Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy will become Big Bend Community College’s tenth president, and the first female to serve in the position.
MOSES LAKE — At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees on Wednesday afternoon, Big Bend Community College announced a landmark decision naming Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy as the tenth president of the college in a unanimous decision — she will be the first female to hold the position.
Dr. Thompson Tweedy currently serves as the Vice President of Student Access, Involvement, and Success at Westchester Community College in New York. She has held leadership positions at the State University of New York system over the past nine years.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next president of Big Bend Community College,” Thompson Tweedy said. “During the selection process, the commitment of the faculty and staff to the students of Big Bend was genuine and compelling. I am excited to begin working with the faculty, staff, and trustees to further the mission of the college and serve students.”
The Board of Trustees made the final selection based on the position profile, personal interviews, and a review of the data and recommendations gathered from the presidential search committee and from student and community forums held with each candidate on the Big Bend campus.
Today’s decision marked the culmination of a nearly six-month process that followed the announcement of current President Dr. Terry Leas’ retirement in August. Leas has served as president since 2012 and his final day is scheduled for June 30 of this year.
In mid-January, the Presidential Search Committee submitted five candidates to the BOT and those candidates each visited Big Bend in late January to tour the College, the City of Moses Lake, to participate in multiple open-forum question and answer sessions, and to meet with faculty, staff, and students.
After narrowing the field to three finalists, the Board of Trustees then made on-site visits to the final three candidates before making their final decision.
“From a field of 19 candidates, the BBCC Board was fortunate to have a strong group to select from. Selecting a new president is one of the most significant decisions we have to make,” said Board Chairman Stephen McFadden. “Sara Thompson Tweedy is an excellent choice and well equipped to lead BBCC in the coming months and years. I look forward to welcoming Sara and introducing her to all of the communities in our service district.”
Dr. Thompson Tweedy’s service at SUNY includes sitting on the LGBTQI task force, enrollment management task force, collective bargaining negotiations team, and faculty council. Outside the SUNY system, Dr. Thompson Tweedy is a member of both the New York Association of Community College Chief Student Affairs Officers, Inc. and the Center for Discovery’s Institutional Review Board. Additionally, she serves as a volunteer firefighter and chaplain with the Kerhonkaon Volunteer Fire Department and holds a number of emergency management certifications. Among her accolades are being named the recipient of the New York State Medal of Honor in 2018.
Prior to her time at SUNY, Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy’s experience included teaching at Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch, New York; serving in the U.S. Army National Guard as a heavy wheel diesel mechanic; and serving as executive director and pastor of The Federated Church of Kerhonkson, a congregation with affiliation to the Reformed Church in America and the United Methodist Church.
Dr. Thompson Tweedy earned her bachelor’s degree in Religion at Hollins College; her Master of Divinity at Yale University Divinity School; and her Doctorate of Management in Community College Policy and Administration from the University of Maryland, Adelphi. She also received training at Skidmore College as a Restorative Justice facilitator.