New dean takes on economic, community development

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Photo by Kimberly A. Borecki-Troiano

Washtenaw Community College’s newest dean brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors. And those experiences are critical as WCC moves forward in developing the workforce of today and tomorrow.

After serving three months as Executive Director for Economic and Community Development at Washtenaw Community College, Niko Dawson was recently named Dean of Economic and Community Development.

As someone with nearly a decade in managerial experience with career and placement services programs, Dawson comes to WCC from Oakland Community College, where he spent eight years as Director of Economic and Workforce Development.

“Niko Dawson brings with him eight years of administrative experience in Workforce Development at Oakland Community College and a wealth of industry experience as a former employee of both Chrysler Corporation and General Motors Onstar Systems,” said Dr. Michelle K. Mueller, WCC’s vice president of Economic, Community and College Development. “I am delighted to have Niko on my Economic and Community Development team because he is an innovative and entrepreneurial thinker. More importantly, he is collaborative, smart and competitive, which makes him a perfect fit to serve our community.”

Dawson holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing and a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in human resource management from Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.

In his new role, Dawson will maintain local and regional relationships with key community groups and organizations within Washtenaw County, determine the education needs of local employers, job seekers, and the regional community, and oversee the WCC Small Business Development center personnel and programming, among other duties.

“I believe that WCC is, and has been, a tremendous resource to this community, and I would love to continue the 50-year legacy of offering quality programs and services for this region,” Dawson said. “I’ve come to learn that this community loves WCC, and we in turn love this community.

“There are many capable and intelligent people on staff here at WCC, and I look forward to collaboratively working with all internal staff, faculty, and/or departments in order to serve our students, alums, and community. I’ve also taken a few moments to meet and greet some of the WCC students, and I’ve marveled at some of their academic pursuits and career plans.”

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of On the Record.

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