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Administrator Biographies

Demonstrating the value of MCC

Metropolitan Community College creates value by playing a key role in helping students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential. The College equips students with the skills they need to have a fulfilling and prosperous career. MCC also maintains an environment where students can meet new people, increase their self-confidence, and promote their overall health and well-being. MCC promotes economic growth in its service area as an employer of choice and purchaser of goods and services which benefit local businesses.

Office of the President

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 30
The College president serves as chief executive officer of the College. The President’s Office reports to the MCC Board of Governors.

Randy Schmailzl, president

Randy Schmailzl

Schmailzl started his career as a high school teacher, administrator and coach in 1976. He moved on to the field of higher education as a faculty member, administrator and coach, before joining MCC in April 1989 as the director of Enrollment Management, Records and Placement. He became the dean of Student Services in 1995. In March 1998, he became provost and was named executive vice president in July 2001. On Aug. 25, 2009, he was appointed president of the College. Schmailzl earned a bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and his master's degree in Counseling, Administration and Higher Education from South Dakota University.
Executive assistant: Julie Lanxon, or 531-MCC-2203

Patricia Crisler, chief of staff

Patricia Crisler

Having served the College in a variety of capacities since 1998, including K-12 partnerships, community education, workforce training, research, grants and fundraising development, Crisler currently provides strategic and operational support to the College president. She supports the president’s work with all areas of the College and the elected Board of Governors and provides administrative leadership to the office of Marketing, Brand and Communication, Information Technology Services, the 180 Re-entry Assistance Program, Scholarships, and the Path Forward Initiative Crisler holds a master's degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

James Thibodeau, associate vice president for Compliance and General Counsel 

Thibodeau came to MCC in April of 2007, as the director of Labor Relations and General Counsel after seven years with the office of the Douglas County Attorney in Omaha.  He was appointed to the position of associate vice president for Compliance and General Counsel in October of 2016.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a law degree from Creighton University.

Julie Lanxon, executive assistant to the president 

Lanxon joined the President’s Office in 2021 with more than 15 years of experience in higher education. She supports the President’s office and serves as recording secretary for the Board of Governors. She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from Crown College.

Office of the Ombudsperson

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 21
Assists students, employees and members of the public respond to complaints or concerns to support retention and foster respect across the college community.

Vice President Offices

Office of Academic Affairs

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 30
Oversees all credit programs of study at the College, leads full-time and adjunct instructors in course and curriculum development, and is responsible for standards in academic programs as well as faculty growth and development.
Executive assistant: Jolynn Emery, or 531-MCC-2409.

Tom McDonnell, vice president for Academic Affairs 

Tom McDonnell

McDonnell’s career in postsecondary education covers nearly 30 years of service at two comprehensive, high-performing community colleges. During his career, he has worked in a supportive professional role, a faculty role and administrative roles. Since 2014, McDonnell has served as the vice president for Academic Affairs and is also the College’s Higher Learning Commission Accreditation liaison officer. From 2008 to 2014, he was dean for Humanities and Visual Arts at MCC. McDonnell earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Iowa State University in 1985, a Master of Arts in Communication from Eastern Illinois University in 1995, and his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from North Central University in 2012.

Office of Student Affairs

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 1
Oversees all operations at all MCC campuses and locations, including student services, advising, counseling, learning support and student technology services.
Executive assistant: Teresa Hier, or 531-MCC-2335.

María Vazquez, vice president for Student Affairs 

Maria Vazquez

Vazquez has held several positions at MCC, including associate vice president for Student Affairs, dean of students, dean of the MCC South Omaha Campus, student services director at the South Omaha Campus and coordinator of Nebraska Corrections Education Connection. She was the first Latina to serve on former Omaha mayor Mike Fahey’s cabinet as director of Greater Omaha Workforce Development. Vazquez holds an associate degree from MCC, a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Office of Planning and Operations

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 18
Provides leadership for strategic planning, institutional research, campus facilities planning, operations, and use.
Coordinator of Centralized Scheduling: Hanne Kruse, or 531-MCC-2241.

Kay Friesen, vice president for Planning and Operations 

Kay Friesen

Since 1988, Friesen has served the College in a variety of capacities, including the President’s Office, Academic Affairs, institutional planning, research, grants, events, and facilities use. Friesen holds a master's degree in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Development from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 14S
Provides leadership for strategic planning involving the development of goals that support MCC's mission, vision, and values.

T. Hank Robinson, vice president for Institutional Effectiveness 

T. Hank Robinson serves as the vice president for Institutional Effectiveness, providing college-wide strategic planning, evaluation and assistance to ensure MCC is following its mission statement of delivering relevant, student-centered education to a diverse community of learners. Robinson comes to the College from University of Nebraska at Omaha where he was the director of the office of Institutional Effectiveness since 2013, bringing the expertise needed to help keep MCC a growing and thriving community college.

President’s Cabinet Offices

College Business Office

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 30

Brenda Schumacher, college business officer 

Brenda Schumacher

Schumacher serves as the College’s chief financial officer and oversees administrative service areas including Accounting, Purchasing, Budget Management, Student Financial Services, and Financial Aid. Schumacher has been with the College since 1992, starting as a staff accountant and growing into other leadership roles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management from Wayne State College.

Office of Equity and Inclusion

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 15N
Oversees diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, federal TRIO programs, and intercultural education.
Administrative assistant: Deborah Andrews, or 531-MCC-2661.

Cynthia Gooch-Grayson, Ph.D., associate vice president for Equity and Inclusion 

Cynthia Gooch-Grayson

Gooch-Grayson holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, a master’s degree in Family and Mental Health Counseling at the University of the District of Columbia and a PhD in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Her scholarly interests include equity, retention and access in postsecondary education for historically disenfranchised and marginalized groups.

Office of Human Resources

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 32
Supports the College’s mission through a variety of strategic and operational functions related to include the attraction, recruitment, retention and development of a qualified and diverse workforce.
Executive assistant: Zenee Woodard, or 531-MCC-2420.

Melissa Beber, vice president for Human Resources 

Missy Beber

Beber provides oversight to all functions within human resources while working collaboratively across the College to develop effective human capital strategies for the benefit of faculty, staff and students. Prior to joining MCC, she held several human resources leadership roles with WoodmenLife in Omaha. She obtained both her bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and holds Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) certifications.

Office of Information Technology Services

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 16
Provides educational and institutional technology and support to the MCC employee and student community.
Executive assistant: Mary Thibodeau, or 531-MCC-2369.

Chad Lynch, chief information officer 

Lynch oversees all College technology operations, security and strategy including computer infrastructure, application services, cybersecurity, risk and compliance, servers, audio/visual, support services and computer systems support. Prior to his role at MCC, he held several cybersecurity and technical leadership roles within the U.S. Air Force, Sitel Inc., Kiewit and Nelnet. Lynch obtained his associate degree at the Community College of the Air Force, his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland, and his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Troy University.

Office of Marketing, Brand and Communication

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 6
Oversees marketing strategy and management, creative and internal client services, the MCC online user experience and provides stewardship of the College brand to all audiences.
Administrative assistant: Linda Moraine, or 531-MCC-2478.

Nannette Rodríguez, college marketing officer for Marketing, Brand and Communication 

Nannette Rodriguez

Rodríguez joined MCC in 2016 and was appointed its first college marketing officer in 2021. A serial entrepreneur, advertising agency executive and former Fortune 500 brand manager, Rodríguez was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Bradley University, a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Drake University and was named a 2019 National Community College Hispanic Council Fellow.

Metropolitan Community College Foundation

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 12S
The Office of Advancement builds awareness and financial support to advance the work of the College through the management and stewardship of grants, individual, corporate, and foundation giving, including alumni relations. The MCC Foundation is a separate 501 (c)3 corporation within the advancement office.
Assistant director of Advancement: Lesa Villafuerte, or 531-MCC-2346.

Amy Recker, associate vice president for Advancement and executive director of the MCC Foundation

Recker provides strategic and operational leadership in the areas of fundraising and donor stewardship for the MCC Foundation and its independent volunteer Board of Directors. Recker has been with the MCC Foundation since August 2016. Her previous career experience includes advertising, business analysis and nonprofit leadership roles in Seattle, Washington, Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska. Recker earned her master’s degree in Management of Information Systems from the University of Nebraska Omaha and her bachelor’s degree in Communication from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She is a graduate of the 2016 Nonprofit Executive Institute offered through the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands.

Community and Workforce

Fort Omaha Campus, Building 15S
Oversees marketing strategy and management, creative and internal client services, the MCC online user experience and provides stewardship of the College brand to all audiences.

Gary Girard, associate vice president for Community and Workforce Education

Gary Girard is the associate vice president for Community and Workforce Education. Girard was previously the executive director of Continuing Education, constantly expanding and diversifying programming offered to learners of all ages and interests. This newly created role extends his leadership to include the College’s Workforce Innovation Division where he will provide leadership and strategic direction for the design and delivery of workforce training programs, customized skills development training, professional development and community education programming.