Executive Director Advanced Manufacturing and Technical Centers
Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD)
Dallas, TX 75215
Nick Graff has extensive experience in Project Management, Sales/Marketing, Leadership Customer Service, Training, Team Building, Curriculum Design/Development, Budgeting, Grant Writing and Consultation in the public and private sectors. With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University, he began working in Television Broadcasting including: Reporting, Anchoring, Production and (Social) Media Presentation. He has taken coursework towards his MBA.
In March of 2016, Graff was named the Executive Director, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers for the prestigious seven-campus Dallas County Community College District. He will lead and oversee the development of Economic Development-driving programs and training to help lower the extreme rates of the population living in poverty within Dallas County and the Metroplex.
Graff previously worked for Anoka Technical College in Anoka MN, a NW suburb of Minneapolis, heading up the Manufacturing Technology and Industrial Engineering initiative within Customized Training. Graff put the program “on the map” to compete with the top Manufacturing and Trades departments in MN and the Midwest predominantly through the highly-successful and nationally-recognized Precision Sheet Metal and Fabrication Academy. The PSM and Fab. Program trained students who filled nearly 500 jobs in Minnesota.
Graff was twice recognized by his peers within MNSCU; (MN State Colleges and Universities) in 2010 for the “Exemplary Program Award” and the 2013 “Individual Achievement Award.”
Graff is/was active in additional regional and national Manufacturing Associations, serving as the Chair of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA) Certified Education Centers (CECs), Member of the Board of Directors for the MN Precision Manufacturing Association and their Education Foundation (MPMA) as well as MN’s statewide Dream it Do It Committee.
Civic Activities include:
Founding and chairing the Davis Graff Memorial Trust Fund, a 501(C)(3) which honored the memory of their infant son, raised funds through various activities including an annual golf event which donated more than $100K to children with developmental disabilities in TX and MN schools, churches and hospitals.
Department Chair of Industrial Technology
Midlands Technical College
P.O. Box 2408
Columbia, SC 29202
Alan Clayton attended both the University of South Carolina and Clemson University as a recipient of The James F. Byrnes Scholarship. While a student at Clemson, he was an active member of both Iota Lambda Sigma (Industrial Education Honorary Society) and the Clemson Graphic Arts Society. Upon receiving a B.S. in Industrial Education from Clemson University, Alan immediately began teaching Graphic Communications at the high school level. Having an entrepreneurial bent, he also launched and ran a successful screen printing business during the early, “formative” years of his career.
On leaving secondary education, he spent several years as the Assistant Plant Manager for a medium sized printing company and operated his own business prior to returning to education as an instructor and Program Coordinator at Midlands Technical College for six years. He then spent 13 years, with a top secret security clearance, managing the on-site printing facilities at a DOE nuclear weapons facility. Upon leaving that position, he managed multiple production teams for a large ($250M/year) magazine publisher before leaving to launch and operate two regional magazines in his home state of South Carolina.
Although proud of his career accomplishments, they pale in comparison to his personal achievements/blessings. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for 33 years and they have been blessed with four children and three grandchildren (so far!). To see his children mature into well balanced, successful adults is indeed his greatest accomplishment. In fact, watching his own children pursue, struggle & succeed with their career pursuits has inspired him to be even more vigilant in providing career training opportunities for students at Midlands Technical College.
After a long and varied career in education, large corporate and small business, he is currently serving as the Department Chair of Industrial Technology at Midlands Technical College where he has a passion for helping students become successful across the eight programs in his department.
Principal Investigator & Executive Director
Hillsborough Community College
10414 E. Columbus Drive
Tampa, FL 33619
Dr. Marilyn Barger is the Principal Investigator and Executive Director of FLATE, the Florida Regional Center of Excellence for Advanced Technological Education, funded by the National Science Foundation and housed at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida since 2004. FLATE serves the state of Florida as its region and is involved in outreach and recruitment of students into technical career pathways; has produced award winning curriculum design and reform for secondary and post‐secondary Career and Technical Education programs; and provides a variety of professional development for SETM and technology secondary and post‐secondary educators focused on advanced technologies. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry at Agnes Scott College and both a B.S. in Engineering Science and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) from the University of South Florida, where her research focused on membrane separation science and technologies for water purification. She has over 20 years of experience in developing curricula for engineering and engineering technology for elementary, middle, high school, and post secondary institutions, including colleges of engineering. Dr. Barger serves on several national panels and advisory boards for technical programs, curriculum and workforce initiatives, including the National Association of Manufacturers Educators‘Council. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, a member of Tau Beta Pi and Epsilon Pi Tau honor societies. She is a charter member of both the National Academy and the University of South Florida‘s Academy of Inventors. Dr. Barger holds a licensed patent and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida.
Associate Vice President for Strategic Academic & Workforce Initiatives
Quinsigamond Community College
670 W. Boylston Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Kathy Rentsch was recently promoted to Associate Vice President for Strategic Academic & Workforce Initiatives at Quinsigamond Community College, assuming a leadership role for workforce development & continuing education; college and career pathways; adult and community learning services; Perkins activities; career services & credit for prior learning. She is currently co-chairing QCC's strategic planning process as well.
Previously, she served as Dean for the QCC School for Business, Engineering & Technology, providing both academic and administrative leadership, establishing collaborative partnerships with industry, educational constituents and community agencies and developing grants and other funding proposals to enhance programming. She spearheaded an industry, education and community partner planning effort to secure a $750,000 National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant to design, launch and evaluate a public communication campaign on advanced manufacturing careers (NSF ATE DUE # 0703040). Successful strategies piloted in this project, called Mass-TEC, were scaled up statewide through the MassDevelopment AMP It Up! Campaign.
Ms. Rentsch serves on the Board of Directors for the MA Manufacturing Extension Partnership. In 2014, MassMEP recognized her leadership in building a non-credit to credit pathway in advanced manufacturing, naming her the MassMEP 2014 Manufacturing Champion. She is currently completing doctoral work at Northeastern University.