African Americans Named President at Two Community Colleges in New York

The State University of New York board of trustees has announced the appointments of two African Americans to lead community colleges in the system.

Michael A. Baston was appointed president of Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, effective July 1. The college enrolls more than 7,000 students and African Americans make up 18 percent of the student body.

Dr. Baston has been serving as acting provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York. Earlier, he was dean of student development and campus life for the New York campuses of Berkeley College.

Dr. Baston is a graduate of Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where he majored in political science. He earned a law degree at Brooklyn Law School and an educational doctorate from St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York.

Orinthia T. Montague was appointed the fourth president of Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, New York. The college enrolls more than 3,000 students. African Americans make up 13 percent of the student body.

Dr. Montague, who will take office on July 5, has been serving as vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. Earlier she was dean of students at the college. Before joining the staff at Normandale Community College in 2010, Dr. Montague was associate vice provost and dean of students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Dr. Montague is a graduate of Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where she majored in interpersonal communication. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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