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The Path Forward: Higher Education

August 13 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

As the nation and economy continue to face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, many colleges and universities are delaying plans to begin their fall semesters with in-person instruction to limit the risk of spreading the virus. With several states now experiencing spikes of coronavirus cases, particularly among young adults, school administrators are examining more cautious strategies to employ such as online learning and canceling athletic events altogether. Washington Post Live will examine the outsized impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. higher education system from students to faculty and what the college experience could look like in the years to come. Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell and Montgomery College president DeRionne P. Pollard will discuss the many challenges and decisions facing American colleges right now. Join the conversation on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Mary Schmidt Campbell, PhD
President, Spelman College
On Aug. 1, 2015, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell began her tenure as the 10th president of Spelman College. A leading liberal arts college for women of African descent located in Atlanta, Georgia, Spelman has long enjoyed a reputation as the nation’s leading producer of Black women scientists. Prior to arriving in Atlanta, Dr. Campbell was a major force in the cultural life of New York City. Her career in New York, which included various challenging roles, began at the Studio Museum in Harlem where she served for 10 years. Her role there began at a time when the city was on the verge of bankruptcy and Harlem was in steep decline. However, under her leadership, the museum was transformed from a rented loft to the country’s first accredited Black Fine Arts Museum. Dr. Campbell also established herself as a stalwart supporter who championed the need for professional development opportunities for women and people of color in the arts.
DeRionne Pollard
President, Montgomery College
In 2010, DeRionne Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College, a three-campus community college with 55,000 credit and noncredit students. She spearheaded the development of a new Montgomery College mission and strategic plan. She has partnered actively with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove in the creation of Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a support program designed to help disadvantaged students transition from high school to college completion. The program now has 2,700 students enrolled. Montgomery College is also a member of Achieving the Dream network, a non-governmental reform movement for student success at community colleges. Dr. Pollard formerly served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California. She served on the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and the Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development. Dr. Pollard is a member of the Equity Advisory Board for Mission Partners and the Center for First-generation Student Success Advisory Board for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges and as the president of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. Locally, she also serves on the boards of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Universities at Shady Grove, the Montgomery County Advisory Board of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.


August 13
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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