Skip to main content

India Initiative

Welcome message from Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State awarded Montgomery College a $195,000 grant to coordinate a national community college symposium in Delhi, develop a student and faculty exchange program, and create a program to promote faculty development. The U.S. India Educational Foundation (USIEF) Fulbright Commission will help with the grant implementation.

Project Highlights

Under the grant terms (the grant will cover 100 percent of the College’s expenses), Montgomery College is responsible for:

  • Coordinating a national community college symposium in New Delhi in March 2011;
  • Developing a faculty and student exchange program with three partner institutions in India: OP Jindal Institute of Technology and Skills, Guru Gobind Government Polytechnic, The Industrial Training Institute; and
  • Creating a program to promote faculty development.

Secretary Clinton and Secretary Duncan emphasize the importance of collaboration between the United States and India to develop an educated workforce with marketable skills. These two democracies will continue to thrive when education, government, industry, and nonprofit leaders join together to dialogue about today's global economy.

March 2011 National Symposium

March 11-13: Travel to India

March 14-15: National Symposium on 21st Century Community Colleges in New Delhi

March 16-17: Travel to Kurukshetra and visit with faculty and staff from the Guru Gobind Singh Government Polytechnic and Industrial Training Institute

March 18-20: Travel to Raigarh and visit the OP Jindal Institute of Technology & Skills

March 21-22: Departures for the United States

doctor sanjay rai

Day One: The US Community College Model: Past, Present and Future

9:00 A.M.


10:00 A.M.

Welcome Remarks, Dr. Sanjay Rai

10:05 A.M.

Honorable Oscar Fernandez, Member of Parliament and Chair, Committee on Human Resources Development

10:10 A.M.

Honorable Timothy Roemer, United States Ambassador to India

10:20 A.M.

Honorable Naveen Jindal, member of Parliament, Executive Vice Chair and Managing Director, Jindal Steel and Power

10:30 A.M.

Special Comments, Dr. Molly Teas, U.S. State Department and Mr. Charles Rose, U.S. Department of Education

11:00 A.M.

Keynote Address: An In-Depth Analysis of the American Community College, Dr. DeRionne Pollard

11:45 A.M.

Presentation: Community Colleges Advancing Student Access & Success: Innovative Partnerships and Resource Considerations, Dr. Sunita Cooke

12:30 P.M.


12:45 P.M.

Presentation: The Role of Community Colleges in Workforce and Economic Development: Realities, Possibilities, and Future Considerations, Dr. Richard Haney

1:30 P.M.

Lunch and Viewing: Montgomery College: Endless Possibilities for 21st Century Workforce Development

2:30 P.M.

Presentation: Spotlight on Applied Technologies: From Curriculum Development and Practical Training to Qualified Workers with Industry Aligned Skills, Ed Roberts, Debra Anderson, Mario Parcan, and John Phillips

3:45 P.M.


4:00 A.M.

Presentation: Underprepared Students: Developmental Math Using Technology, John Hamman and Joan Naake

4:45 P.M.

Presentation: Jindal Educational Initiatives, Dr. Sanjeev P. Sahni, Head – Education, Jindal Steel and Power

5:15 P.M.

Presentation: Skill Development in India: Challenge and Response, R.K. Chugh, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India

5:30 P.M.

Close, Dr. DeRionne Pollard

7:15 P.M.

Reception sponsored by Jindal Steel

Day Two: Workforce Training: Business Speaks

9:30 A.M.


10:30 A.M.

Welcome Remarks, Dr. DeRionne Pollard

10:45 A.M.

Recap of Day 1 and Overview of Day 2, Dr. Sanjay Rai

11:00 A.M.
Presentation: The Role of Community College Trustees, Mr. Kaufman

11:30 A.M.

Opening Plenary Presentations:

A Case Study of Montgomery College, Dr. Lori Kelman

Growing a $2.36 Billion in Revenue Biotech Workforce, Dr. Niall Carolan, Human Genome Sciences

12:30 P.M.

Presentation: Leveraging Partnerships to Maximize Impact, Prepared by Steve Greenfield; Presented by Ed Roberts

12:45 P.M.

Business Roundtable Presentations:

Creating Global Competitive Advantage Through Efficient Work, K. Purang

Looking Forward to 2020: Business Leaders from India Speak on Workforce Needs, Opportunities, and Challenges, Dr. Sanjeev Sahni, Dr. Ajay Kela, and Guests

2:45 P.M.

Working Lunch Session: Next Steps for Implementing Sustainable Change: What Would Success Look Like?, Ms. Margaret Latimer, Facilitator

3:45 P.M.

Report Back Session, Margaret Latimer

4:15 P.M.

Closing Remarks, Dr. DeRionne Pollard

5:00 P.M.

Close and Thanks, Dr. Sanjay Rai

The Montgomery College administrators, faculty, and staff traveling to India represent a broad spectrum of higher education expertise in such areas as automotive technology, building trades, construction management, biotechnology, student support services, and developmental education. Montgomery College also invited the Staff Senate and Faculty Council chairs from each campus to nominate one person to ensure full representation on the trip to India. Additional participants reflect the symposium’s focus on international cooperation and workforce development.

Professor and Automotive Technology Program Director

Debra Anderson joined Montgomery College in January of 1997. She is the program director and a faculty member for the Automotive Technology Program which is located in the Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education (GITE) on the Rockville Campus. Professor Anderson has served as the department chair for GITE and currently serves on the Automotive Trades Foundation for Montgomery County Public Schools.

She has also served on the Washington Area New Automobile Dealership (WANADA) Education Board. Professor Anderson came to Montgomery College with industry experience and is an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Master Certified Technician. She also holds the ASE Advanced Engine Performance Certification. Professor Anderson has a B.A. from Shepherdstown University, West Virginia.

Project Manager and Rockville Assistant to the Deans; Grant Administrator

Miriam J. Carter, M.B.A., has worked in higher education as an instructor, program director, grant writer and grant manager for the last 20 years, focusing on gender and race equity with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Prior to her current appointment, she served as the director of an academic support office for athletes, students of color, and international students at the University of Maryland College Park.

She also has extensive experience in international development in sub-Saharan Africa. While living in South Africa for seven years, she served as an executive director of an Adult Basic Education and Training NGO, as an ABET consultant for the European Union, and as the owner of a company providing public-private binational capacity building for public service employees, telemedicine systems development, and technician and artisan training in the nuclear engineering sector.

Ms. Carter is currently on the American Association of University Women’s national advisory board on research on women in STEM in community colleges. She is an expert consultant for the National STEM Equity Pipeline Project funded by the National Science Foundation, and an active member of Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network. She also volunteers as a dialogue facilitator and trainer for the Montgomery County Public School system’s Study Circles Program, which is a program that addresses racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement. Ms. Carter is a commissioner on the Montgomery County Commission for Women. Her Morgan State University doctoral dissertation research focuses on women's persistence in undergraduate engineering.

Dean of Business, Information Technology and Safety for Workforce Development and Continuing Education

Steve Greenfield joined the staff of Montgomery College in May of 2005 after a distinguished 12-year career in the Montgomery County government workforce services division where he was nominated for county workforce leader of the year in 1997 and 1999. From 1999-2001, he was the vice president of the Montgomery County Workforce Development Corporation where he authored Montgomery County's 5-year strategic workforce investment plan. In 2002, he established the county's first business services division under Montgomery Works.

Professor and Chair of the Germantown Mathematics Department

John Hamman is the chair of the Mathematics Department at Montgomery College, Germantown and was instrumental in the recent development and adoption of their self-paced developmental mathematics curriculum.

This is not John’s first foray into curriculum development: at MC he has developed and taught an honors course on concepts on infinity in math, a course on philosophy and art, and, with a colleague in the physical sciences, a course for pre-service teachers that links mathematics and physics. He is active in the Mathematical Association of America at both the local and national levels and has often presented at its meetings on topics ranging from mathematical education to geometric constructions. When not tinkering with the mathematics curriculum, John likes to ride his motorcycle and work in his woodworking shop.

LCOC, Professor and Counselor, Rockville Faculty Council Representative

Professor Aggie Harrell received a M.A. in psychology from Hood College, a post masters certification in addiction counseling from Loyola University, and completed post graduate work at John’s Hopkins University. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor, and a master addictions counselor. Additionally she is a nationally certified counselor and a nationally certified mental health counselor.

Professor Harrell has certification in hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming and mediation. She has worked as a mental health therapist for the Department of Corrections of Montgomery County, Maryland, and as a crisis counselor. Professor Harrell has twenty years of experience working in student development. She is a major contributor to the International Student Seminar Manual, the text used to teach the international student seminar course at Montgomery College. She teaches courses in student development and psychology. She has served as part of the leadership team for the Counseling Department.

Professor Harrell provides supervision for intern students from John’s Hopkins, Argosky, and Towson Universities who are completing their practicum in counseling at Montgomery College. She serves on both the College-wide and Rockville Campus behavioral intervention teams.

Associate Communications Director

Elizabeth Homan serves as the associate communications director at Montgomery College, a multi-campus community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. Her work as the director of the College’s media relations efforts and the College spokesperson has resulted in stories in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Washington Post and Post Magazine, Washington Times, and New York Times. In addition to her work with journalists, Ms. Homan manages the College’s team of writers, who create stories and content for College print publications.

Prior to joining Montgomery College in 2003, Ms. Homan worked as a television reporter at KTVB in Boise, Idaho. She covered general and breaking news stories and transportation issues for the state’s top-rated news channel, an NBC affiliate. Homan also spent more than two years at Cable News 21, a cable television station in Montgomery County, Maryland. She worked in the news division, starting as the assignment desk editor before advancing to the positions of producer and reporter.

In addition to her professional work, she serves on the board of directors for the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, one of the largest providers of housing and supportive services to people experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County. She holds a master’s degree in public relations from Georgetown University, a bachelor’s degree in English from Transylvania University, and a second bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Towson University.

First Vice Chair, Montgomery College Board of Trustees (covering his own expenses)

Stephen Z. Kaufman is a senior partner of the law firm Linowes & Blocher, LLP, and concentrates in the areas of municipal law, land use, and eminent domain. Mr. Kaufman represents many private and publicly owned development, financial and retail companies throughout the Baltimore/Washington region. He lectures and writes extensively and has authored legislation in the areas of adequate public facilities, infrastructure finance, and zoning and land use classifications, including planned development zones, transfer of development rights, development finance districts, and moderate cost housing.

Mr. Kaufman was an adjunct professor of law at the George Washington Law Center for Land Use and Planning (1980-87). He also recently served on the subcommittee on the Revision of Planning and Zoning Legislation for the State of Maryland and the Real Estate Advisor Group of the Maryland Department of Transportation. Currently, he serves on the ULI Public Development and Infrastructure Council, 1st Vice Chair Montgomery College Board of Trustees, the University of Baltimore Law School Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors of the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts.

Professor of Biotechnology and Chair of the Germantown Natural Sciences Department

Lori M. Kelman is a professor of Biotechnology and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, Germantown Campus. She earned an A.B. in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College, an M.S. in biology from St. John’s University, an M.B.A. in management from Iona College, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Kelman’s current research is on DNA replication and a genetic basis for Vitamin B12 deficiency in humans, conducted at the Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Research. She performed research on plant transformation methods at the Rockefeller University, transcriptional regulation of histone genes in yeast at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and chromatin silencing at the NIH. She was a science writer at OMIM and has developed educational materials and curricula and taught undergraduate, graduate, and non-credit courses.

She is the recipient of the Yokley Faculty Service Award, the NISOD Award of Excellence, the Montgomery College Faculty Outstanding Service Award, and several teaching awards, grants, and fellowships. She is editor of BIOS, a quarterly journal of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Society which is the only journal in the world devoted to undergraduate biology research.

Professor of English and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Faculty Council representative

Rita Kranidis, Ph.D., teaches developmental and College-level writing courses as well as professional and technical writing. She has been an English professor for nearly 25 years and has served as program coordinator for the Montgomery College Writing in the Disciplines Program, which she created. She has also been a grant reviewer and faculty seminar leader, and has trained teachers. She has done extensive research and published three books and many reviews.

Professor Kranidis was granted the Montgomery College Outstanding Faculty Service Award and was campus nominee for the nationwide Professor of the Year Award.

Associate Dean for Instructional Programs

Margaret Latimer was appointed associate dean for Instructional Programs at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College in December 2010 after serving in the position as the interim associate dean for a year. She holds a B. S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a M. S. in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. Prior to her administrative appointment, she was a full-time professor of mathematics for 10 years, serving as department chair from 2003 – 2009.

She joined the full-time faculty in 1999 following 10 years as an adjunct faculty. She is a two-time recipient of the Faculty Outstanding Service Award in 2005 and 2009, and is a recipient of an Award of Excellence from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). She was elected to Faculty Council and served as chair, led the Germantown Chairs Plus group, was the Germantown representative on the Periodic Review Report and was a Middle States Self-Study Team co-chair, and has been a member of the Chair/Coordinator ESH Task Group, the Distance Learning Task Group, the Academic Assembly, the General Education Committee, Developmental Math Committee and Task Force, CAPDI, the New Chair and Coordinator Planning Group.

Research and industry experience prior to joining Montgomery College include work at Brookhaven National Laboratory Accelerator Center, as well as Swales and Associates performing flight loads analysis for NASA’s Space Shuttle (STS), including ERBE (Earth Radiation Budget Experiment), COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer), ROSAT (Roentgen Satellite), TDRSS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite), and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Administrative Support Specialist and Staff Senate Representative

Andrea Lucido was born in Porto, Portugal, and came to the United States when she was three years old. Ms. Lucido has worked for the past three years as an administrative support specialist in the Office of the President at Montgomery College. Her main function is to provide administrative support to the College’s chief government relations officer.

She is also the secretary for the College’s Staff Senate. The Staff Senate is a group of elected non-bargaining staff members that represents non-bargaining co-workers in areas such as salary and compensation and hiring practices. Ms. Lucido received a B.S. in technical education from the University of Akron in Ohio.

Professor of English and Germantown Faculty Council Representative

Joan M. Naake has a master's degree in English from Boston College. She has done graduate work at the University of California, George Washington University, the University of Maryland, American University, and Oxford University, England. She has taught at Montgomery College for over 20 years, teaching all levels of English from developmental to honors.

In addition, she has been the Department chair of English, is presently the Director of the Renaissance Scholars Honors Program, and was awarded the Carnegie Foundation U.S. Professor of the Year for extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.

Professor and Construction Management Program Coordinator

Mario Parcan has an extensive background in construction management and construction education. He owned and managed a construction firm until he started teaching for Montgomery College in 1989. He is a professor and program coordinator at the Management of Construction program in Montgomery College where he also serves as a chairperson of the Applied Technologies Department. He has a Master's of Science in Engineering degree in Construction Management from Catholic University, where he taught the Construction Estimating and Bidding course at the graduate program for eight years.

Mario Parcan routinely presents seminars for industry, particularly in the areas of construction estimating and integrated project management. He was also a recipient of the National John Trimmer Award for Outstanding Educators in the year 2000 and the Outstanding faculty Award at Montgomery College.

Professor and Building Construction Technology Program Director

John Phillips joined Montgomery College in 1998 as an assistant professor in Building Trades Technology, with a specialty in electrical specialties. In 1999, he became the program director of the Building and Construction Technology program, his current position.

His electrical career began while he was in high school in the early 1980s, working weekends and summers for a commercial electrical contractor. Professor Phillips started working as an electrician full-time soon after high school and has held many positions in the electrical trade, his primary experience being with commercial and industrial projects of various types and sizes.

His teaching career began with a part-time teaching position at the United Auto Workers Union in Chicago, teaching union members basic electrical wiring. He has also taught other subjects at various colleges and universities. Professor Phillips earned a B.A. in philosophy from Northeastern Illinois University and an M.A. in political science from Loyola University, Chicago. He has also received an M.A., and completed all but the dissertation for a Ph.D. in government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

President of Montgomery College

Dr. Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College on August 2, 2010, following a national search by the College’s Board of Trustees. As president, Dr. Pollard also serves as the secretary and treasurer of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Pollard has devoted her career to the advancement of the community college mission and the students we serve. She formerly served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California. Under her leadership, Las Positas College experienced a nearly 15 percent enrollment increase, implemented an aggressive $230 million facilities modernization program, and experienced a highly successful reaccreditation.

Project Director and Germantown Vice President and Provost; Grant Administrator

Dr. Sanjay Rai was the instructional dean of Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Montgomery College Rockville Campus from 2004-2009. He completed a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He has an M.S. in mathematics from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and both an M.S. in mathematics and a B.S. in statistics, physics, and mathematics from the University of Allahabad in India.

Prior to coming to Montgomery College in 2004, Dr. Rai was chair of the Department of Mathematics at Jacksonville University, Florida, where he also was a tenured full professor. He previously taught graduate, undergraduate and developmental level courses in mathematics and statistics at four universities. He has contributed to program design and curriculum development at two universities.

He has supervised undergraduate and graduate research projects in mathematical biology and while at Jacksonville University he established the “Research Experiences for Undergraduate Program” in mathematical biology funded by the DuPont Foundation.

Instructional Dean of the Gudelsky Institute of Technical Education (GITE)

Ed Roberts joined the Montgomery College faculty in 1992 as an associate professor and program coordinator for Building Trades Technology, a new program located in the recently built Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education (GITE). In 2000, Mr. Roberts was appointed acting dean of Applied Technologies and the Gudelsky Institute; shortly thereafter, he was selected as the instructional dean.

With over 30 of experience in education and technical training, Mr. Roberts began his career as an industrial arts high school teacher in New Jersey. He also taught at several universities, conducted professional training in the public and private sectors, and served as a program director with the Mid-Atlantic Centers for Race and Sex Equity at The American University, providing consultation and technical assistance to public school systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He served as director of the Building Industry Institute, Inc., an organization affiliated with the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association.

Mr. Roberts earned a certificate in architectural design and building construction technology from Temple University Technical Institute, a B.S. in occupational education from Southern Illinois University, and an M.A. from Glassboro (now Rowan) State University. He has completed all but the dissertation for a Ph.D. in Industrial Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Other Participants and Speakers

Associate Director of Technical Services at Human Genome Sciences

Niall Carolan is the Associate Director of Technical Services at Human Genome Sciences (HGS) in Rockville, MD, USA. His current responsibilities include Manufacturing Training, Technical Transfer and Campaign Technical Support for HGS’ 4 manufacturing facilities. He has over 14 years of industry experience in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences field.

Prior to HGS, he held positions in Novozymes (Denmark, USA) and in Novo Nordisk (Denmark) in protein process development, world wide technology coordination and manufacturing management. He has a PhD in biologics purification from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

He serves as chair of the advisory board for the community college and industry collaboration ‘NBC2’, which is focused on developing a global bio-manufacturing college curriculum and is funded by the National Science Foundation. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt with broad experience in Operational Excellence.

President of Grossmont College and Former Biotechnology Executive

Dr. Sunita (“Sunny”) Cooke became President of Grossmont College, located in El Cajon, California, in July 2007. With over 20,000 students, Grossmont College, founded in 1961, is one of the two community colleges in GCCCD offering more than 150 associate degree programs and career and certificate programs. Prior to joining Grossmont, Dr. Cooke spent 12 years with the five-college North Harris Montgomery Community College District, in Houston, Texas. Her last two years in Texas she served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development.

Throughout her career, from teaching biology as a graduate student at Georgetown University, to Director of a Biotechnology Institute and Dean of the Montgomery College’s Natural Sciences and Health Professions, Dr. Cooke has earned a reputation as an innovator and motivator in key leadership roles that involved defining new positions and structures within a college or district and developing new educational opportunities, funding sources or corporate training programs.

Born in Lucknow, India, Dr. Cooke immigrated to the United States with her family in 1968. After being awarded a doctorate at Georgetown University, she completed a postdoctoral training program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, while teaching part-time. In 1995, she became a founding faculty member of Montgomery College in Texas. Dr. Cooke has served as a member of the International Chair Academy’s President’s Board organization that provides leadership training to mid-level administrators at post-secondary institutions. She also serves on several community boards including the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Board, East County Chamber of Commerce, YMCA Board of East County, San Diego Community College District COC, San Diego Workforce Investment Board and the AACC Commission on Research Technology and Emerging Trends.

Shri Oscar Fernandes

Member of Parliament and Chair, Committee on Human Resources Development

Vice President for Educational Affairs at College of Lake County

Dr. Rich Haney serves as the Vice President for Educational Affairs at the College of Lake County located near Chicago Illinois. The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college and serves over 18,000 students at three campuses. Dr. Haney provides leadership and is responsible for all academic programming at the college including adult education and workforce development. He joined the College of Lake County in 1999 as the Dean of Business and Industry Services following leadership positions at Parkland College and Southwestern Illinois Community College.

He has over 15 years of experience developing and implementing training and education partnerships between employers, educational institutions, business associations, and community/economic development groups.

Naveen Jindal

Member of Parliament, Executive Vice Chair and Managing Director, Jindal Steel and Power

United States Ambassador to India

Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer leads one of America's largest diplomatic missions, broadening and deepening the strategic U.S.-India partnership and expanding public diplomacy throughout India. Nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama as the 21st U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India on May 27, 2009, Ambassador Roemer was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 10, 2009, and sworn in on July 23, 2009. He presented his credentials to Indian President Pratibha Patil on August 11, 2009.

General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education

Charles P. Rose is the general counsel for the Department. He was nominated by President Obama on March 18, 2009, and confirmed by the United States Senate on May 1, 2009. In this position, Rose serves as the chief legal officer for the Department and as the legal adviser to the secretary of education on all matters affecting the Department's programs and activities.

Head of Education, Jindal Steel & Power Limited

Dr. Sanjeev P. Sahni is head of education with Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL), part of USD 12 billion O.P. Jindal Group. He holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and a post-graduate degree in industrial psychology from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He has more than two decades of experience in various facets of Human Resource Management and academics.

In his last five years in JSPL, he has served as head of Corporate HR and as head of Strategic HR. He has been instrumental in revamping HR practices in the organization, including setting up of Performance Enhancement Centres at various locations across the country. Under his leadership and guidance, JSPL has won various awards in HR like RASBIC “HR Leadership Award”, SAIL HR Award for “Excellence in Human Resource Management”. JSPL was also rated amongst the top 20 “Best Companies to Work For in India” by Business Today and Mercer. He currently heads various educational institutes run by JSPL, which include Jindal Global University (JGU), Jindal Institute of Technology (OPJIT), Jindal Institute of Power Technology (JIPT), four Community College of Technology and Skills (OPJCCTS), three ITIs and four schools.

Dr. Molly Teas

Senior Advisor for Education for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of South and Central Asia Affairs


March 2016 International Conference on Curriculum Development for the Indian Community Colleges

The Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), Chennai is an initiative of Jesuit Madurai Province and a unit of the Chennai Jesuit Society, Chennai Mission, Chennai. It was started in January 1999. It is a facilitating and coordinating agency for Community Colleges in India. It has been involved in the preparation, establishment, monitoring and evaluation of 336 Community Colleges in 17 States of India.

Dr. Richard Cerkovnik

Dr. Cerkovnik has worked in industry as a Quality Control manager in the carbide sector before assuming teaching and administration duties in the community college system, where he has worked for 26 years. During this time he has taught physics, chemistry, physical science, Earth and space science, and industrial science classes, and has served 11 years, as chair/head of a physical sciences department.

He is currently the Director of the Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (iSTEM) initiative at Montgomery College. Rich has extensive experience in a variety of STEM disciplines, STEM program development and articulation, instructional technology, grant work, workforce development, teacher preparation and development, K12 outreach, on-line instruction, and educational research.

He has a B.S degree in Chemical Engineering, a M.S. degree in Physics, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Cerkovnik led, as Executive Director, the National STEM Consortium in its start-up phase of a $20 M USDOL TAACCCT grant which developed 1-year certificates in technician pathways connected to workforce needs.

Patrick Donovan

With more than 20 years of experience in Information Technology, Patrick Donovan has earned a reputation as being among the leading experts in SharePoint technologies, system architecture, and systems automation. He brings an understanding through extensive experience in managing the large scope of technical enterprise.

His proven experience in technical project management allows him to develop project plans that effectively align scope, time, cost, quality, resources, risk, communication and procurement in a manner that enables highly coordinated execution and control. Patrick is a regular speaker at technical conferences and symposiums and has authored multiple white papers on information architecture security.

He is a sought-after trainer, who has developed and facilitated professional training for SharePoint technologies and Nintex Workflow and Forms supporting government organizations, local colleges, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profit institutions in the United States.

Dr. Geetha Kada

Dr. Geetha Kada is a Professor of nursing at Montgomery College of Nursing and adjunct online nursing faculty at Stevenson University, Maryland, USA.

She has been teaching for 18 years, for different levels of students’ namely Associate degree nursing students, Post-basic degree nursing students, Baccalaureate and Masters in nursing students with experience teaching traditional, hybrid and online nursing learners. She got her BSN and MSN (medical-Surgical Nursing) from the Omayal Achi College of Nursing, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; MA in public administration from the University of Chennai, Tamilnadu, India; and PhD in nursing education from the Capella University, Minnesota, USA.

She chairs the simulation committee at the college and is an active member of the National League for nurses (NLN). Also, she holds active certification in BLS (Basic Life Support) and ACLS (Advance Cardiac Life Support). She is currently working on the Western Maryland Faculty Academy grant; a collaborative effort among the departments of nursing to prepare experienced BSN and MSN-prepared registered nurses for new roles as part-time clinical nursing faculty.

Jenny Liu

Jenny Liu, MSN, RN is a member of the Nursing faculty at Montgomery College, and faculty advisor to the nursing Honors program, the Nursing Club, and the National Student Nursing Association. Jenny is a passionate advocate for student success, a champion for student diversity, and has won several awards for achievements in the Nursing Club.

Jenny recently participated in a curriculum redesign of the nursing program, converting the curriculum from a faculty-led medical model to an interactive, participatory, concept-based model. The new model focuses on achievement of program and course outcomes which are based on the Institute of Medicine recommendations for the future of nursing, QSEN competencies, and NCSBN outcome measures of graduate nurse success.

She is currently Course Coordinator for the complex medical-surgical course, and sits on the Montgomery College General Education redesign committee. Jenny graduated from Drexel University with a Masters Degree in Nursing Education, and from Troy State University with both BSN and ADN degrees.

She has been a nursing instructor for 10 years, and a Registered Nurse for 36 years. Jenny brings a wide background of experience in maternal-child, Public Health, critical care, medical and surgical nursing, including research, legal consultation, management, and delivery of care. Jenny grew up in Thailand, and graduated from High School at Woodstock School located in the hill station of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India and very much looks forward to this international collaboration.

Dr. Michael Mills

Dr. Michael Mills is the vice president of the Office of E-Learning, Innovation and Teaching Excellence at Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Maryland. He leads a team that focuses on quality, innovation, and incorporation of new technologies into the learning environment. Recent initiatives have included working with faculty to use mobile applications and open education resources in their classrooms. The emphasis on technology is centered around increasing student engagement, whether the courses are face-to-face or in a distance format.

Dr. DeRionne Pollard

In 2010, DeRionne Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College, a three-campus community college with 60,000 credit and noncredit students. She has traveled to India to promote higher education partnerships four times, and has visited China and Holland on similar ventures.

Dr. Pollard spearheaded the development of a new Montgomery College mission and strategic plan. She has partnered actively with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove in the creation of Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a support program designed to help students transition from high school to college completion. Dr. Pollard formerly served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California.

She served on the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and the Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development. Dr. Pollard is a member of the Community College Advisory Panel at the College Board and the Higher Education Research and Development Institute Advisory Board. Closer to home, she serves on the board of Montgomery County Business Development Corporation, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Universities at Shady Grove, and Generation Hope.

She was recently named one of Washington’s 100 Most Influential Women by Washingtonian Magazine, and was awarded a Visionary Award by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. Dr. Pollard 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. She has also been honored by Leadership Montgomery, The Daily Record, Bethesda Magazine and the Washington Business Journal.

Dr. Deborah Preston

Dr. Deborah E. Preston is currently on special assignment with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs where she is leading a team to develop Montgomery College’s new Academic Master Plan. Now in her tenth year at Montgomery College, she serves as dean for Visual, Performing, and Media Arts, leading a unit of 81 faculty and staff, managing a $7.2m budget, and overseeing arts disciplines on all campuses, including workforce development /continuing education programs and the Parilla Performing Arts Center.

Previously, she served for 14 years as a faculty member, department chair, and campus provost at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta. As provost, she managed a campus of 7,000 students and a budget of $13m. At both institutions, she has led interdisciplinary, college-wide initiatives in areas such as study abroad, student retention, faculty evaluation, and academic master plan.

As a professor at Georgia Perimeter College, Dr. Preston was a recipient of the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award, and as chair she received the Georgia Perimeter College Campus Leadership Award. In 2004, Dr. Preston was selected as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and was one of only two community-college administrators in her class.

She has completed the National Institute for Leadership Development Seminar and the Leadership Montgomery (MD) program. Dr. Preston has served as a member and officer on several non-profit boards and has recently joined the Board of Trustees for BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD. This past year she served on the Recruiting Committee for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans as the liaison for community colleges. Dr. Preston earned her B.A. in theatre from Florida State University in 1986 and her M.A. in English from the same in 1988. She received her Ph.D. in English from Tulane University in 1998.

Dr. Sanjay Rai

Dr. Sanjay Rai, senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Montgomery College, is an outspoken champion and ardent supporter of innovations that advance community college student success in academic, career, technical, and workforce development programs. Prior to serving as the College’s chief academic officer, Dr. Rai led the Germantown Campus as vice president and provost, and also served as the dean of science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM) at the Rockville Campus.

Preceding his tenure at Montgomery College, he was chair of the Department of Mathematics at Jacksonville University, Florida, where he also was a tenured full professor. Dr. Rai completed a PhD in mathematics from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, an MS in mathematics from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and an MS in mathematics and a BS in statistics, physics, and mathematics from the University of Allahabad in India.

He is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery’s Class of 2009 and has served on the Board of Directors for Leadership Montgomery, the Gaithersburg Germantown Chamber of Commerce, and the BlackRock Center for the Arts. He has received several awards for teaching and scholarship and has authored numerous scholarly articles and other academic publications. His publications are in applied mathematics (modeling HIV using differential equations) and mathematics education. Dr. Rai’s most recent book, Pathways to Real Analysis, was published in April 2009.

Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts joined the Montgomery College faculty in 1992 as an associate professor and program coordinator for Building Trades Technology. This was a new program located in the newly built Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education that awarded both a Certificate and an Associate in Applied Science Degree. Specialties within that degree were in carpentry, electrical, heating and air-conditioning and plumbing. In the first 10 years of the program grew to include the original Degree specialties as well as a full array of non-credit Workforce Development and Continuing Education classes that serve a variety of construction industry needs. They include licensing preparation, industry partnerships to meet specific workforce development needs, targeted jobs training and apprenticeship training.

In January 2000, Mr. Roberts was appointed acting dean for the Department of Applied Technologies and the Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education. In 2002 he was selected as the permanent dean. He continues to serve in that role today. As dean he supervises AAS Degree programs in Applied Geography, Automotive Technology, Architectural and Construction Technology, Building Trades Technology, Computer Publishing Technology and Interior Design. In addition to the degrees each program offers a full array of non-credit workforce development training including certification, apprenticeship related training, individual business training and contextual basic skills training.

With over forty years of experience in education and technical training, Mr. Roberts began his career as an industrial arts high school teacher in New Jersey. He also taught at the University of Maryland and The American University, conducted professional training in the public and private sectors, and served as a program director with the Mid-Atlantic Centers for Race and Sex Equity at The American University where he provided consultation and technical assistance to public school systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He owned and operated a residential construction company specializing in residential additions and interior renovations. He served as director of the Building Industry Institute, Inc., an organization affiliated with the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association. In that role he managed technical training and apprenticeship programs supporting the construction industry.

Mr. Roberts earned a certificate in Architectural Design and Building Construction Technology from Temple University Technical Institute, a B.S. in Occupational Education from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL and an M.A. in Industrial Education from Rowan State University, Glassboro, NJ. He has completed all but the dissertation for a Ph.D. in Industrial Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Clarice Somersall

Dr. Clarice Somersall has been passionately involved in education for many years. As a resident of Bermuda for 17 years, she taught English at the secondary level, functioned as a reading specialist at the elementary level, and lectured at the Bermuda College.

Since 1989, she has served in various capacities at Montgomery College. She has taught on the Rockville Campus and served as the academic chair for the Department of Reading and English as a Second Language. As a dean within Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Dr. Somersall supervised non-credit programming in career development as well as offerings for youth and lifelong learners.

Furthermore, she collaborated with external agencies in the establishment of the Hispanic Business Institute and the Diversity Management Institute. Her efforts as one of the founding board members of the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy are especially rewarding to her because of her professional experience as a reading specialist for over 25 years.

After performing various vice presidential roles, Dr. Somersall now collaborates with the senior vice president for academic affairs on high profile assignments. She provides leadership for relationship building with the local school system, the Universities at Shady Grove (University System of Maryland), as well as governmental, corporate, nonprofit, and civic organizations.

As the primary lead for the maintenance of partnerships with corporations, Dr. Somersall has created opportunities for students on all three campuses to hear directly from senior executives from Accenture and Discovery Communications. She also has responsibility for the management of transfer agreements between Montgomery College and four-year American and international universities.

Silvia Vargas

Silvia Vargas is a Cybersecurity & Networking Professor at Montgomery College and Sr. Security Engineer at 3M. She has 13 years of vulnerability management, network/server security and administration, identity management, and system integration. She is also the Cybersecurity Program Lead at Montgomery College. She holds a Master's in Information Assurance and a Master's in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America.

A Report on the International Conference on Community Colleges Curriculum (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) : the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), Chennai in collaboration with Montgomery Community college, Maryland, USA, organized an“International Conference on Curriculum Development for the Indian Community Colleges” on3rd 4th, & 5th March 2016.

Letter to the President from Dayalan Devanesen (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Shared Reflections after the CCCD International Conference (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) : this Conference as a whole was highly educative and interactive in away that bridged the cultural gap between the USA and India.

Letter to the President from M_David Mansingh (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Testimonials from Students and Visitors (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)
india initiative banner