New leader for SWCID in place

After several months of searching for the right person to fit the bill, Howard College officials have announced the selection of Mary Karol Matchett as the new provost for their SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf campus.Matchett, coming to SWCID from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology with more than 18 years of experience in the field of higher education, will be filling the position recently vacated by provost Mark Myers after his move back to the East Coast and the service of Dom Bonura as interim provost.“We are excited to welcome Mary Karol to the SWCID campus and feel confident she is the right fit for the job,” said Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, Howard College president. “We appreciate the leadership of Dr. Myers and have been fortunate to have Dom fill in for us through this time of transition. He has left things in good order for her to take the reigns and move forward.”Matchett has most recently held the position of director of career exploration studies at NTID but also has experience in student retention, academic and career counseling and social work, as well as teaching.She is currently working on her education doctorate in executive leadership through St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., expecting to complete this step in September 2013. She received her bachelor of science in social work from RIT in Rochester and a masters of social work from Syracuse University.“Great things are happening at SWCID and I am really looking forward to being a part of this campus and college district,” said Matchett. “I know that the faculty and staff have been doing a great job and I am anxious to start working with them.”Matchett’s extensive experience in student retention and career counseling will be most beneficial to the SWCID campus at this time when more focus is being placed on outcomes for students.“Mary Karol’s experience is right on target with where the SWCID campus is heading,” said Sparks. “We need to make sure our students stay in college and finish their programs of study so they can be successful throughout their careers of choice. She is the perfect person to continue leading our campus in this direction.”Student outcomes will remain the priority for Matchett and the SWCID faculty and staff. With recent enrollment growth, the air is ripe for innovative strategies and fresh ideas for program improvement, officials said.“We are going to take this opportunity to hold on to our solid history guided by previous SWCID leaders while facing the future with fresh ideas and new leadership,” added Sparks. “While focusing on our strengths, Mary Karol and the faculty and staff will take SWCID to the next level.”