses skills to empower individuals, employers and communities to maximize their potential.  He served on the Montgomery County Council, representing District 2, from 2002 through 2010, and served as the council president in 2007 and 2008. Prior to his service on the County Council, Mr. Knapp was a biotech executive at Celera Genomics.

Mr. Knapp also serves chair of the Board of Advisors at the Universities at Shady Grove, as a board member for Identity, Inc., the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, as well as a co-chair of Montgomery Moving Forward. While serving on the County Council, he was the chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in 2008 (member, 2002 to 2010), and a former member of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (chair, 2006). Knapp is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and government and he served for ten years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Dr. Michael A. Brintnall

DR. MICHAEL A. BRINTNALL, First Vice Chair (2017–2023)

Dr. Michael Brintnall was elected First Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2020-2021 term. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Larry Hogan for a six-year term that began on July 1, 2017. Dr. Brintnall served as Second Vice Chair in 2019-2020. 

Dr. Brintnall has played a leadership role in higher education for over 30 years. He was Executive Director of the American Political Science Association (APSA) from 2002 to 2013, where he lead the establishment of the Conference on Teaching and Learning in political science as well as advanced the Association's continuing work in promoting scholarship, public engagement, and diversity and inclusion. In 2013, the Association established the Michael Brintnall Teaching & Learning Award in his name to support future faculty professional development.

Dr. Brintall's earlier positions include Executive Director of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, an organization that promotes public service and accredits professional degrees in public administration and policy; and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Vernon College in Washington, DC. He previously led an office of program evaluation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and held a faculty appointment in political science at Brown University.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has served as president of the National Humanities Alliance and on the boards and working groups of many organizations, including the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the Environmental Investigation Agency, the American Society for Public Administration, and networks of schools and institutes of public administration in Central and Eastern Europe, and in Latin America.

A long-time resident of Montgomery County, Dr. Brintall is a former city council member in Glen Echo. He now lives in Cabin John. He is an active dancer of Argentine Tango and co-edits the DC area Capital Tangueros calendar. He has a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BA degree from Amherst College. 


Dr. Frieda K. Lacey

 DR. FRIEDA K. LACEY, Second Vice Chair (2018-2024)

Dr. Frieda Lacey was elected Second Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2020-2021 term. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees on November 1, 2018, by Governor Larry Hogan and is serving a six-year term through June 30, 2024.

Dr. Lacey has had a distinguished career as a professional educator that spans more than 40 years. She holds a doctorate in educational policy and leadership from George Washington University, a master of education degree in Special Education from the University of Maryland and a bachelor of science degree in Elementary Education from Norfolk State University. 

Prior to her retirement in 2012 from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Dr. Lacey served as the Deputy Superintendent of Schools. Over the years she has held a variety of positions in MCPS including Chief of Staff, Equity Assurance Officer, Supervisor of Special Education, and principal. After retirement from MCPS, she served as the Director of Development for the George B. Thomas Learning Academy, a non-profit community based tutoring and mentoring program for 4 years.

Dr. Lacey previously served on the Board of the Foundation Schools as well as a three-year term on the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board. She has received numerous awards and honors during her career that include the Frieda K. Lacey Distinguished Scholar scholarship presented annually by the Montgomery County Alliance of Black Educators; the Bernie Scholarship Community Service Award; the Identity Theresa Wright Award of Excellence in Service to Latina Youth; the Middle States Regional Assembly of the College Board William U. Harris Award of Excellence; and the Maryland State Department of Education Excellence for Minority Achievement Award.

Ms. Richelle E. Adu

MS. RICHELLE E. ADU, Student Trustee (2020-2021)

Ms. Richelle Adu was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the Board of Trustees in July 2020 for a one-year term. Ms. Adu began her academic journey at Montgomery College in 2018 as an International Studies Major. She quickly realized her passion for advocacy when she joined the Takoma Park Silver Spring (TP/SS) Student Senate. In her role as Senator At-Large, she sought to amplify student voices and echo student concerns through programming and advocacy. In this role, she realized the importance of equity and inclusion. With this newfound passion, she ran and was elected to be the president of the TP/SS Student Senate for the 2019-2020 academic school year.

In her tenure as president of the TP/SS Student Senate, Ms. Adu continued to focus on amplifying student voices in different ways. She testified to the county council, interacted with local government officials, and advocated for Montgomery College. Ms. Adu sat on the Student Council and was also a member of the ACES Ambassador Program. 

Ms. Adu hopes that her role as Student Trustee will continue to provide her with an opportunity to serve the entire MC community.


Gloria Aparicio Blackwell


Ms. Gloria Aparicio Blackwell was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to serve a third term on the Board of Trustees on July 1, 2020. She was appointed in 2009 to serve for the remainder of a six-year term that had begun on July 1, 2008. She was later appointed to a full term in 2014. Ms. Aparicio Blackwell served as chair of the Board of Trustees in 2019-2020. 

Ms. Aparicio-Blackwell is the Director of the Office of Community Engagement at the University of Maryland College Park under the Division of Administration & Finance. She has worked for the University more than 19 years. Her primary role is to contribute to the University’s commitment to the land grant mission, as well as, the overall efforts in making the University of Maryland a “Greater College Town.”

Ms. Aparicio Blackwell earned an associate’s degree in safety and fire science from Instituto Tecnológico de Seguridad Industrial in Venezuela and a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology with a concentration in safety and fire science from the University of Maryland. In addition, Blackwell earned a master of science in management from University of Maryland Global Campus. Prior to joining the University in 1997, Gloria worked in safety and fire management at Potomac Electric Power Company and for higher education institutions, including American University and Montgomery College as a student worker.  

Ms. Aparicio Blackwell has recently received the prestigious President’s Distinguished Service Award under the category of Public Service at the University of Maryland, adding to other awards such as UMD’s Outstanding Woman of Color Award.

Outside of her service to Montgomery College, Gloria volunteers with several organizations. She is a graduate and board member of Leadership Maryland and Leadership Montgomery, and serves as a board member of the International Town/Gown Association.

To maintain work/life balance, she is an avid runner/walker and more importantly, finds time to enjoy family and friends. Ms. Aparicio Blackwell resides in Gaithersburg with her husband, Stephen Blackwell.

Dr. Kenneth J. Hoffman

DR. KENNETH J. HOFFMAN (2010–2023)

Dr. Kenneth J. Hoffman began his service on the Board of Trustees April 26, 2010, when he was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley for the term of one year. He was reappointed to a full six-year term in 2011 and again in 2017.  

Dr. Hoffman is retired from the U.S. Army Medical Corps after 23 years of active duty. He held positions of increasing responsibility, which include duty assignments as the medical director of the Federal Interagency Board for Military and Veterans Health, medical director for TRICARE Population Health Improvement, and director of preventive services for the U.S. Medical Command in Korea. In addition, he served as the director for the Center of Training and Education in Addiction Medicine at the Uniformed Services University. Since 1988, Dr. Hoffman has taught at the Uniformed Services University in psychiatry and preventive medicine.

He has served on the Montgomery County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council and volunteers his time as a board member of Oxford House. Dr. Hoffman earned his BA from Cornell University, his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, and his MPH from Harvard University School of Public Health. 


Leslie Levine

 DR. LESLIE S. LEVINE (2009–2021)

Dr. Leslie Levine was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Martin O'Malley in September, 2009 for a full six-year term. He was reappointed by Governor Larry Hogan for another full term in 2015. Dr. Levine served as Second Vice Chair in 2018-2019 and First Vice Chair in 2019-2020. 

Dr. Levine has lived in Montgomery County for more than 45 years and has contributed to the economic growth and development of the county through his business and volunteer activities. In 1973, he co-founded a successful high-tech manufacturing company, Fusion Systems Corporation, based in Rockville. Over its 24-year history, Fusion created hundreds of good jobs for County residents, including dozens of recent immigrants.

Dr. Levine served on the County Economic Advisory Council for over a decade and was on the board of the Montgomery County High Tech Council. He also served on the board of the Jewish Vocational Services and Bethesda Jewish Congregation. He is active in Leadership Montgomery, the Board of the National Philharmonic, and the Advisory Board of the Maryland Technology Development Center, a high-tech incubator. Dr. Levine served on the Board of Advisors for the Macklin Business Institute at Montgomery College and has done informal pro bono consulting regarding Pinkney Innovation Complex at Montgomery College Germantown Campus, as well as for Workforce Development and Continuing Education.

Dr. Levine holds a PhD in physics from Columbia University. 


Robert Levey

MR. ROBERT F. LEVEY (2015–2025)

Mr. Bob Levey was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the Board of Trustees in 2015 and reappointed in 2019 to serve a full six-year term. Mr. Levey spent more than 36 years on the editorial staff of The Washington Post. His daily column about local life, “Bob Levey’s Washington,” appeared for more than 23 years. Through the column, Levey raised more money for charity than any journalist in history.

In addition, Levey worked for nine radio stations and four television stations as a commentator or talk show host. Since accepting an early retirement buyout from The Post, Levey has been senior vice president for development at Washington Hospital Center Foundation and a senior fellow in the Montgomery County Government. He now runs Bob Levey LLC, a consulting firm that helps non-profits write better so they can raise money better.

Mr. Levey was chosen a Washingtonian Of The Year by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. He has served on seven non-profit boards, including the Montgomery College Foundation Board. He has also been a journalism professor at five major research universities. He is the author or co-author of three books and dozens of magazine articles. He writes a regular monthly column for The Senior Beacon, and free-lances as a commercial voice talent.

Levey first came into contact with Montgomery College through his children, who both starred in productions at the college’s Summer Dinner Theatre. In 1995, Levey played the role of Wally Womper in a Montgomery College production of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” causing massive embarrassment and amusement among his children.

Mr. Levey received a BA in English with special honors from The University of Chicago. 

Maricé Morales


Ms. Morales was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to serve a six-year term, beginning on July 1, 2019.

She is a personal injury and criminal defense attorney at her own firm and has experience both at the district and circuit court levels in 15 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions.

Ms. Morales was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates as the first Latina representing District 19 in Montgomery County in 2014 and was the youngest Latina to serve at the state level in the country. She served as founding member and vice chair of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus.

During her time in Annapolis, Ms. Morales sponsored legislation to reform the criminal justice system, protect immigrant communities, protect workers’ rights, and combat the rape culture in our country. She sat on the Judiciary Committee for her first two sessions where she worked on major criminal justice reform, including Justice Reinvestment, the elimination of mandatory minimums, bail reform, and police accountability. She was later assigned to the Health and Government Operations Committee, where she focused on insurance coverage and mental health issues.

Ms. Morales was awarded the Governor’s Award for her work combating Human Trafficking, and was the recipient of the Outstanding Public Service Award in recognition of her work and contributions to the welfare of the Latino community through public service from several local organizations

Ms. Morales sits on the boards of the Jewish Council on Aging and Emerge Maryland, and is a contributing writer with Maryland Matters. She has a JD from the University of Maryland, School of Law, a master’s in public policy, and a bachelor’s in global affairs and French from George Mason University. Ms. Morales is fluent in Spanish, French, and English.


Marsha Suggs Smith


Ms. Marsha Suggs Smith joined the Board of Trustees on July 1, 2009, when she was appointed to serve the remainder of a six-year term. Ms. Suggs Smith was later appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to a full six-year term in 2010. She was reappointed to another full term in 2016. Ms. Smith served two terms as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2017. 

Ms. Suggs Smith was with the National Education Association from 1992 through 2008, where she served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and worked with members around the country that focused on quality teaching and learning in public schools. Ms. Suggs Smith also worked for more than 30 years as a team leader resource teacher and assistant athletic director in Montgomery County Public Schools. She has a bachelor's degree in education from Tuskegee University, an Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate, and a Master's Equivalent. 

Ms. Suggs Smith is President and CEO of two businesses. She began MSS Concierge of Maryland, LLC, a personal assistant service in 2010 to help clients reclaim their personal time. She began MS Smith and Associates in 2015 to provide strategic solutions for startup businesses and non-profits and to help current businesses begin their transformational change. 

DeRionne Pollard

DR. DERIONNE P. POLLARD, Secretary/Treasurer and President of Montgomery College

Dr. Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College on August 2, 2010. She is the ninth chief executive officer of the institution. As president, Dr. Pollard also serves as the secretary and treasurer of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Pollard’s community college career began at College of Lake County (Ill.) in 1995 as a faculty member in English. She developed the institution’s award-winning New Faculty Institute and its Center for Teaching and Learning. After several progressive administrative positions, Dr. Pollard was selected as the vice president of educational affairs in 2005 where she served until her appointment as president of Las Positas College. She received her PhD in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago, and her MA and BA in English from Iowa State University.

Presidents and Trustees Emeriti

It is customary in academic institutions to bestow emeritus status on departing members of the community in recognition of service performed. Prior to adoption of a Board resolution on June 16, 1992, this honor had not been accorded full-term departing members of the Board who had generously given of their time for the benefit of Montgomery College and the community. The College is grateful to each Trustee who will receive this well-deserved recognition.

Presidents Emeriti
Dr. William C. Strasser, 1966-1979
Dr. Robert E. Parilla, 1979-1999
Dr. Charlene R. Nunley 1999-2007
Dr. Hercules Pinkney, Interim President Emeritus, 2009-2010

Trustees Emeriti
(* = deceased)

Clifford K. Beck* (1960--1968)
William G. Colman* (1968--1972)
Mary E. Cothran* (1994--2006)
The Honorable Gene W. Counihan (1997--2009)
Sylvia W. Crowder (1998--2009)
John W. Diggs* (1985--1995)
Darwin R. Drewyer, Jr.* (1974--1975)
Jerry B. Duvall (1978--1990)
Reginald M. Felton (2007--2015)
Yolande W. Ford (1977--1984)
William Freienmuth (1966--1968)
Michael W. Gildea (1990--2002)
Jong-On Hahm (2002-- 2008)
Howard J. Hausman* (1969--1977) 
Robert J. Hydorn (2015--2019)
Pearl B. Isenberg (1975--1981)
Stephen Z. Kaufman (2001--2013) 
Lucy S. Keker* (1960--1968)
Edward R. Lehman (1989--1997)
Michael J. Lenaghan (1979--1989)
Michael C. Lin (2000--2012)
Norman Locksley* (1987--1999)
Robert C. Maddox* (1980--1992)
Lucille Maurer* (1960--1968)
James S. McAuliffe, Jr.* (1969--1971)
John W. Neumann* (1975--1978)
Owen D. Nichols* (1996--2009)
Howard R. Penniman* (1971--1980)
R. David Pittle (1975--1982)
Michael D. Priddy (2011--2017)
Joseph A. Reyes (1992--1998)
Jean G. Ross* (1969--1979)
Charles B. Saunders (1966--1970)
Hamid R. Seyedin (1982--1994)
Roberta F. Shulman (1999--2011)
The Honorable Michael L. Subin (1983--1986)
Maureen E. Sullivan (1981--1993)
Robert E. Shoenberg (1995--2007)
Benjamin H. Wu (2012--2018)

Honorary Degrees

The Montgomery College Honorary Degree Program (Associate of Arts in Public Service) was approved and established by the Board of Trustees on October 16, 1995.  Through this program, the Board has the opportunity to recognize individuals who have risen to a position of eminence, have acquired a national or international reputation in a selected field, hold a distinguished record of public and community service, or have made a notable donation of time, talent, or gift to Montgomery College. Past honorary degree recipients are listed below.

2019 Recipients

Mindy P. Jacobson
Sheila C. Johnson*
Catherine S. Leggett
Isiah "Ike" Leggett
Elias Woldu


Yahya Hendi*
Kazem Kazempour
Diego Uriburu
Erica Webber

Mr. Kenneth Becker
Mr. James Muir
Ms. Audrey Hill

Ms. Georgette "Gigi" Godwin
Mr. Kevin J. Sexton
Dr. Kenneth Weiner
Mr. Kojo Nnamdi*

Dr. Michael Lin
Mr. Eliot Pfanstiehl
Ms. Cokie Roberts*
Mr. Steven Roberts*
Ms. C. Marie Taylor

Ms. Judith Clark
Mr. Gustavo Torres
Mr. and Mrs. Adi and Iris Shmueli
The Honorable Valerie Ervin*

Mr. Norman Augustine*
Ms. Nina Clarke
Mr. Ken Cook
Ms. Sally Rudney

Dr. Wallace Loh*
Mr. George Dang
Mr. J. Henry Montes
Ms. Rebecca "Becky" Wagner

Dr. Hercules Pinkney*
Mr. Charles Atwell
Ms. Suzan Jenkins
Dr. Stewart Edelstein

Dr. Charlene Nunley*
The Honorable Henry "Hank" B. Heller
Ms. Carol Trawick
Mr. George B. Thomas

Ms. Suzanne Malveaux *
Mr. Douglas Firstenberg
Dr. Karen Gruner
Dr. Donald Day

The Honorable Constance Morella*
Mr. J.W. Marriott
Mr. Richard Marriott
Ms. Teresa R. Wright

Mr. Calvin Cafritz
Ms. Bernice G. Grossman
The Honorable Ida Ruben
Dr. Winifred King* (honorary degree received in 1998)

The Honorable Margaret Spellings*
Mr. Donald Dworkin '62
Ms. Sarah Silberman
Mr. Joshua Freeman

Ms. Judy Woodruff*
Mr. Al Hunt*
Ms. Mary Jarvis
Mr. Anthony Natelli^
Mr. Arthur P. Becker^

Mr. Clifford M. Kendall 
Mrs. Camille E. Kendall
Mr. Charles A. Lyons    
Mr. H. Patrick Swygert*
Mr. Richard S. Will

Dr. John W. Diggs^   
The Honorable Hazel R. O'Leary*  
Mr. Thomas E. Ladd   
Mr. Paul L. Peck

Ms. Esther Newman 
The Rev. Dr. T. J. Baltimore, Sr.
Ms. Wendy Thompson*

Mr. John J. Fitzgerald     
Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III*
Mrs. Nesse Godin   
Mr. Roscoe R. Nix

Dr. A. Lee Fritschler*  
Reverend James C. Moone^
Mr. Gordon Macklin
Mrs. Marilyn Macklin

Mr. Robert F. Costello III     
Mr. Bernard I. Mills
Dr. Rex M. Ellis*  
Dr. Robert E. Parilla
Mr. Joseph L. Herson  
Dr. Paul L. Vance

Mrs. Ruth Y. Becker    
Dr. Winifred King '76
Mr. Wallace H. Becker    
Mr. Bob Levey*
Mr. Solomon Graham      
Mr. Morgan Wootten

Mrs. Marian Wright Edelman*     
Mrs. Betty Mae Kramer
Mrs. Martha Gudelsky
The Honorable Sidney Kramer

Mr. Milton (Sonny) Clogg '48
* = commencement speaker
^ = posthumously