The First African American President of Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland

The board of trustees of Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland, appointed Daria Willis as the fifth president of the college. When she takes office on January 10, Dr. Willis will become the first African American to lead the college in its 51-year history.

Howard Community College enrolls more than 9,500 students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 27 percent of the student body.

“My educational philosophy has always been to focus on students and put them at the heart of everything you do, so I am incredibly honored to lead a college whose mission is providing pathways to success,” said Dr. Willis. “Community colleges are in the business of transforming lives of students and their families. As the next president, I commit to empowering the college and the Howard County community, inspiring innovation, closing the achievement gap among students, and advocating for social justice, equity, and education for all.”

Dr. Willis currently serves as president of Everett Community College in Washington. Earlier, Dr. Willis was the provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Onondaga Community College of the State University of New York and dean of academic studies at Lee College in Baytown, Texas.

Dr. Willis holds a bachelor’s degree in history education and a master’s degree in history from Florida A&M University. She earned a Ph.D. in history at Florida State University.

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