College Administration

TCC Leadership Team

Ivan HarrellIvan L. Harrell, II, Ph.D., President 

Ivan L. Harrell II., Ph.D., serves as the 11th President of Tacoma Community College (TCC). Having a passion for community college education, Dr. Harrell strives every day to lead a group of professionals in providing the best environment, programs and services students need to complete their academic and career goals.

Prior to TCC, Dr. Harrell most recently served as the Executive Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Before Georgia Piedmont, he served as the Vice President of Success at Lone Star College, Dean of Student Affairs at Anne Arundel Community College, Coordinator for Student Affairs at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and Assistant to the Vice President at Tallahassee Community College.

Dr. Harrell has written or co-written a number of scholarly articles and book chapters. He has also served as a presenter at numerous local, regional and national conferences and seminars. He is most proud of his work around improving the success of students of color, particularly Black men, first-generation college students, as well as students who come from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. 

Dr. Harrell completed his doctor of philosophy degree (Ph.D.) at Florida State University, where he defended his award-winning dissertation, titled, “Using Student Characteristics to Predict the Persistence of Community College Students Enrolled in Online Courses.” He holds a master’s degree (M.Ed.) from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from Wittenberg University.

A native of Oberlin, Ohio, Dr. Harrell was a first-generation student who began his career in community colleges at Tallahassee Community College. Inspired by the diverse, intelligent and hard-working students he met at Tallahassee, Dr. Harrell decided to dedicate his career to advance the community college mission. His goal, as a higher education leader, is to support as many community college students possible to achieve their academic and career goals.  

image of Patty McCray-Roberts

Patricia McCray-Roberts, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Patricia McCray-Roberts recently joined TCC’s leadership team as Vice President of Administrative Services in April 2020. The position serves as the chief financial officer of the college and provides the vision and leadership to the essential support areas that enhance institutional vitality. Patricia strongly believes in the value of higher education in its ability to transform lives; the life of the student and the lives of their family for generations to come. As a low income, first generation college graduate, she experienced this transformation firsthand with the completion of a B.A in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Idaho and her M.B.A from Western Governor’s University. Patricia is a lifelong learner and is currently working on her B.S. in Accounting at Western Governor’s University, with the goal of attaining her Master’s in Accounting and her C.P.A. soon. Patricia has extensive experience in finance and budget, strategic planning and assessment, facility and capital construction, emergency management, bookstore operations, personnel, and policy creation. A collaborative and innovative leader, Patricia has had many successes in formulating successful organizational strategies. Prior to joining TCC, she served as the Director of Facilities Planning and Operations at Peninsula College for over 12 years, where she led the development of the facility master plan and the comprehensive emergency management plan which contributed to the completion of two major capital projects and three accreditation commendations for the college.  At TCC, she has successfully led the college through a robust budgeting process and is the lead for the Covid-19 Recovery Plan.

a woman with black hair smiling on the TCC Bridge

Tamyra Howser, Vice President for College Relations

Adopted from Seoul, South Korea and raised in Hawaii, Tamyra moved to Tacoma to work as the neighborhoods/parks/housing reporter for The News Tribune, after interning at newspapers across the Pacific Northwest. She left journalism after five years and led internal communications in health care, before  joining TCC in 2015, as its Director of Marketing and Communications. She became Executive Director in 2019, and Vice President, College Relations, in June of 2023. Tamyra oversees marketing and communications; government relations and community relations. Described as a connector, a leader, a mentor, and a person who is passionate about communications and relationships, Tamyra believes that at the end of the day, what matters most are the people she serves and how she can support shared goals to improve our community. She believes in TCC’s students and the important work the employees do to help students achieve their dreams. A product of the community college system, Tamyra understands the struggles and triumphs our students face, and is committed to their success. She transferred from Portland Community College to earn her journalism degree from the University of Oregon, and later, as a working parent and professional, earned her M.A. in Leadership and Communication from Gonzaga University. She currently serves on the faculty of the UW Department of Communications and teaches PR and Society.

photo of Marissa Schlesinger

Marissa Schlesinger, Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Marissa R. Schlesinger began in her role as TCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs in September of 2019. This leadership position serves as the chief academic officer of the college, providing the vision and leadership for the college’s educational programs in a collaborative and equitable manner.

Schlesinger is a product of public K-12 education and was raised in Brooklyn by a mother and grandmother who were public educators and community college graduates. She received her B.A. in the Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East from Smith College, and her M.A. from the University of Toronto, where she is an A.B.D. in doctoral studies of ancient Egyptian civilization. She studied Egyptology at University College London and lectures on ancient Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

A student-centered and equity-minded leader, Schlesinger joins TCC after having served as Associate Dean of Curriculum and First-Year Programs at Guttman Community College in New York City. Previously, she spent 13 years in faculty and administration at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York. Marissa is a recent alumna of the Aspen Institute’s Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. She has served as resource faculty at the Washington Center’s National Summer Institutes and, separately, has worked with dozens of community colleges across the country, helping them focus on change for the improvement of equity and student learning, completion, transfer, and labor market outcomes.

photo of Karl Smith

Karl Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs

Karl Smith entered higher education after finishing the master’s in teaching program at the University of Washington and deciding to take a year off from teaching. His professional career started in 2001 on the frontlines of admissions recruiting as the African American Outreach Coordinator for the University of Washington Seattle, serving the Tacoma community. A gap year turned into a life long passion. Through hard work, innovation, a data-informed approach, and a student-centered philosophy, a career on the frontlines turned into 19 years of progressive service in public higher education.

 

Deans

Name Title
Patrick Brown Dean for Enrollment & Student Success
Brandon Censon Dean for Healthcare
Dale Coleman Dean for Library & Learning Innovation
Jillian Edwards Associate Dean of Nursing
Kim Flack Dean for Creative Arts, Literature, and Communication
Katie Gulliford Dean for Institutional Effectiveness
Olga Inglebritson Dean of Gig Harbor Campus & Continuing Education
Interim Dean for Education, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Mary Jane Oberhofer Dean for Business, Paralegal & Technology
Jason Parker Dean for Retention & Student Success 
Christopher Willett Dean for Math, Science and Engineering