New NHCC Leaders Tackle Student Issues
There are some new faces in high places at North Hennepin Community College.
One of them is provost Jesse Mason. He began his new position in June. Mason’s goal is to get students ready for a world that is constantly changing.
“Most of the jobs that we have now will not be here in 20 and 30 years,” Mason said. “So it’s important students create and design their own course work. They’ll have that opportunity especially at the community college and as they move onto the four-year transfer.”
Mason comes to North Hennepin Community College from Century College in White Bear Lake and is originally from Georgia. His job as provost is to come up with a strategic plan for students and faculty to address workforce shortages.
“Family of individuals”
Mason hopes to foster a caring environment on campus.
“North Hennepin is a family of individuals who really care about students in the community and how we serve them,” Mason said. “We are always looking for a better way to serve students with a complete experience of what college is and preparing them for the workforce.”
Meanwhile, Julio Vargas-Essex is the new Vice President of Student Success at North Hennepin and has been at the school for two months.
His wants to create trust and transparency on campus, and meet the needs of millennial students.
“I kind of call them the Amazon generation so they’re used to a specific type of experience,” Vargas-Essex said. “A specific type of customer experience and so I always try to keep that type of mindset when working with these types of students.”
Vargas-Essex grew up in Jacksonville, FL and comes to North Hennepin from Metropolitan State in Minneapolis. He is excited about his new job.
“It’s going really well,” Vargas-Essex said. “The students are fantastic. They’re very similar to the students I worked with at Metropolitan State University, a very diverse student population. The staff, faculty and administrators are committed to the mission of vision to the institution. To have that type of energy, to have that type of ethos has really been exciting for me to be a part of.”