by Alana J. Mauger
For her contributions to education, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Dr. Karen A. Stout was honored by the Montgomery County Commission on Women and Families during its 17th Annual Awareness Event, “Changing Lives Through Education” earlier this month.
During the program, Dr. Stout was lauded for her work to improve and expand higher education access by Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards, as well as by MCCC alumnus Sarah Munson, now a mathematics major at Temple University, and by current MCCC student and biotechnology major Connie Barnes-Edwards.
Munson, now a member of MCCC’s Alumni Board of Directors, shared her positive experiences as a student leader, praising Dr. Stout’s accessibility to students, and the powerful impact Dr. Stout’s guidance and mentoring had on her academic path. Likewise, Barnes-Edwards, who returned to school after losing her job in the communications industry, talked about how Dr. Stout’s leadership and advocacy is helping her to receive a quality and affordable education.
Dr. Stout’s unwavering commitment to student access and success has impacted thousands of students like Munson and Barnes-Edwards. During her 12-year tenure as president, Dr. Stout’s leadership laid the groundwork for MCCC’s selection as one of only 73 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges in the nation. She also helped to design and launch the College’s first comprehensive Honors Program and Minority Student Mentoring Program; expand support services for student veterans; re-introduce MCCC’s intercollegiate athletics program; collaborate with the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board to deliver GED instruction to more than 800 community residents; and re-energize the College’s facilities to enhance teaching and learning, among many other accomplishments.
She is also co-founder of MCCC’s Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience, a unique program that helps women executives learn the game of golf to enhance their networking opportunities. That program is tied to the College’s “Starting a Successful Woman-Owned Business” program, as well as to the Montgomery County Woman-Owned Business Network, both of which are designed to foster professional development.
The impact of Dr. Stout’s leadership extends nationally. A passionate advocate for community colleges, Dr. Stout serves as Chair of the President’s Advisory Board to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University Teacher’s College, is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors, is a Commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and as a co-chair of the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) 21st-Century Initiative Steering Committee.
She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Delaware, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Baltimore.