Finalists under consideration to lead TSTC West Texas

The presidential search committee for Texas State Technical College System announces two finalists under consideration as the next president of TSTC West Texas: Dr. Irene Cravey, vice president of student learning at TSTC Marshall; and Dr. Paul Gasparro, vice president for academic affairs of Seminole State College, Okla.Irene Cravey, Ed.D., came from a career in environmental health to join higher education in 1997, serving first as an instructor at TSTC Marshall in environmental health, safety, chemistry, and laboratory analysis. She later worked for six years as the coordinator of curriculum. Presently, Cravey serves as the vice president for student learning for TSTC Marshall, leading 56 faculty and staff and an annual budget of more than $3.3 million. In this capacity, Cravey is the director of all educational programs at the college with other areas of responsibility including workforce development; skills development grants; curriculum coordination; faculty development; distance learning; collaborative programs; dual credit partnerships; and student learning success which consists of the library, tutoring center, student counseling, developmental studies, pre-engineering general academic studies, and the technology-enhanced learning commons. Cravey earned a bachelor of science in chemistry from Texas Wesleyan University, a master of science in education from The University of Texas at Tyler, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. “I believe my passion for providing avenues for student success in technical/workforce education, collaboration with business and community, ingenuity in locating funding resources, and a focus on a learning college approach is aligned with the TSTC West Texas values and challenges,” said Cravey. Paul F. Gasparro, Ed.D., began his higher education career by serving as managing director of computer science, programming and networking in 1994 at Tyler Junior College in Texas, a position he held for eight years. He also served as the dean of computer information systems and engineering technology at Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Tenn. before taking the position as vice president of academic affairs at Chattahoochee Technical College, Ga. in 2004. Today, he serves as the chief academic officer for Seminole State College in Shawnee, Okla., a two-year college with 194 faculty and staff and an annual budget of more than $11 million. As vice president for academic affairs, Gasparro is responsible for program accreditation, academic standards, program review, relations with external agencies, as well as state and local boards of regents. Gasparro served more than a decade in the United States Air Force as an officer in several positions from chief information officer to chief of information systems requirements. Gasparro earned a bachelor of science in electronic engineering technology from Colorado Technical College, a master of arts in computer resource management from Webster University, and a doctorate of education in higher education administration/curriculum from Nova Southeastern University. Gasparro is also a graduate of the AACC Advanced Future Leaders/President Preparation Institute. “Having spent most of my administrative career in technical education environments, I am very aware of the many ways we can work with local talent and community members to leverage innovation and branding that can lead to improved or new funding streams,” said Dr. Gasparro. The search for a new president was announced in February, soon after former TSTC West Texas president, Mike Reeser, was chosen to serve as the TSTC System chancellor/CEO.The presidential search committee consists of two Regents, each of the current TSTC presidents, the vice chancellor for human and organization development, and the TSTC West Texas faculty and staff senate presidents. Having posted and advertised the position, the presidential search committee received 29 applications for the position of president. Following vetting by the Human and Organization Development team, the committee considered 15 résumé packages. Initially the committee narrowed the pool further down to five. From these, interviews were scheduled and these two candidates are now recommended as finalists for an on-site interview where they will make a presentation on a topic of interest to TSTC. The presidential search process, relevant information, and regular updates can be found online at TSTCTexas State Technical College ( consists of four technical colleges: TSTC Harlingen, TSTC Marshall, TSTC Waco, and TSTC West Texas, which has campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and Sweetwater. TSTC colleges rank consistently as top colleges in the state and nation for conferring associate degrees in engineering, precision production, computer information systems degrees, communication and information sciences, and enrollment of Hispanic students. Washington Monthly magazine's annual publication of America’s 50 best community colleges for 2010 ranked TSTC Waco No. 41 on the magazine’s list; TSTC West Texas and TSTC Waco landed in the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively in Texas in the Community Colleges category.