New president named at Reynolds Community College

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A community college official from New Jersey has been selected to become J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s fourth president.

Paula P. Pando currently is the senior vice president for student and educational services at Hudson Community College.

“Paula Pando’s life is a uniquely American success story,” Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System said in a statement. “She was very young when her family came to the U.S. from Chile. She had to learn a new language and a new culture, and she has excelled ever since. She has built an impressive career, focused on helping people find and leverage opportunity, and I expect her to be a terrific president for Reynolds Community College.”

Pando was selected from 102 applicants.

Pando has worked in higher education for more than 21 years. She began her career in 1994 as the director of campus activities and programs at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J. Beginning in 2000, Pando worked as a consultant for a New York firm, facilitating sensitivity and diversity training, among other topics.

In 2003, she joined Hudson County Community College, in Jersey City, as the associate dean for student services. She has since risen through the ranks, holding three different vice presidencies, including her current role as senior vice president for student and educational services.

In 2017, Pando was among 38 leaders from across the country selected for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a rigorous 10-month applied leadership program.

Pando holds a doctorate from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.; a master’s degree from Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City; and a bachelor’s degree from Stockton University in Pomona, N.J.

“Reynolds was blessed to receive an array of well-qualified candidates interested in serving as the next president of the college. This made our job very difficult. We selected a person who we believe is extremely well-qualified,” said Stephen E. Baril, chair of the Reynolds Community College local board.

“She received outstanding reviews from faculty, staff, community leaders, and the college board. We are delighted that Dr. Paula Pando has accepted our offer to be the next president of our college.”

Gary Rhodes, the president of Reynolds for the last 16 years, will retire on Sept. 1.

Serving more than 16,000 students annually, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is the youngest and among the largest of 23 community colleges in Virginia. The college operates three campuses serving residents in the City of Richmond and the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan and Louisa.

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