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CMC welcomes new head of Edwards campus

Kathryn Regjo is the new Colorado Mountain College campus vice president in Edwards.

EDWARDS — Kathryn Regjo is the new big man on campus on Colorado Mountain College’s Edwards location.

Regjo started last week as CMC’s newest vice president.

“The mission of the college strikes a passion that I live and breathe,” Regjo said. “When a community chooses to wrap itself around a college and its mission, as this community has, that’s very powerful.”

She comes to CMC from a four-year stint as president of Lincoln College of New England. Shortly after her appointment there, the college began offering its first fully online programs, as well as four-year degrees, much like Colorado Mountain College is doing now.

“We hope to take something that’s already strong and make it stronger.”Kathryn RegjoVice president of CMC in Edwards

“Part of the focus is to understand what we’re providing, and what we need,” Regjo said. “We hope to take something that’s already strong and make it stronger.”

Community college roots

Her community college roots run deep.

Regjo’s grandmother is from Finland and her grandfather was a blind piano tuner. Her grandmother’s job was to drive him around, until one day someone suggested she take a couple classes at the local community college. Before long, she had an accounting degree and a new career.

Regjo played high school basketball and volleyball, and college basketball and tennis at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. She had never played tennis, but decided she needed something to do on those spring afternoons on campus, so she called the college’s tennis coach and said she’d like to try out. She learned a little about tennis, but a lot about embracing those learning something new.

“If you want to try a new thing, people will sometimes surround you who are completely embracing. If you’re curious enough, we will embrace you,” Regjo said.

“We want people to be able to say, ‘I didn’t know I had that in me.’”

CMC’s job, she said, is to help bring that out of their students.

Ahead of the plan

A few weeks ago, President Obama floated a trial balloon of free community college. Colorado Mountain College has been doing that for years through its concurrent enrollment program. Local high school students can earn college credit by taking college credit classes as part of their regular academic load. More and more students are graduating high school with two years of college already under their belt.

In-district tuition remains among the nation’s lowest, $57 per credit hour. The CMC board of directors voted against raising tuition for next year.

It’s all part of CMC’s commitment to make college feasible for all, and free for many, Regjo said.

Academic achiever

Before joining Lincoln College, she held several positions with The Princeton Review. In Boulder, she was regional vice president; in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she was the executive director, director of marketing and assistant director of high school programs.

Regjo holds a doctorate of education in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, a masters of business administration from the University of Denver and a bachelor of arts in international business and German from Adrian College, of Adrian, Michigan. She also studied at the University Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany.

Regjo and her husband of 17 years, Daniel, have two young children, Luka, 7, and Ella, 4.


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