Colorado Mountain College Leadville Campus Interim Leadership

Colorado Mountain College Leadville campus interim leadership

This release originally appeared on the Colorado Mountain College E-News blog.

Leadville Campus Interim Leadership, Rachel Pokrandt
Rachel Pokrandt has been named Colorado Mountain College Leadville interim campus leadership, vice president for Leadville and Chaffee County, starting Aug. 1 PC: Doug Stewart

Rachel Pokrandt, currently the campus dean for Colorado Mountain College in Rifle, will provide interim campus leadership in Leadville and Chaffee County, effective Aug. 1, 2016. This summer she is transitioning into that interim position following the departure of the previous campus vice president, James Y. Taylor, who has accepted a position with Utah State University. Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, CMC president and CEO, is also spending additional time at both locations in June and July.

Also effective Aug. 1, and during the period that Pokrandt serves as interim campus leader in Lake and Chaffee counties, Richard Maestas, who is currently western regional vice president for the college, will assume the interim dean role at the Rifle campus.

“By temporarily moving these two experienced, respected managers into interim roles, we give several ad-hoc committees the ability to continue their work to refine our academic structure college-wide and to define what is needed to give the best possible support for our locations in transition,” said President Hauser. “Once we have clarity on those fronts, I can make a more informed and thoughtful decision about the future leadership of our campuses in Leadville and Chaffee County.”

Before being named campus dean in Rifle, Pokrandt was an instructional dean at Front Range Community College after a 10-year career in the nonprofit sector working on educational programs with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, DuPont and Dow Chemical. Pokrandt has trained over 5,000 teachers and nonprofit staffers in the U.S., Ireland, England, India, Bangladesh, Germany and Puerto Rico.

Pokrandt has a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies and British literature from Manchester University, U.K.; a Master of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University; and a graduate certificate in sustainability from Harvard University, and is scheduled to receive her doctorate in management from University of Switzerland, Zurich in the winter of 2016.

This year at the Rifle campus, she introduced a novel program called Career Academy and enhanced concurrent enrollment options. The local school district had gone to a four-day school week because of budget cuts, and Pokrandt and her staff created a program of concurrent enrollment courses on days the K-12 schools were not in session. As a result, this year 65 high school students in west Garfield County earned certificates in such areas as nurse aide, culinary, welding and early childhood education, bumping up the campus’s graduation numbers to record levels.