RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at Lord Fairfax Community College. The finalists were among 102 applicants from across the nation.
The four finalists, in alphabetical order (left to right in photo above), are Dr. Kimberly P. Blosser of Stanley, VA; Dr. Annesa Cheek of Dayton, OH; Dr. Julie Leidig of Centreville, VA; and Dr. J. Michael Thomson of Highland Hills, OH.
“The Lord Fairfax Community College presidency is appealing to an impressive group of community college leaders from around the country,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The focus our colleges place on student success, our innovative approaches to providing short-term workforce training, and our stability make us attractive to high-performing education leaders seeking their next career step.”
Dr. Kimberly P. Blosser has worked in education for more than 21 years – all but three of those in community college education. Blosser began her community college career at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA as an associate professor in 1998. She advanced through several roles at BRCC, culminating in the title dean and chief information officer. In 2012, Blosser moved to Lord Fairfax Community College, where she currently works as the institution’s vice president of academic and student affairs. Blosser earned a doctorate and master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL; and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.
Dr. Annesa Cheek has worked in higher education for 11 years, working at Sinclair Community College where she began as the assistant to the college’s president. She later worked as deputy manager of a successful campaign to pass a countywide funding measure before becoming the college’s senior director of advancement. After a doctoral internship at the University of Texas, Cheek returned to Sinclair as the president’s chief of staff. She became the college’s vice president for student financial services in 2012. Cheek became the college’s vice president for school and community partnerships two years later. Cheek earned a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin; a master’s degree from the University of Dayton; and a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University.
Dr. Julie Leidig has worked in education for 33 years, including 27 years in higher education. After teaching English in Japan for five years, Leidig began her higher education career at the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, holding several part-time positions while pursuing her master’s degree. She went on to become an adjunct faculty member there before becoming a program director at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 1996. Leidig held several positions there over eight years, culminating with her role as director of instructional programs. In 2004, she became the vice president of instruction at Lone Star College – Montgomery in Conroe, TX. Leidig moved to the Loudon Campus of Northern Virginia Community College in 2010, where she continues to serve as the campus provost. Leidig earned a doctorate, and two master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin; and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.
Dr. J. Michael Thomson has nearly 40 years of higher education experience. He currently serves as college vice president and Eastern Campus president at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio. Thomson began his career as an assistant professor at Ouachita Baptist University. He later worked at the University of Cincinnati as a liaison with local governments. He spent 20 years at Northern Kentucky University, in several roles, culminating in the positon of department chair. Thomson has worked at Cuyahoga Community College since 2005, rising to his current position in 2013. Thomson earned a doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.
The four finalists seek to succeed Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, the college’s fourth president, who will retire on February 1 after serving in that role for nine years. The finalists will each visit the college in December to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.
Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the college serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities include the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.