CCBA Convenes Higher Education Leaders During Annual National Conference
Inaugural Dissertation Award and 2024 Student Scholar Honorees Announced

Community colleges are experts at “growing talent for local and global impact” and the CCBA celebrated this theme during its 2024 national conference in Savannah, GA, February 14-16, 2024. 

During the event, the nation’s brightest community college administrators, educators and researchers convened to explore the value of accessible, affordable community college bachelor’s (CCB) degree programs. 

“This year, we focused on building programs, pathways and industry partnerships that promote local, workforce-ready talent to support positive social and economic outcomes for students, their families, their communities and beyond,” says CCBA President Dr. Angela Kersenbrock.

With the support of Strada Education Foundation, Conference 2024 featured an interactive Industry Panel. From L to R: CCBA President, Dr. Angela Kersenbrock; Beau Boice, Strada Education Foundation; Dr. Ann Pohl, Lima Memorial Health System; Dr. Kristi Wellington-Baker, Amazon Web Services; Ron Davoli, Wharton-Smith Construction Group; Sheriff Dennis Lemma, Sheriff, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and Dr. David Harrison, Columbus State Community College.

In addition to interactive workshops and networking, the conference, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, featured nationally-recognized keynote speakers and celebrated CCB student and colleague successes including:

Presentation of the 2024 Student Scholarship Awards. These $1000 scholarships are funded by the CCBA Board of Directors and honor academic excellence in those seeking a community college baccalaureate degree. 

2024 Honorees included: Jamie Oltersdorf, Yavapai College; Ruth Beatriz Morales Pelaez, Seminole State College of Florida; and Christopher Ward, Seminole State College of Florida.

Dr. Angela Kersenbrock; Ginny Conners, BibliU; 2024 Student Scholars Christopher Ward and Jamie Oltersdorf; Morgan Roberts and Carli Tegtmeier with BibliU

Presentation of the inaugural Debra D. Bragg Dissertation Award, which recognizes an individual who has completed an exceptional doctoral dissertation that examines topics pertaining to community college student baccalaureate attainment, to Dr. Tammy Sanders who completed her dissertation – “Equity-minded Recruitment of Latinx Students into Community College Baccalaureate Programs” – at New Jersey City University. 

Recognition of the 2024 Pioneer Award honorees: President Madeline Pumariega of Miami Dade College and Dr. Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College. The award is presented annually to individuals who have “bravely and tenaciously served as a leader in improving access for community college graduates into baccalaureate programs.”

Dr. Chris Mullin, Lumina Foundation and 2024 Pioneer Award Honorees President Madeline Pumariega of Miami Dade College and Dr. Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College.

At the close of the conference, Kersenbrock announced that the 2025 CCBA National Conference will take place in Austin, Texas February 5-7, 2025.