First woman to lead academics at MCTC also first alumnus in that role | MCTC

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First woman to lead academics at MCTC also first alumnus in that role

July 7, 2023
by Keith Kappes
(Second of a series of feature articles about MCTC Alumni Achievers)

Alumni Achiever Dr. Dana CallandDr. Dana T. Calland probably never dreamed she would become a trailblazer two times when she finished her studies at Tollesboro High School.

Her career path led her to become the first alumnus and first woman to serve as chief academic officer of what is now Maysville Community and Technical College. She took office on Jan. 1.

“I enrolled at Maysville Community College (MCC) because I had a scholarship and believed I would be more comfortable at a smaller institution,” she recalls. “My parents appreciated the fact it was more affordable, just as MCTC remains today.”

Maysville Community College and Rowan Technical College merged in 2004 to become MCTC.

After what she describes as a challenging but rewarding two years of study for an associate degree, she and some classmates who became close friends moved on to the University of Kentucky where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

That heavy dose of mathematics at UK would open the door to a job teaching math at MCC in 1991 and mark the end her role as a full-time, stay-at-home mother to her two daughters.

“I’m proud of my 32 years at this institution and my status as a graduate here,” she said. “My top priority is keeping our academic programs as relevant as possible in this fast-changing world and, at the same time, I am determined to maintain a healthy balance between work and family myself and to encourage others to do the same.”

Her academic achievements also include a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University and a doctorate from Grambling State University.

Noting that women are firmly in the majority in the student body on most college campuses, Dr. Calland says she readily accepts the fact that being a woman in her position makes her a role model for other females, especially students.

“Workplace dynamics have changed since the pandemic, and it is important to constantly remind our young women and men that they can be competitive with other job seekers because of cutting edge programs like aviation maintenance technology,” she stated.

“I welcome the challenges of this position because we have outstanding faculty and support staff in academics to make sure our students are well prepared when they leave us,” she added.

Dr. Calland feels strongly about students making sound career choices, especially using apprentice/internship opportunities to make sure they are comfortable with how they plan to earn a living.

“It’s important for each person to make sure their career choice fits what they want their life to look like,” she concluded.

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