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OJC Press Release ID: 2904

Monday, March 4, 2019

OJC Welcomes Finalists for Vice President of Student Services to Campus


Otero Junior College will be welcoming the candidates for Vice President of Student Services on campus this week. There are a total of five candidates that are being considered at this point, Angela Moore, Dr. Elizabeth Sterns-Smith, Dr. Melissa Stutz, Dr. Katy Troester-Trate and Dr. Sara Mata.

Otero Junior College President Dr. Timothy Alvarez said he was delighted that OJC was able to attract such a qualified and talented pool of candidates for the Vice President for Student Services. “This demonstrates the positive reputation of OJC. We are looking forward to bringing the best candidate to join the OJC campus community and help us build on our momentum to be the best rural community college in Colorado.”

Angela Moore

Angela Moore is the current Director of Financial Aid at OJC. She holds a Masters of Business in higher education administration and leadership. Moore has been an employee of OJC since 2011, working in the TRiO Student Support Services and as the Financial Aid Director. Moore explained that she takes great pride in the success of students and their stories. She has had direct experience in the field of student affairs and specifically OJC. “I understand the mission behind a successful student services department and have gained extensive experience creating an inclusive environment for first-generation, low-income and students of color.”

As the Director of Financial Aid, Moore has served as second in command to the current Vice President of Student Services in office management, staff supervision and reporting and compliance. “I have made it a priority to ensure that all students are equally educated on their financing options and understand their rights and responsibility of being a student.” Moore said.

Elizabeth Sterns Sims

Dr. Elizabeth Sterns Sims has most recently served as the Chief Student Affairs Officer/Title IX Coordinator at Helena College, University of Montana. She holds and EdD in Adult and Post-Secondary Education. Dr. Sims has experiences at Mountwest Community and Technical College, Paul Smith’s College, Sheridan College and Bowie State University. “My main charge was to bring coherence to the Student Affairs departments to function as a collective whole, while developing a sense of community for students.” Dr. Sims said.

Dr. Sims was the senior leader and supervised the areas of recruitment, marketing, admissions, retention, registrar, testing, advising, transfer services, career services, financial aid and default prevention, dual enrollment, disability resources, food services, retail services, veteran resources, TRiO student support services, student programming, wellness programming, student support center and the welcome center. “I credit the success in my professional life to creating good relationships, and trusting those who report to me by supporting them to do their jobs of supporting students in meeting their educational goals.” Dr. Sims stated.

Melissa Stutz

Dr. Melissa Stutz is currently serving the University of Wisconsin Colleges as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. She holds a EdD in Leadership in Higher Education. Dr. Stutz also has experiences at Roosevelt University, McHenry County College and Columbia College of Missouri. Dr. Stutz explained that she wants to be a part of a college with integrity and a commitment to diversity, inclusion and student-centeredness for the future. According to Dr. Stutz she understands what it takes to lead a team, not just manage.

“In my current position I have faced enrollment challenges and low overall morale.” Dr. Stutz stated. “By studying and identifying gaps in this system, I was able to implement structural changes and close the enrollment decline by 11% in one year.” According to Dr. Stutz this plan was an institutional collaborative effect. “Due to diligence with a transparent and inclusive approach to soliciting input and feedback the process was highly successful and provides the best experience for students.”

Katy Troester-Tate

Dr. Katy Troester-Trate is serving as the Dean of Students/Director of Jefferson Community School at the State University of New York Jefferson. She also has experiences at Nazareth College and the College at Brockport, Diakon Family Life Services and Susquehanna University. She holds and EdD in Leadership in Higher Education. Dr. Trate has a background in social work, and leads a staff of 22 within the departments of Health & Wellness, Jefferson Community School grant program, Title IX, Office of Violence Against Women grant program, Student Activities & Inclusion, Student Life, New Student Services, Residence Life, Conduct and Campus Advocate Services. “My research has focused on first generation, low-income, and non-traditional student retention and persistence.” Dr. Trate said.

She received the Woman of Distinction award from New York State Senator Patty Ritchie in 2018. In 2016, she was recognized as 20 under 40 Emerging Leaders Award from Northern New York Business Magazine. She serves on boards in her community as she believes in order to serve the students of a campus community, she must be immersed in the greater community.

Sara Mata

Dr. Sara Mata is the current National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program Coordinator at the University of Oklahoma. She also has career experience at Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Oklahoma State University. She holds a PhD in Social Foundations. Dr. Mata began her career in student services as an outreach counselor focused on small, rural communities. “My work has been focused on promoting access to higher education and specifically supporting underrepresented students and strengthening educational endeavors, with bridge programs, academic programing, career preparation and graduate education.” Mata stated.

She explained that her work has taught her the importance of building collaborative partnerships with departments, faculty and programs to support student’s academic success. “I have a specific interest in community college and engaging in opportunities to build partnerships to promote holistic student success, contribute to developing data drive institutional understanding and collaborate with institutional stakeholders to advocate for inclusiveness, engagement and excellence in student services and academic achievement.” Dr. Mata said.


For more information, contact OJC Human Resources Director Carol Noll at 719-384-6824 or


Press Release Photo
Angela Moore, Dr. Elizabeth Sterns Sims, Dr. Melissa Stutz, Dr. Katy Troester-Trate, Dr. Sara Mata.