Colorado Mountain College campus Vice Presidents Joe Maestas and Nancy Genova are retiring this month, after serving thousands of students over their combined nearly five decades at the school. Between them, they oversee five CMC learning locations: Aspen, Carbondale, Spring Valley, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.
“It’s been an honor to work with Nancy, who’s been a compassionate leader in guiding her campus, our students in Garfield County and her peers within the college through nearly 30 years of learning, and Joe has played a key role in simultaneously leading two campuses over several years. I am grateful for his calm perseverance and flexibility in managing our campuses from Aspen to Glenwood Springs,” said Carrie Besnette Hauser, president of the college. “We will miss their strong leadership and advocacy on behalf of their students and their communities.”
Maestas, who is retiring this month as the college’s campus vice president in Aspen and interim campus vice president for the Roaring Fork Campus in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Spring Valley, started as an adjunct instructor teaching psychology and career development. In his 20 years at CMC he has also been Aspen campus dean, student services counselor and instructional supervisor.
Genova’s first job at the college was as the director of student services for the Roaring Fork Campus. For many years she was Roaring Fork Campus dean, moving several years ago to the college’s campus in Rifle, where she was campus dean, and then vice president. Most recently in her 27-year tenure, she has also overseen collegewide sustainability initiatives, which last spring earned her the college’s first Sustainable Leadership Award.
Asked what they most loved about their years with the college, both vice presidents gave answers centered on serving students. Genova said she was most motivated in “helping students reach their goals, whether they want to complete a degree or take one class. You can see the excitement when they reach their goals.”
Said Maestas, “I’m most grateful for being able to help individuals who didn’t think they could make it through college for whatever reasons, to actually succeed and achieve their educational goals.”
Three seasoned CMC administrators are easing the transition by leading on an interim basis: Margaret Maxwell in Aspen, Rachel Pokrandt in Rifle and Daryl Yarrow for the Roaring Fork Campus, with locations in Spring Valley, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. The college is conducting an internal search for new campus deans in these locations. Current directors at Carbondale’s Lappala Center (Adrian Fielder) and the Glenwood Center (Jim Green) will continue in their roles.
Moving forward, the campus deans will be the face of the college in the communities they serve, leading their campuses and centers on a day-to-day basis. They will report to a regional vice president, who is currently being recruited in a national search.