Columbia Basin College’s new president is on the job.
Rebekah Woods, the first woman president in the Pasco college’s history, made her first official appearance at Friday’s scholarship banquet.
Woods said Monday she was honored to start her first full week.
“I continue to be impressed by everyone’s warm welcome and willingness to help me transition to the community and to the college,” she said.
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The board of trustees picked Woods as the college’s sixth president in early September. She is taking over from interim President Lee Thornton.
A trained attorney, she began her higher education career at the same Virginia law school she got her degree from.
She moved onto community colleges in 2004 when she became the director of student success at Lansing Community College in Michigan.
Before moving to CBC, Woods served as provost at Jackson College in Jackson, Mich. The 7,500-student campus recently opened its third residence hall and is in the third-year of an international program that attracted 60 foreign students to the campus.
Columbia Basin College is in the early stages of exploring an international program and managing a residence facility in Sunhawk Hall.
Those similarities between the Jackson and Pasco schools is one of the things that drew her, she said. Former and present students also are sharing stories about CBC’s commitment to student success.
“These encounters remind me of the reason I’m drawn to community colleges and speak volumes about CBC’s role in our community,” she said.
Woods said she would meet with students, staff, faculty and the community before she formed any plans for the school.