Nisky board member appointed to national panel

Denise Murphy McGraw to sit on ACCT Governance and Bylaws Committee

A local community college leader is stepping up to represent Schenectady County on a national level and help community colleges plan for the future.

Denise Murphy McGraw, chairwoman of Schenectady County Community College Board of Trustees, was appointed as an associate committee member for the Governance and Bylaws Committee for the Association of Community College Trustees, which is a nonprofit educational organization of governing boards. ACCT has more than 6,000 trustees from more than 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges.

I'm really thrilled about it, said McGraw. "A lot of people can't even pronounce Schenectady in other parts of the country, and to introduce Schenectady and be an ambassador for our community is what I like."

McGraw was nominated to be on the 2011 committee by fellow board members, and she said she feels she can bring something to discussions on what direction community colleges should be moving in. Although she said she wasn't looking to be on another board or committee, she thought the opportunity would be good for the college. Besides her position at SCCC, she is a trustee for the Schenectady County Public Library, Niskayuna Town Board member and was recently appointed to the New York Community College Trustees nonprofit organization. She also credited her experience with the Association of Junior Leagues International Board of Directors with helping her gain experience.

"There were a number of different committees and boards I would have had a choice from, but this is my area of expertise," said McGraw. "Honestly, there is no more important work. If you have a strong organization, structurally, you can do anything."

With tough economic times and people looking to learn or expand on skills, she said, it is important for community colleges nationally to have a strong foundation.

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