Regents name Joyce Helens president of Great Basin College

Joyce HelensELKO, Nev. — The Board of Regents today approved the appointment of Joyce Helens as the next president of Great Basin College, effective August 1.

“Our search process has brought forward an excellent and experienced leader to take the helm of Great Basin College,” said Rick Trachok, chair of the Board of Regents. “We look forward to the contributions she will make to the college and to the many students and communities it serves.”

Helens was one of three finalists who spent the past few days on campus participating in public forums and interviews. She was selected yesterday by the Board of Regents’ ad hoc GBC President Search Committee with input from a 23-member community advisory group.

“My husband and I are looking forward to building our home here,” said Helens. “We feel comfortable with the area as it’s an area we know and have visited before. I would say we are western people. It’s a really good fit geographically for us.”

“I told President Curtis that I stand on his shoulders. I pay tribute and honor to what he has done at GBC, and now that allows us to get to the next level of excellence.”

Helens has both broad and deep higher education leadership experience in multi-state two-year colleges and universities. Since 2006, Helens has enjoyed success in the MinnState System as president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where she has built a nationally recognized comprehensive community and technical college with increased enrollment, new and renovated programs and facilities, and a successful college re-accreditation.

She obtained a baccalaureate degree from St. Martin’s University in Washington State and her Master’s Degree from Portland State University where she also completed her doctoral coursework. Before coming to Minnesota, Helens was at the University of Alaska Statewide System, holding leadership positions at the University of Alaska Anchorage Community & Technical College and then as Executive Director of the University of Alaska Corporate Programs where she created a Corporate University within an academic university system to respond to the education and training needs of Alaska business and industry. Helens also served in senior and executive community college leadership positions in Oregon, Texas and Washington.

The ad hoc GBC President Search committee was chaired by Regent Sam Lieberman and included regents Dr. Andrea Anderson, Carol Del Carlo, Dr. Jason Geddes, Cathy McAdoo, and Allison Stephens.

Advisory members to the committee included: Gerald Ackerman, Cristian Apolinar, Pam Borda, Lisa Campbell, Mary Doucette, Dr. Jonathan Foster, Hon. Chris Johnson, Matt McCarty, Katie McConnell, Kevin Melcher, Bret Murphy, Katie Neddenriep, Rick Palagi, Michelle Phay, Ben Reed, Dave Roden, Sonja Sibert, Dr. Laura Walsh, Norm Whittaker, Tim Wichersham, Jim Winer, Mardell Wilkins, and Jeff Zander.

About Great Basin College
Great Basin College is a regionally accredited comprehensive residential college, offering certificate, associate and baccalaureate level education. Meeting and sustaining workforce needs is at the forefront of its strategies as it continues to fulfill its mission to serve rural Nevada. The main campus is located in Elko, Nevada. Branch locations are located in Battle Mountain, Ely, Pahrump and Winnemucca, as well as over a dozen satellite facilities across the state. A pioneer in distance education, as well as online delivery, GBC is now offering 30 certificate and degree programs that are available completely online.

About the Nevada System of Higher Education
The Nevada System of Higher Education — comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute — serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to nearly 106,300 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.