In 1963 the Community College Act in Pennsylvania called for every resident of the state to be within a reasonable commute of a community college. In the city of Erie in the northwest corner of the state, the nearest community college was 100 miles away. This past summer the state board of education approved the creation of Erie County Community College. It is the first new community college established in Pennsylvania in more than a quarter century. The college hopes to begin offering classes later this year.
Recently, the board of trustees approved the hiring of Judith Gay as interim president, the first leader of the new community college. Dr. Gay has been serving as vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff for the Community College of Philadelphia and was interim president during the 2013-14 academic year. Dr. Gay had planned to retire at the end of January.
Dr. Gay served as vice president for academic affairs at the Community College of Philadelphia from 2000 to 2013. She assumed her current position in 2015. Previously, she served on the psychology faculty at Montgomery County Community College, Chestnut Hill College, and Gettysburg College.
Dr. Gay is a graduate of the University of Findlay in Ohio, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.