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Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle's Biography

a portrait of Cathy Kemper PelleClick here for Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle's CV

September 5, 2016

Cathy Kemper-Pelle, Ed.D. is a first-generation college graduate who started her post-secondary education at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Illinois. After earning her A.S. in General Studies, she transferred to Illinois State University where she earned both a B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences. She discovered teaching while working as a research biologist at McNeese State University in Louisiana, filling in for a professor on medical leave.

Teaching became her passion, and a move to Texas resulted in a reconnection with her community college roots. While at Lone Star College – Tomball, Cathy created many innovative instructional programs that included field biology courses in Colorado, Arkansas, and Costa Rica; service learning and honors programs; and multiple online biology courses. She also served on many district-wide committees that addressed student success strategies, strategic planning, assessment, enrollment management, and international education.

In 2000 while serving as Division Chair, Cathy realized that community college leadership was her career horizon. This was an opportunity to provide the same support to faculty and staff that she had received as a faculty member who was reaching for innovative ways to engage students. She was accepted into the Community College Leadership Program at University of Texas where she earned her Doctorate in Education and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship.

Since graduating in 2005 from the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kemper-Pelle has served as Vice President of Teaching and Learning Services at Tarrant County College, Dean of Academic Affairs and Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation at Blinn College, and Vice President of Learning at Lee College, all community colleges in Texas.

Her executive leadership positions have taught her - It’s all about relationships. She has extensive experience in integrated strategic planning and leveraging financial and human capital to build synergy through collaborative alignment. She has engaged local communities in the identification of educational needs and built exemplary college partnerships with school districts, businesses, and industry.

What drew Cathy to RCC is its reputation for focusing on students and managing its resources wisely. She is a strong advocate for students, faculty, and staff. She values excellence, integrity, diversity, mutual respect, innovation, professional development, strong partnerships, sustainability, and life-long learning. She believes that trust is the most important success factor in any organization and that it is the result of intentional behaviors that create the conditions for trust to exist.

Cathy is married to Robert Pelle, and together they have five grown children and three grandchildren. Both Cathy and Rob are avid outdoor enthusiasts who fit in well in Southern Oregon where they hike, mountain bike, kayak, and pursue photography. They share their home in Grants Pass with their two rescue pets, Cody and Jag.