New WCC chief of staff has strong ties to college

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Monique James, above, was named Chief of Staff to WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. (Photo by Jessica Bibbee)

Monique James started her journey at Washtenaw Community College eight years ago as a part-time faculty member who taught non-credit classes. Her role at the college has evolved significantly since then.

Prior to being named Chief of Staff to WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca recently, James was executive director of the Economic and Community Development division. There, she worked to establish connections with Washtenaw County programs, services and resources to help promote the college as a premier provider for post-secondary and continuous education.

James holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Grand State Valley University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan.

“The skills I acquired from being a social worker allow me to further advocate the great work WCC does, while carrying out the mission and vison of the college,” she said. “The full impact WCC has on its students and the community at large is incredible.”

Additionally, James brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in non-profit and community college administration, multicultural programming, and strategic planning.

In her new role as Chief of Staff, James serves as a liaison with workgroups to support the administration and encourage alignment with annual and multi-year initiatives. She also will work to expand and enhance programming efforts to support student recruitment, retention and success.

James has made a name for herself on campus and throughout the community.

Under James’ leadership, WCC’s Lifelong Learning department—known today as the Economic and Community Development division—received a Special Project Award from the Michigan Association of Continuing Education and Training in 2010.

“I have a lifelong connection to WCC and the community,” she said. “I have fond memories of attending special events at the Morris Lawrence building long before working at the college. So, to see it thrive is rewarding. Every day is an experience and I feel like I’m contributing something that will help make WCC a more conducive and inclusive environment for student success.”

This story originally appeared in the May/June 2016 issue of On the Record.

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