By Catherine Lobash
This summer, many JJC administrative positions were vacated. Some positions were filled during the summer, but other, like the Human Resources (HR) Director, operated with an interim director for the fall semester.
The college changed that when Dr. Nicole Whitehead was recently hired as the permanent HR director.
Whitehead spent the first half of her career in the e-commerce and banking industry under leadership roles. She then moved on to higher education starting as an HR, business, and employment professor at a two-year university in North Carolina.
From there, she moved on to the administrative part of higher education and relocated to four-year university in Virginia, and then continued to move up the ranks to become the Chief Human Resources Officer at a four-year public institution in Alabama.
There are many accomplishments to note that Whitehead has achieved. She has led many teams in transforming the HR service model to best support the needs of the community, from faculty to the students.
Whitehead has also worked as a Black Student Alliance Advisor, collaborating and strategizing with the group on ways to build events, diversity education, and offer recommendations on diversifying academic offerings.
Lastly, she has volunteered at Safe Harbor – that is an organization that helps transform women’s’ lives.
“Safe Harbor helps women transform their lives to see they were not a sum of a poor judgement in their life…but they were ENOUGH and had another chance to succeed at their goals,” Whitehead said.
Finally, Whitehead shared her top three goals she has with starting this new position.
First being that, “through the efforts of the entire HR team, unleash the diverse employee talent to support student learning and growth, community empowerment through education and JJC being the first choice for education and expertise in the state.” Her second goal is that she wishes to “support programs, learning and development that creates a sense of belonging and values all constituents.” Last, and simply put, Whitehead wants to “have fun.“
“My passion is leadership development and coaching…I believe exceptional leaders create environments where being your authentic self is the only way to be,” Whitehead said.
It is always exciting for a change in leadership and change leads to many great new adventures, and Whitehead promises to work hard to help change JJC for the better.