Diverse Honors Champions at AACC Meeting

DALLAS – Diverse: Issues In Higher Education presented the Diverse Champions award to Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail and posthumously to Dr. Suanne Roueche at the opening ceremony of the American Association of Community Colleges 98th annual meeting on Saturday.

Dr. Christine Johnson McPhailDr. Christine Johnson McPhail

Roueche’s son, Jay, accepted the award on behalf of his mother, a longtime community college teacher, researcher and administrator.

McPhail, the former president of Cypress College who went on to become the founding director of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University, said she was honored to share the award with Roueche, who passed away in December after a courageous battle with lung cancer. She was 75.

“We both grew up in Texas during the time when the laws, societal pressures and prejudices kept people separated from each other both physically and mentally,” said McPhail. “During those times, Suanne and I would not have been encouraged to go to school, study or play together. Yet, tonight on this stage, we are being recognized together. And not only that, our images appear side by side on the cover of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine.”

The Diverse Champions Award recognizes higher education leaders who have shown unwavering commitment to equal opportunity and access for all, particularly at the community college level.

Past recipients include: Dr. Kay McClenney, Senior Adviser to the President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges; Dr. Terry O’Banion, Former President of the League for Innovation in the Community College; Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, President of Miami Dade College; Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, Former President of Cuyahoga Community College; Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of American Association of Community Colleges; and Dr. John E. Roueche, Former Director of the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Jamal Watson can be reached at jwatson1@diverseeducation.com