Luna to host forums for presidential semifinalists
By Dave Kavanaugh
Four Luna Community College presidential semifinalists – each of whom has interviewed with the LCC Board of Trustees within the past two weeks – will be available for Q&A sessions with the campus and surrounding community on Thursday and Friday.
At the trustees’ request, each of the candidates will be available for one-hour forums. The forum for Dr. Rolando Rael will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the conference room in the Luna Student Services Building. Forums for the other three will be conducted remotely via Skype technology on Friday at the nursing auditorium in Luna’s Allied Health building. Dr. Arturo Cervantes’ forum is set for 9 a.m., Dr. Nicholas Akinkuoye’s forum is scheduled for noon, and Dr. Robert Munoz’s forum will take place at 1:30 p.m.
As with the previous finalists interviewed for the position, members of the campus community will have the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on each candidate.
Akinkuoye, Cervantes, Munoz and Rael will join finalists Dr. Anthony Hancock, Dr. Jeremy Moreland, Dr. Diana Pino and Dr. LeRodrick Terry in being considered by trustees. Hancock, Moreland, Pino and Terry were interviewed by the board and took part in on-campus forums this past fall. Trustees are expected to decide on a president in February.
ON THE CANDIDATES
Since 2008, Munoz has served as vice president for community and industry education at Tarrant County College’s Trinity River campus in Fort Worth, Texas. He is a former dean of workforce and technical studies at Odessa College, where he worked for 16 years. Munoz holds a doctorate in educational administration from New Mexico State University, a master’s in counseling from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, a bachelor’s in criminal justice from the University of Texas-El Paso and an associate degree in management from Odessa College.
Rael is currently the director of Luna Community College’s Allied Health Sciences department, a position he’s held since 2016. He also administers the Carl Perkins grant for the college and formerly served Luna as an interim director for vocational education. Rael formerly served as a professor and administrator at New Mexico Highlands University, a Title V director for New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and as a Head Start director in Center, Colo. Rael holds a doctorate in soil and environmental science from University of California-Riverside, a master’s in life sciences from NMHU and a bachelor’s in environmental science from NMHU.
Since 2011, Cervantes has been a campus president and multi-campus chancellor of Fortis Institute-Houston, a private two-year college in Houston. He is a former campus president and chancellor of Hallmark University in San Antonio, Texas. Cervantes holds a doctorate in business administration, technology entrepreneurship, from Walden University in Minneapolis. He earned his master’s in business administration, technology management, also from Walden. He attained his bachelor of arts in modern languages from the University of Texas-El Paso.
Akinkuoye serves as vice president for academic services and accreditation liaison officer at Imperial Valley College in Imperial, Calif. He has held this post since 2014. He previously served as associate vice chancellor of academic affairs for the City College of San Francisco. Akinkuoye holds a doctorate of education in vocational and technical education and economic workforce and industrial training from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va. He also holds a master’s in industrial education and training from Texas Southern University in Houston and a bachelor’s in industrial engineering technology from Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth, NC.