December 6, 2018 10:58:20 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
East Mississippi Community College has announced its new president.
Scott Alsobrooks, vice president of economic and community development at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, will assume the position early next year.
Alsobrooks replaces former president Thomas Huebner, who resigned in May. Athletic Director Randall Bradberry has served as interim president since September, replacing outgoing interim president Rick Young, who served four months in that role.
After months of searching for a president, EMCC board chairman Jimmie Moore said the board offered Alsobrooks the position during Monday's board meeting.
"We were methodical and tried to do everything we could to get a great pool of candidates," Moore said. "I think we accomplished that feat. Now we have, what I perceive is, the right man for the job. We felt like he was the best candidate of those that we interviewed to serve as our next executive leader as president."
Alsobrooks has served as vice president at PRCC since 2011. Moore said it was Alsobrooks' impressive resume in both education and manufacturing that helped solidify the board's decision.
Alsobrooks previously worked as an operations engineer for Rockwell International at the Stennis Space Center in Picayune. He later served as a supervisor for the Fluid Component Processing Facility.
"He has approximately three decades of experience, some in industry and some in the community college environment," Moore said. "He's knowledgeable of all aspects of a Mississippi community college. He's an excellent communicator, a documented innovator and he's not afraid of any challenges. I think he will be a great leader for our institution moving forward."
Alsobrooks said he heard about the EMCC presidential opening through a channel of colleagues throughout the state. As a Mississippi State University graduate, he said he's excited to move back to the Golden Triangle.
"I've watched what's been going on in the Golden Triangle," Alsobrooks said. "The (manufacturing) renaissance that you have is just really amazing. When I was a student in the '80s, between Starkville and Columbus, it was just cow pastures. Now, you drive through there and you've got all these big manufacturing plants and they're making helicopters and engines and just all kinds of advanced things. I'm excited about coming up here and being a part of that and helping students be successful."
Alsobrooks touted the future role of EMCC's Communiversity under construction on Highway 82, which is partnering with Golden Triangle counties, cities and industries to provide specialized manufacturing training,
"The Communiversity is going to be a huge asset in the community," he said. "I'm excited about working with the stakeholders and rolling up our sleeves and getting to work."
He is also a former engineering coordinator and instructor for the College of Science and Technology and the Lean Enterprise Center at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been working with PRCC for the last decade and said his dedication will help bring EMCC a reliant leader.
"I'm not a job hopper," Alsobrooks said. "I plan on staying a while. I will add stability. I know that if we all work together to make sure our students are successful, that will be key. (We can't) let people come into college and flounder around not knowing what they want to do with their life. We need to give them the tools to determine the types of jobs are available and what they can do."
Since serving at PRCC for the last decade, Alsobrooks hopes to use his experience to increase student retention at EMCC.
"Every college is different, but we're a lot alike," Alsobrooks said. "A lot of the successes we've had at PRCC, I will be able to share with EMCC. Pearl River has done a good job with student retention. Our enrollment has been up four years in a row. That's because we've done a good job helping students get on the right path early. That's something I'll bring to EMCC."
Alsobrooks said he will assume the presidential role as soon as he has finished obligations at his current position. He hopes to arrive in late January.
"It's bittersweet leaving, but I'm so excited and it's going to be fun," Alsobrooks said. "I look forward to showing the opportunities to people and letting them know what we have available at East Mississippi."
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