May 14, 2019 Melissa Lamar

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Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian today announced the selection of four interim campus CEOs, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Asnuntuck Community College (ACC), Norwalk Community College (NCC), Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC), and Tunxis Community College (TCC).

“I appreciate the incoming CEOs’ willingness to take on these leadership roles, as well as the energy, enthusiasm, and talent they will bring to our campuses,” President Ojakian said. “I will be working closely with these leaders to ensure the colleges continue to build on the strong foundation laid by their outgoing presidents.”

The vacancies are the result of the retirements of NCC President David Levinson and QVCC President Carlee Drummer, and by the promotion of ACC and TCC President James Lombella, who was appointed by the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) in April to serve as one of three regional presidents for the anticipated singly accredited institution.

The following individuals will begin serving as interim campus CEOs beginning on July 1.

  • Michelle Coach will serve as interim CEO of ACC, where she currently serves as interim dean of academic affairs. Since joining the college in 2010, she has served as a biology faculty member, science program coordinator, and natural, social and behavioral sciences department chair. In 2014, Michelle was the winner of CSCU Excellence in Teaching awards for both the college and system.  She has been an active member in many CSCU committees including Guided Pathways, the Accessibility Advisory Council, Second Chance Pell Committee, and the Biology CT Transfer Articulation Pathway Committee, which she co-chaired.  She served in 2015 as the co-chair of a NECHE standards committee for the 10 year report for ACC.  Michelle is the New England regional coordinator for Phi Theta Kappa, and has received many awards from the honorary organization.
  • Cheryl DeVonish, Esq. will serve as the interim CEO at NCC, where she currently serves as chief operating officer. Prior to serving as the COO, Cheryl was NCC’s chief diversity & equity officer & special advisor to President Levinson. Cheryl has served as an adjunct faculty member at NCC, is a member of the George Crawford Bar Association, volunteer attorney for the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, member of the Family & Children’s Agency Board of Directors, and currently serves on the CSCU Public Safety Taskforce. Through her academic, professional and volunteer work, Cheryl has remained committed to issues of equity and social justice.  She was previously awarded a grant from the State University of New York, to examine prejudice and bias on college campuses and was a panelist on the Greenwich YWCA Community Conversation on A 21st Century Approach to Eliminating Racism.  Cheryl was NCC’s 2015 Women of Distinction Keynote Speaker and in May 2017 received the NCC Campus Community Award for her work with, and commitment to NCC Students.
  • Dr. Rose Ellis will serve as interim CEO at QVCC. Since 2016, Rose has served as dean of administration and institutional effectiveness at both Housatonic and Gateway Community Colleges. Previously, she worked at NCC as dean of administration and information technology, director of library services, and as an adjunct faculty member at both NCC and HCC. Rose is a member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the Human Services Council of Norwalk and has served on nearly a dozen NECHE visits. Rose has also participated in the Executive Leadership Program with the New Haven Chamber of Commerce and the ACE Women in Leadership Program.
  • Dr. Darryl Reome will serve as interim CEO at TCC, where he currently serves as the interim dean of student affairs.  He has served in a number of roles in the community colleges since 2005 including adjunct professor, associate dean of student affairs and enrollment management at Northwestern, acting dean of academic affairs, director of advising, counseling and student retention at TCC, and acting director of admissions and director of advising at Middlesex Community College.   Darryl has served on a number of CSCU committees related to Guided Pathways, is a member of several national student affairs and academic advising related associations, and was a summer fellow in Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College Professional Institute for Senior Academic & Enrollment Services Professionals.

All Interim Campus CEOs have a salary of $150,000 annually.


For more information, please contact:
Leigh Appleby
[email protected]