Mitchell VP selected for national fellowship program


Pictured above: Dr. Porter Brannon – Picture courtesy of Mitchell Community College


Statesville, NC – Mitchell Community College’s Dr. Porter Brannon, Vice President for Student Services, was recently selected as a member of the 2018-2019 class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. The leadership program strives to prepare the next generation of community college presidents and to transform institutions to achieve high and equitable levels of student success both in college and in the labor market.

The 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2018 will include a select group of 40 Aspen Presidential Fellows. Fellows will be mentored by current and former community college presidents and learn from national experts in the field. The focus will be on student success outcomes, strategies for internal change leadership and how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers.

Dr. Porter Brannon is a higher education professional with over 20 years of progressively responsible experience serving in key leadership roles at public, private and proprietary higher education institutions. As the Vice President for Student Services at Mitchell Community College, Dr. Brannon coordinates long-range planning for new student enrollment, academic advising, career development, financial aid, disability services, retention, veteran’s affairs, and student activities.

Prior to assuming her current position, Dr. Brannon served as the Assistant Dean, and Registrar at LaGuardia Community College, the Assistant Vice President for Advising and Registration at Berkeley College, and the Coordinator of Advising at New York Institute of Technology. Over the life of her career, Dr. Brannon has been a primary architect in creating policies, programs, and systems designed to improve access, enrollment, retention, and degree completion. Her career has been focused on providing an environment for marginalized and underrepresented student groups to excel. Dr. Brannon is passionate about higher education, and the ability education has to transform the life of an individual and entire communities.

Dr. Brannon received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services, and Master’s degree in Education from St. John’s University, and a Doctorate of Education in Executive Leadership, Administration and Policy from Fordham University. She lives in Mooresville, North Carolina with her husband David, daughter Rebecca, and 4-legged son, Gage.

The Aspen Fellowship responds to a specific and growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. The traditional pathway to the presidency has excluded women and people of color: Currently, 71 percent of sitting community college presidents are white and 64 percent are male. The incoming class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is composed of 65 percent women, 43 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying size and geographical spread.

With the average community college enrolling about 14,000 students, each Fellow who becomes a president has an opportunity to improve outcomes for hundreds of thousands of students over his or her career. To date, 22 Aspen Presidential Fellows are now sitting community college presidents at institutions that collectively serve more than 300,000 students nationwide. The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. To learn more about the Aspen Fellowship, visit

Mitchell Community College serves 10,000 students annually through a variety of curriculum, continuing education and workforce development programs. With campuses in Statesville and Mooresville, Mitchell offers quality, affordable education options to residents of Iredell County and the surrounding area. For more information, visit or call (704) 878-3200 (Statesville Campus) or (704) 663-1923 (Mooresville Campus).

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