Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of several administrative positions following the retirements of key personnel.
“We are extremely pleased and excited about the addition of our new administrators. This is a group of highly dedicated and qualified educators who are excited to share the educational opportunities we have available and to assist students in successfully meeting their educational goals,” said MECC President Kristen Westover.
Dr. Bill Brownsberger has been appointed as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Workforce Solutions at MECC following the retirement of Dr. Vickie Ratliff. Brownsberger has more than twenty years of experience in higher education. He most recently served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. He earned his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2001 and has taught in Italy, Texas, and rural Missouri. Brownsberger and his wife Francesca have been married for almost 25 years and have seven children, one of whom is a dual-enrollment student at Mountain Empire this year. He and his family are excited to be a part of the Mountain Empire and Appalachian communities.
Matthew Rose has been appointed Dean of Industrial Technologies following the retirement of Thomas Clements. Rose formerly served as Director of Testing for the Virginia Department of Corrections. He has been an educator, tester-evaluator, and is a National Center for Construction Education and Research Master Trainer. Rose holds a BA in Mathematics from UVA Wise, MA Theology and Ministry – Welch College and an MS Education/Educational Leadership from Old Dominion University. Rose his wife Mirandy have four children and reside in Coeburn.
Dr. Derek Whisman has been appointed as the Dean of the Arts and Sciences division following the retirement of Dr. Harriett Arrington. Dr. Whisman is a long-time member of the MECC family, serving as a teaching faculty member since 2011 and being promoted to the rank of Professor in 2019. Beyond his teaching career, Dr. Whisman has served the college in numerous capacities during his tenure. His work as a Grant Writer for the MECC Foundation has led to multiple grant awards for the College. He was instrumental in obtaining NC-SARA certification for distance learning programs and helped to coordinate the College’s Cooperative Learning initiative in online learning. He holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration, a master’s in English Literature and a BA in Government. Dr. Whisman is also a Certified Grant Writer with the American Grant Writers’ Association, has the designation as an Online Teaching Master with Quality Matters, is a Title IX Administrator registered with the National Association for College and University Attorneys, and is certified as a Developmental Education Specialist by the Kellogg Institute. He is a lifetime resident of Southwest Virginia and enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and his two young children.
Wes Mullins has been appointed to the newly created position of Assistant Dean, Business and Information Technology. Mullins is a 1985 graduate of MECC with a certificate in Respiratory Therapy. He holds an Associates of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy from Roane State Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from King University, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from King University. Mullins has served as an Assistant Professor at MECC for the more than 11 years and has served as the Program Director for the Respiratory Therapy Program. He is the co-chair for MECC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). In addition to teaching, Mullins has spent the last 25 years in the acute healthcare setting serving as a bedside clinician, with 20 years in healthcare administration. Mullins is a resident of Wise and enjoys the outdoors, traveling, working in his yard and garden, and being active in his church.