GCC Names April Parsons Vice President of Academic Affairs
GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College announced that President Michelle Schutt has appointed April Parsons as the next vice president of Academic Affairs at GCC.
Parsons brings more than a decade of leading academic teams, as well as more than 20 years of experience in teaching in classrooms, including in high schools, community colleges, and universities.
“Dr. Parsons clearly understands the unique challenges facing GCC as we work toward diversifying our enrollment streams while meeting the needs of our region,” Schutt said. “April has the knowledge and passion for the essential work of community college, including credited courses, workforce programs, and community education.”
Parsons joins GCC during a time of growth and programmatic expansion at the institution. She will be a key part in the GCC’s Guided Pathways work, which will help improve the educational pathways students take to ensure their success while also reducing the amount of credits they take but can’t use in their education, saving students both time and money.
In addition, GCC has improved its wraparound support services for students to help them succeed, which include access to student emergency funds, career and internship services, tutoring, disability services, a food pantry, a fitness center and a technology lending library that will be outfitted with laptops for students who need one thanks to a $100,000 gift from the GCC Foundation.
“I am honored to have been chosen by President Schutt and the GCC community to become the new vice president of Academic Affairs,” Parsons said. “GCC’s vision to create ‘a more equitable, just, vibrant, and resilient world through education’ resonates with me as an educational leader, and I am excited to be part of a college so deeply rooted in service to our local community here in Franklin and Hampshire counties.”
Parsons holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature with a certificate in women’s and gender studies, as well as an master of education degree in language education. Most recently, she taught as a professor of English at Northwestern Connecticut Community College (NCCC) and chaired the Department of Arts and Humanities. She also led a redesign of NCCC’s English curriculum and was a faculty lead through the NECHE regional accreditation process.
Beyond Parsons’ professional roles, she’s also active in the community. She volunteers time at her local library working to expand literacy programs, and has helped the institution acquire and implement National Endowment for the Arts grant funding to conduct these efforts.
She also works closely with incarcerated individuals, both in a professional and volunteer capacity. She recently served as the lead faculty member on a partnership between NCCC and the Connecticut Department of Corrections that helped bring college education to incarcerated individuals. She is a volunteer for the Prison Yoga Project, which brings yoga lessons into the prison community.