It’s a big job, but one for which she’s well prepared. In July, Dr. Rachel M. Desmarais was named Forsyth Tech’s executive vice president and chief operating officer (EVP/COO). In her new role, she is responsible for overseeing the college’s leadership team as well as day-to-day operations.
She brings a unique perspective to the position. For the past 13 years, Rachel served Forsyth Tech as an instructor, department chair of the Thomas H. Davis iTEC Center, and vice president of Planning and Information Services. Over this period, she also completed her Ph.D. in Instructional Design & Technology from Old Dominion University.
She outlines the first tasks on her agenda. “We are already working hard to identify ways Forsyth Tech can operate more efficiently and effectively over the long run, given the funding challenges facing all community colleges right now,” Rachel says. “One of my first responsibilities is helping guide the college in a bit of soul-searching, reflecting on who we are in 2015 and what we want to become. Then we can move forward in a strategic way.”
Fortunately, she won’t face these challenges alone. “I’m privileged to be working with an awesome group of people,” she acknowledges. “Everyone here is focused on doing their part to broaden the high-quality education and training opportunities available to our students.”