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PPCC Hires Several New College Leaders

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – June 9, 2016 – Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) has hired a new vice president of instruction, chief technology officer, foundation executive director, executive director of marketing and communication and learning commons dean. New hires include:

Josh Baker, vice president of instruction

In this role, Baker will oversee and provide direction to the entire instructional program of the college, including degree and certificate programs, the library and academic support.

He comes to PPCC from Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington, where he served as campus dean. Prior to that, Baker held several higher-education positions, including assistant academic dean for Vincennes University in Greenwood, Indiana, and instructed and managed several programs at Highline Community College, Des Moines, Washington.

Baker holds a Ph.D. in community college leadership from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Arts in history teaching and a Master of Science in physical education from Brigham Young University.

Cyrille Parent, chief technology officer

In this new position, he will recommend and lead strategic technology initiatives and set technology priorities and policies for the college, as well as oversee information technology support services (ITSS) staff and budgets.

Parent joined PPCC in 1995 as a French instructor before moving into the college’s information technology department, where he served as assistant director of learning technologies, assistant director of ITSS, manager of development and training and, most recently, ITSS director. He holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Paris.

Warren Epstein, executive director, marketing and communication

Epstein is charged with creating and managing branding, marketing, advertising and internal communication, as well as managing all media and public-relations efforts.

He comes to PPCC from Blakely + Company, where he was an account manager. Prior to that, he was the communications director as well as public relations and community outreach manager for Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Epstein worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette for more than 20 years as the arts and culture editor, media columnist/film critic and writer/reporter.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in mass communications/journalism from University of South Florida.

Lisa James, executive director, Foundation for Pikes Peak Community College

She joined PPCC in 2015 as the major gifts officer, after serving as the director of development for San Jose Museum of Art, Community School of Music and Arts, Mountain View, California, and Johnson & Wales University, Denver Campus. Prior to that, she was the vice president of advancement for the San Francisco Art Institute and Earthjustice.

James earned her Master of Arts in business, arts administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Denver.

Patrice Whitley, dean

Whitley will oversee the new Learning Commons, a one-stop shop for academic support, including tutoring, math and writing assistance, study areas and the library. Whitley brings extensive higher-education experience, including nine years at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Arkansas where she served as academic support center director, title III program director, and most recently, director of student conduct and student support.

She earned her Master of Arts in workforce development/adult education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and her Doctorate of Education in higher education leadership, with a concentration in adult education from Walden University.


Pikes Peak Community College is in its 48th year of operation and has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1975. It is a two-year college, offering 158 associate degrees and various certifications in career and technical fields. With three campuses and two military education centers in El Paso County, PPCC serves about 20,000 students annually.