CVTC names Beaton-Garcia new president

CVTC named Dr. Sunem Beaton-Garcia as its next president.
CVTC named Dr. Sunem Beaton-Garcia as its next president.(CVTC)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 1:52 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Chippewa Valley Technical College is announcing its selection of its next president.

Thursday, CVTC announced that Dr. Sunem Beaton-Garcia, who will be the first woman and first Latina to be CVTC’s president, will begin her term on July 1.

Beaton-Garcia, who holds a doctorate in education in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is currently the campus president and vice provost for academic services and resources at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. Beaton-Garcia has over 12 years of experience in administration and instruction at the college level, according to the announcement by CVTC on Thursday.

Beaton-Garcia was selected from a pool of four finalists, which included Kathleen Linaker, the vice president of academics at Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wis., Nicholas Ouellette, the CEO and superintendent of the School District of Hudson in Hudson, Wis., and Kristen Raney, the vice president of academic affairs at St. Paul College in St. Paul, Minn.

CVTC’s District Board made the decision to select Beaton-Garcia as CVTC’s 11th president during a special meeting on Thursday, May 6. Beaton-Garcia takes over for Bruce Barker, who is retiring July 1 after serving in the role since 2008.

“There are many changes ahead of us and we want to make sure that the college is ready for the talent pipeline that the business and industry need in the region to further their economic supports that are needed in the coming years. So our focus is on the future and making sure our students are ready to meet those demands,” Beaton-Garcia said.

She said one of her top priorities is getting CVTC ready for the post-pandemic era.

“Taking a good look at our programs and making sure, again, that we’re staying current. Taking a look at our technology and making sure that post pandemic the way that students need to learn is available for them. We know that we’ve learned a lot from this time at home and so some of those modalities may transfer into a post-COVID environment,” Beaton-Garcia said.

CVTC Board Chair Paul Bauer says the leadership is welcome in aiding CVTC’s development.

“She is a dynamic, engaging, and thoughtful leader with a proven track record that will greatly benefit CVTC,” Bauer said.

Beaton-Garcia noted CVTC’s attention to community service in taking the position.

“It was clear to me during the search process that CVTC exemplifies the kind of commitment to student success and personal growth that inspired me to be an educator,” Beaton-Garcia said.

Beaton-Garcia says she can understand the challenges that students face in pursuing higher education, since she is a refugee from Cuba and had to learn a new language and culture upon arrival in the United States.

“I look forward to hearing the students’ stories,” Beaton-Garcia said.

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