Dr. Rod A. Risley, executive director of Phi Theta Kappa, has been appointed to the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges. Risley is among 36 appointees, who represent a broad base of expertise in education and other key areas.
Risley is a community college graduate and a former national president of Phi Theta Kappa. He has served as executive director since 1985. As a longtime advocate for community college students, he has studied, written and spoken extensively on the impact of student engagement on retention and credential and degree completion, and conducted research on the academic and extracurricular performance of community college transfer students.
A signer of Democracy’s Colleges Call to Action, Risley led efforts to establish the Community College Completion Challenge and the Community College Completion Corps.
In a separate item, Phi Theta Kappa’s dean of academic affairs and honors programs Susan Edwards was recently elected to serve as a director at-large on the board of directors for the National Council on Student Development. Prior to joining the Phi Theta Kappa headquarters staff, Edwards served as a history professor and award-winning Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisor at Houston Community College and chair of the History and Anthropology Department at Lone Star College-CyFair in Texas.
She chairs Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Program Committee. Edwards has been the recipient of numerous academic grants and fellowships, honors and awards, and frequently serves as moderator and facilitator for honors and leadership presentations. She also serves on both the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Honors Semesters Standing Committee.