Edmonds Community College has announced that Kristen N. Morgan, Karen Townsend and Kevin Stewart have been hired as new deans for its Corrections Education, Health and Human Services, and Business academic divisions
“Our new deans bring tremendous expertise and passion to their work,” said Edmonds CC President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “They have a demonstrated commitment to student success that will help further our mission of teaching, learning and community.”
Morgan has worked in the greater Seattle area over the past decade in program management, development, communications, grant writing, direct social service, training and facilitation, marketing, and volunteer management. Prior to joining Edmonds CC on Sept. 16, she was the communications and development manager for Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington. She holds a master of public administration and a bachelor of arts in political science from Seattle University.
As associate dean of corrections education, Morgan oversees educational services for 700 students at Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC) through Washington state’s College in Prisons program. Programming includes basic skills education, vocational skills training, and support for correspondence education.
“Having worked in both higher education and correctional settings, I know first-hand the impact a program like ours can have,” Morgan said. “Edmonds Community College has a long history of providing education at Monroe Correctional Complex, and I hope to continue that legacy by supporting our incredible faculty and staff.”
According to a 2013 RAND Corporation study, participation in prison education, including both academic and vocational programming, was associated with an over 40% reduction in recidivism — saving $4 to $5 for each dollar spent. In June, 310 students at MCC earned a GED, certificate or associate’s degree.
Karen Townsend has worked at Edmonds CC for 18 years, serving as a Social and Human Services (SHS) instructor and then as the SHS department chair for the past 10 years. Townsend holds a master of science in counseling and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Seattle Pacific University. She is also a Washington state licensed mental health counselor and a child mental health specialist.
As the Health and Human Services dean, Townsend oversees the following programs: early childhood education, family life education, and Head Start; nursing and allied health education; occupational safety and health; paralegal; physical education; social and human services; addiction studies; and the bachelor of applied science in Child, Youth and Family Studies.
“I came to Edmonds Community College with an interest in training students for careers in helping people. That’s really what ties the programs in my division together –– they all provide valuable services to our community,” Townsend said. “I’ve also especially valued the chance to work on college-wide initiatives such as Guided Pathways and creating a college success course, because these initiatives and projects are grounded in reducing equity gaps.”
Kevin Stewart most recently served as the associate dean of instruction and an adjunct business and marketing instructor at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas. Stewart received numerous awards for his ability to facilitate industry partnerships and align institutional needs with larger regional trends. His most rewarding experience as an educator so far has been serving as a core steering committee member of Achieving the Dream, a national initiative to help more community college students succeed.
Stewart expects to earn his doctor of education from the University of Southern California in 2021, and he holds a master of business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler and a bachelor of science in political science from Southwest Baptist University. He joins Edmonds CC on Jan. 6.
“The first thing I’ll do as the new dean of business is review the current state of enrollment, elicit faculty and staff feedback, and seek novel ways to strategically increase enrollment, student success, and faculty engagement,” Stewart said. “Edmonds CC is uniquely positioned within the community to become a beacon for industry and sector partnerships. Given the rich faculty talent, excellent academic programs, and strong local economy, I’m confident Edmonds CC’s Business Division will further advance its reputation in the community as a top-tier center for academic excellence.”