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Towuanna Porter Brannon hired to lead Thomas Nelson Community College

Towuanna Porter Brannon
Towuanna Porter Brannon. Photo courtesy Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon will become the next president of Thomas Nelson Community College.

Porter Brannon has more than 20 years of higher education experience. She began her career as an assistant director and academic adviser at St. John’s College in New York in 1999.

Four years later, she moved to the New York Institute of Technology to become its Central Advising Center coordinator.

“Dr. Porter Brannon is not only an impressive higher education leader, but her life and career is a testament to the power of education to open doors and create opportunities,” said Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “I’m excited about what she brings to the table and the way she connects with people. I and the college community hold high hopes for what she can do to lead the college to meet the community’s needs through the pandemic, the subsequent economic recovery, and beyond.”

Porter Brannon joined the Borough of Manhattan Community College/City University of New York in 2006 as a coordinator for Academic Advising and Transfer for a year before moving to Berkeley College where she worked as a dean and then assistant vice president.

In 2010, Porter Brannon moved to LaGuardia Community College/CUNY where she served as a registrar for two years and then as an assistant dean of Student Affairs for four years.

She moved to Mitchell Community College in Statesville, N.C., in 2016 to become the college’s vice president of student services – the position she currently holds.

Porter Brannon earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from St. John’s University and a doctorate from Fordham University.

Porter Brannon will become the college’s ninth president when she assumes the position at the beginning of 2021. Today’s announcement concludes a national search that attracted 92 applicants.

“This was an extraordinary process to hire a new president during a global pandemic,” said Michael Kuhns, chair of the TNCC local advisory board. “However, our local board and our college community were fully engaged. While the quality and depth of the finalists’ pool made our decision a hard one, we found Dr. Porter Brannon to be a breath of fresh air with energy and passion, and impressive experience in growing student enrollment, student success, and building community and business partnerships – the areas we want to see our college improve moving forward.”

Founded in 1968, TNCC is an accredited, two-year institution of higher education established as one of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. The college primarily serves the residents of the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, TNCC served 11,588 students in credit instruction, making it the fifth largest college within the Virginia Community College System in terms of headcount.

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