Board of Trustees

Marilee Scarbrough joins the Clark College Board of Trustees.
Marilee Scarbrough joins the Clark College Board of Trustees.

Clark College welcomed a new trustee and said farewell to an outgoing trustee at its June 7 Board of Trustees meeting. 

Board President Paul Speer and Clark President Dr. Karin Edwards welcomed Marilee Scarbrough to its governing board and thanked Trustee Rekah Strong, who has served on the board for a decade. She is the executive director of Educational Opportunities for Children and Families.  

Rekah Strong, left with Dr. Karin Edwards at the Legislative Breakfast in January.

Dr. Edwards said, “Rekah has been a champion for Clark College. She cares deeply about students and their families and promotes education as an equalizer for those who have been marginalized. Her intentional actions and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion have fostered meaningful cultural change during her tenure here.” 

Marilee Scarbrough, an attorney, has been general counsel for the Vancouver School District since 2011. Previously she served as the policy and legal services director for Washington State School Directors’ Association, and attorney for the Washington State House of Representatives’ Higher Education Committee. Scarbrough holds a Juris Doctor from University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Whitman College.  

“I am excited to serve my community in this new role,” said Trustee Scarbrough. “I look forward to working with the Clark College board and administration to inspire learners to excel, transform lives, and strengthen our increasingly diverse community.

The Board of Trustees Commencement Ceremony. Left to right: Cristhian A. Canseco Juarez, Denise Gideon, Marilee Scarbrough, Paul Speer, and Jeanne Bennett.   

2023-24 Board of Trustees 

  • Chair Paul Speer
  • Vice Chair Cristhian A. Canseco Juarez 
  • Jeanne Bennett  
  • Denise Gideon 
  • Marilee Scarbrough 

About Clark College Board of Trustees 

Each of the five members of the college’s Board of Trustees is appointed by the governor of Washington and serves a five-year term. They must live within the college’s service district, which includes Clark, Skamania and western Klickitat counties. 

The board seeks to ensure the quality and relevance of college programs and provides stewardship of public resources. The board is responsible for strategic planning, development and approval of college policies, and approval and oversight of the operating budget. Learn more here

Photo: Clark College/Jenny Shadley

New VPs named

Vice President of Student Affairs Michele Cruse and Vice President of Instruction Paul Wickline

After a nationwide search, Clark College has announced the hiring of two new members of its Executive Cabinet. Dr. Michele Cruse was named Vice President of Student Affairs and Paul Wickline was named Vice President of Instruction. Dr. Cruse is starting in the position in November and Paul Wickline will begin on January 3, 2022.

“These are two crucial roles at the college, overseeing the two units with the most direct contact with our students—either in class settings or through student services,” said Clark College President Karin Edwards. “Michele and Paul are both highly qualified professionals who will be able to provide leadership and stability to the college.”

Both positions were filled after nationwide job searches and extensive interviews with hiring committees, college leadership, and open forums with the college community.

About Dr. Michele Cruse 

Dr. Michele Cruse has been serving as Interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Clark College since October 2020. Prior to coming to Clark, she served as Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Experiential Education at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Pennsylvania. A native Pittsburgher, Dr. Cruse earned her associate degree from the Community College of Allegheny County, her bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh, her master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management from Portland State University, and her doctorate in community college leadership from the Oregon State University.

Dr. Cruse’s work experience includes both faculty and staff positions at Portland Community College, including dean of student development. She has owned her own business and served as co-founder of an organization focused on workshops and education for community members, women, disenfranchised youth, and those in alternative education.

At Clark College, Dr. Cruse leads Student Affairs, a unit that includes a wide range of services and programs including enrollment services, athletics, career services, international programs, financial aid, disability support, the Veterans Resource Center, and the Counseling and Health Center, among others.

Dr. Cruse lives in Vancouver with her husband, Michael. They have three adult children.

“I am very excited and feel very honored to work alongside dedicated Clark College leaders as the Vice President of Student Affairs,” said Dr. Cruse. “It’s my ultimate goal to ensure that we provide students with a campus environment where every student feels valued, respected, and included while pursuing their academic goals.”

About Paul Wickline 

Paul Wickline brings with him many years of experience in both teaching and leading in a variety of educational settings. He began his educational journey at Edmonds Community College studying vocal music. From there, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree from Western Washington University and his Master of Education degree from Central Washington University. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation in the Higher Education Leadership program at Portland State University.

Wickline began his teaching career as a high school English and drama teacher in Walla Walla, Washington. He then began teaching theatre at Walla Walla Community College. In 2008, he moved to the College of the Canyons in Southern California, where he served in a series of roles that brought increased leadership: faculty member, department chair, faculty outcomes and assessment coordinator, Academic Senate President, dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Assistant Vice President of Educational Pathways, and finally Associate Vice President of Instruction. He is a past faculty fellow of the Association of American Colleges and Universities Collaborative Project and a mentor in the Association of California Community Colleges Association mentorship program.

Wickline and his wife, Karol Matson, are relocating to the Vancouver area this winter.

“I am humbled and honored to serve alongside the exceptional faculty, staff, and administrators as the next Vice President of Instruction at Clark College,” Wickline said. “Clark College has an outstanding reputation for providing students with quality career and academic preparation to meet the evolving needs of community, business, and industry. I look forward to collaborating with Clark colleagues to best support our students.”

This article originally misidentified the institution where Dr. Cruse earned her doctorate. It was corrected on Nov. 22.

Executive Vice President of Operations named

Galina Burley
Galina Burley. Photo courtesy of Galina Burley.

Clark College has announced the hiring of Galina Burley in the role of Executive Vice President of Operations. She will begin at the college on July 8.  

Burley was hired through a nationwide search. She will be entering a newly created position which oversees college operations including facilities, business, finance, security and safety, marketing, communications, and auxiliary services. 

“Galina brings a breadth of experience and significant skill in leading complex organizations. Additionally, Galina demonstrated her understanding, appreciation and commitment to social equity and inclusion,” wrote Clark College President Karin Edwards in an email announcing the hire to the college community. “This position serves a crucial role at the college, especially as we recover and plan our post-Covid future.” 

Burley (pronouns: she/her/hers) immigrated to Vancouver, Washington from Sochi, Russia with her parents in 1991. Her history at Clark College began soon afterward, when she began taking English as a Second Language classes and then went on to earn her associate degree. Burley also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Concordia University and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University. In addition, she earned certification in High Performing Organizations from the University of Virginia and is a 2012 alumna of Leadership Clark County. 

Burley’s previous work experience includes leadership roles at the City of Norfolk, Clackamas County, and the City of Portland. Most recently before joining Clark College, she served as Clark County Parks and Lands Manager. She has received an award for leadership from the American Association of Public Administrators of Hampton Roads; the Golden Ivan Award for her work with the Slavic refugee communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington; the President’s Recognition Award from the Crime Prevention Association of Oregon; and nomination as a Woman of Achievement by Washington State University Vancouver. Burley identifies as Armenian-Russian-American. In her free time, she enjoys reading, volunteering, and spending time with her family.  

“It feels very special to return to the Penguin Nation, where I began my educational journey and learned English,” said Burley. “I look forward to sharing my experience and lifelong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion with our college community. I also hope that my journey will inspire others to join Clark College, where we will help you discover your greatest potential.” 

VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion announced

Photo of Rashida Willard, smiling, weating blue sweater and necklace
Rashida Willard

Clark College announced today November 14, 2019 that Rashida Willard has accepted the position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the college effective immediately.

“Rashida has earned the respect of her peers, our students and the
community as a strong and effective leader,” said Clark College Interim
President Sandra Fowler-Hill who made the appointment. “She has created and
developed structures, spaces and programs to help remove barriers for students
and she’s leading the effort to create a culturally competent campus to help
students succeed. The college is thrilled to make this announcement.”

Willard joined Clark College four years ago as Operations Manager
of Administrative Services. She has taught as an adjunct professor, has served
as Director of Operations and Risk Manager, and for the past 17 months has
served as Interim Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

During that time, she has developed, aligned and integrated new
and existing initiatives and procedures into a cohesive platform to foster a
more inclusive, welcoming and diverse college community.

“I am deeply invested in this work, and am passionate about
creating inclusive, safe and welcoming environments where all students have maximum opportunities to succeed,” Willard said.
“I am eager to move forward in community and collaboration, building on our
team’s momentum of the last several months.”

Willard was
a participant and graduate of the Social Justice Leadership Institute for the
Washington State Community College System in 2017-2018 and was nominated as a
Real Hero by the Learn Here Project in 2018. She is also a part of the
Vancouver Police Chief’s Diversity Advisory Team.

holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, a bachelor’s degree in
Business Administration, and an associate degree in Organizational Dynamics.
She is currently attending Concordia University, pursuing a doctorate in
Education with a concentration in Professional Leadership, Inquiry and
Transformation. Her current research explores strategies that faculty and staff
employ to create culturally engaging spaces for students of color attending
predominantly white institutions and how campus racial climate affects their
persistence and completion rates. This research will be used to examine and
identify strategies to close the equity gap among students of color in higher

Clark College names new Athletic Director

portrait of Laura LeMasters

Clark College recently announced
that Laura LeMasters has accepted the position of athletic director at the

LeMasters joined Clark
College as assistant athletic director in 2016 and most recently served as
interim athletic director since June. She has a master’s degree in Kinesiology
with an option in Sport Management from California State University – Long
Beach and a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management with an emphasis in
Communication from WSU Pullman.

LeMasters brings a wealth
of experience in student success, college athletics, marketing, operations, and
recreation from her prior roles at Occidental College, Central Wyoming College,
and Lewis & Clark College.

“Laura is a strong student
advocate and has played an important role in ensuring our compliance with
state, federal and NWAC regulations,” said Vice President of Student Affairs
Bill Belden. “Laura is committed to continuing our focus on academic and
athletic excellence in our athletic department.”

“I am grateful and honored to be selected for the role of athletic director at Clark College,” said LeMasters. “I hope to continue to build the level of commitment to academic and athletic excellence as well as create a student experience for athletes, coaches, staff and the entire student body, that will enhance the pride of Penguin Nation.”

About Clark College Athletics

Penguin Athletics has a proud tradition of competitive success within the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC). The department offers 11 intercollegiate sports programs: Baseball; Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Men’s and Women’s Cross Country; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; Softball; Men’s and Women’s Track & Field; and Women’s Volleyball.

Penguin Athletics places great emphasis on academic performance as well as athletic achievement. The program offers student athletes the opportunity to reach their educational goals, as well to pursue meaningful athletic accomplishments. For more information, visit

Photo: Clark College/Jenny Shadley

Clark College announces new Interim President

Dr. Sandra Fowler-Hill
Dr. Sandra Fowler-Hill

The Clark College Board of Trustees voted unanimously tonight to offer the interim college presidency to Dr. Sandra A. Fowler-Hill. 

has accepted, pending completion of contract negotiations.  The decision was made at a special board
meeting Tuesday June 25 following a two-month process led by the Board of
Trustees with support from a national search firm. 

The successful
candidate was selected after a series of interviews with faculty, staff,
students, and trustees, as well as a collegewide open forum. “We
received many comments through the process, which were all taken into
consideration as we made our deliberations,” said Trustee Paul Speer. “We had
three excellent candidates and we think Dr. Fowler-Hill will be a tremendous
asset to our college during this year of transition.”

Dr. Sandra A.
Fowler-Hill is an experienced leader in higher education, having served as
President of Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus from 2014 to 2018.
She has also served as Vice President of Instruction at Everett Community
College and Dean for Student Learning at Cascadia Community College. She began
her career at Olympic College, where she worked for 19 years, beginning as
program manager of Women’s Programs, then moving into a tenured faculty position
before being named to the position of Dean for Social Science and Humanities. Since
retiring from PCC Rock Creek, she has served as a consultant for the
Association of Community College Trustees. She earned her bachelor’s degree in
Applied Behavioral Science from George Williams College in Downers Grove,
Illinois; her master’s degree in Human Development Counseling from the
University of Illinois at Springfield; and her doctorate degree in Community
College Leadership from Oregon State University.

President Bob Knight will meet with the incoming President to help with the
transition, both before and after his planned retirement date of July 15, 2019.

“We are grateful to Bob Knight for his leadership. This marks
a major milestone in Clark’s history. By appointing an interim president for
the year, the college and the community will have ample time to recruit,
screen, interview and interact with candidates for the permanent position,”
said Speer. “We want this to be a robust, inclusive and transparent process.”

read more about the presidential search process and next steps go to

Clark College

in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 12,000 students per quarter,
Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public institution of higher
education. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one
on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia
Tech Center in East Vancouver. Additionally, its Economic & Community
Development program is housed in the Columbia Bank building in downtown

Kelly Love joins Clark

Kelly Love

Clark College has hired Kelly Love as the college’s new Chief Communications Officer. She begins working at Clark on Wednesday, March 20.

Love is a proven communicator and leader with a strong connection to the
Southwest Washington community,” said Clark College President Robert K. Knight.
“I look forward to the insight she will bring to our leadership team as we
communicate about a wide range of new initiatives here at the college and
market our programs to an increasingly diverse community.”

comes to Clark College with a wide range of communications experience. For the
past three years, she’s worked at Legacy Health as a public relations
specialist at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and Legacy Cancer Institute.
Prior to that, she served five years as CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of
Commerce. Love also served as U.S. Representative Brian Baird’s District
Director from 2005 to 2010. She began her career as a broadcast news reporter
at KGW TV in Portland.

“I’m a
lifelong learner and have been fortunate to have such varied jobs,” Love said.
“They share a core value: serving the community. I’m thrilled to join the team
at Clark College supporting our students, faculty, and staff.”

longtime resident of Vancouver, Love is an alumna of Clark College. She earned
her bachelor’s degree in communications from Washington State University
Vancouver. She currently serves on the boards of The Children’s Center,
Columbia Credit Union, and Pink Lemonade Project. Additionally, she has served
on the boards of the Association of Washington Business, Southwest Washington
Workforce Development, Leadership Clark County, Cascadia Tech Academy and the
Council for the Homeless of Clark County Washington. Love is a member of the
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Clark welcomes new team members

Clark College has recently welcomed three outstanding professionals to its leadership. Read more about

Kelly Woodward

portrait of Kelly Woodward

Kelly Woodward

Kelly Woodward joined Clark as Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance November 3.

“As a major employer in this region with more than 1,000 employees, we are pleased to have a professional with such depth and breadth of experience to serve in this important role on our administrative team,” said Clark College Robert K. Knight.

Woodward earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of South Carolina and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University Law School. She comes to Clark College after serving as Assistant Attorney General with the Labor and Personnel Division of the Washington Attorney General’s Office. She served in the AAG’s office for nearly three years, during which time she provided legal advice and representation to numerous state agency Human Resources Directors on complex labor and personnel matters, including Washington Parks, Washington Lottery, Department of Corrections, Department of Commerce, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and a number of community colleges, including Clark.

Prior to working at the Attorney General’s Office, Woodward worked in higher education administration for more than 15 years, both wit hin Washington State and in South Carolina. Her previous work experience includes continuing education program development, implementation, and marketing at a private university; serving as a Public Information Director for a large community college in South Carolina; and credit and non-credit program development, implementation and marketing for Olympic College in Bremerton, Wash. Woodward previously served as the first campus director of Olympic College Poulsbo, where she worked successfully with partners in instruction, student services, administrative services, and the college foundation to increase enrollments, build community engagement, and generate funds for the college. Her most recent role at Olympic College was as Director of Compliance, where she developed and instituted a comprehensive compliance program for the college.

Woodward has extensive experience in community activities, including serving as a board member for Leadership Kitsap, a community leadership program. She has served as a council member for the Kitsap County Human Rights Council, as a founding member of the North Kitsap Diversity Awareness Group, as a member of the Olympic College Tribal Relations Task Force, and the Olympic College Diversity Advisory Committee.

Woodward and her family live in Camas, Wash.


Dr. Selena Castro

Portrait of Dr. Selena Castro

Dr. Selena Castro

Dr. Selena Castro joined Clark as Dean of Student Enrollment on September 12. She brings a strong background in student affairs and a clear dedication to developing strong relationships, working collaboratively, and building services that support student success.

Dr. Castro has served as an administrator in Student Affairs and Academic Affairs both at California State University, Fresno and at Washington State University. She most recently served as Director of the University Advising Center and New Student Orientation. Prior to her tenure at CSU, Dr. Castro was the Director of Student Success and Transition Programs at WSU Pullman. She brings a wealth of experiences to her role at Clark that are aligned with the college’s work around guided pathways, enrollment, and student success initiatives.


Cathy Busha

Portrait of Cathy Busha

Cathy Busha

Cathy Busha joined Clark as Dean of Student Engagement on November 28. She brings a strong background in working with students and a clear dedication to developing collegial relationships and developing services that support student success.

Busha (pronounced “boo-SHAY” — “kind of rhyming with ‘hooray!'” she advises) has served as an administrator in Student Affairs and as a faculty member at both Lewis & Clark College and Chemeketa Community College. She most recently served as Associate Dean of Students for Student Engagement at Lewis & Clark. Prior to her tenure there, she served as a full-time faculty in the Human Services program and part-time as the Diversity and Equity Coordinator at Chemeketa. Cathy brings a wealth of experiences to her role at Clark that are aligned with our student success and engagement initiatives.

In her role as Dean of Student Engagement, Cathy provides administrative oversight to Career Services, Counseling and Health Services, Disability Support Services, Student Conduct, Student Life, Student Success Programs, and the Veterans Resource Center.


Photos: Clark College/Jenny Shadley

New Hires

Andrea Finnegan was appointed to the classified staff position of Program Assistant in the Nursing Department effective January 13, 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University. Andrea has previous work experience at Clark College, Twilight Pizza Bistro, and Central Washington University.

Mishel Kirby was appointed to the classified staff position of Administrative Assistant 2 in the Office of Instruction effective January 9, 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree from University of Puget Sound. Mishel has previous work experience at Auburn Adventist Academy and Auburn City SDA Church.

­­­­Emily Melgoza was appointed to the classified staff position of Program Coordinator at Columbia Tech Center effective January 16, 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University Vancouver. Emily has previous work experience at Washington State University Vancouver.

Sabra Sand was appointed to the administrative position of Director of Business Services effective January 1, 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Washington State University Vancouver. Sabra has previous work experience at Clark College.

Janice Taylor was appointed to the classified staff position of Program Manager A in the Tutoring and Writing Center effective December 23, 2013. She has a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University. Janice has previous work experience at Clark College Marla Heikkala & Associates, and Lou M. Baran, P.S.

Nakia Vercher was appointed to the classified staff position of Grants and Contracts Accountant (Fiscal Analyst 2) effective December 16, 2013. She has an associate degree from Tacoma Community College. Nakia has previous work experience at Clark College and Catholic Community Services.

New Hires

Sophanarith Lem was appointed to the classified staff position of Information Technology Specialist 3 in the ITS department effective December 2, 2013. Sophanarith has previous work experience at Pacific University, Five-Star Audiovisual, Dthree Productions and PSAV.

Kandice Ripplinger was appointed to the classified staff position of Program Coordinator in the Financial Aid department effective October 16, 2013. Kandice has previous work experience at Clark College, TGI Fridays, Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut.

Joanne Vaughn was appointed to the classified staff position of Program Coordinator in the Financial Aid department effective October 16, 2013. Joanne has previous work experience at Clark College, Burgerville and Van Tech Enterprises.

Shelly Williams was appointed to the classified staff position of Program Coordinator in the Music department effective part-time November 12, 2013, and full-time January 2, 2014. Shelly has previous work experience at Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Gila Valley Arts Council, and Gila Valley Animal Hospital.

Cheryl Yarwood was appointed to the classified staff position of Early Childhood Specialist 3 in the Child and Family Studies department effective October 10, 2013. Cheryl has previous work experience at Clark College, Stewart Title Corporation and Vancouver Children’s Therapy Center.