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Office of the President

At Pennsylvania Highlands, we provide students with affordable opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their work, in their day-to-day lives, and in their pursuit of life-long learning.

Serving six counties and nestled in the beautiful Allegheny mountains, Penn Highlands is a vibrant collection of educators who care for, support, and mentor students as they pursue their educational goals. We believe in collaboration and regularly create new community partnerships that not only strengthen the College, but creates additional educational opportunities for the diverse citizens of the communities we serve. Please stop in and see us.

Dr. Steve Nunez, College’s Fifth President

Dr. Steve Nunez, President

Steve began his 20-plus year career in higher education at Sauk Valley Community College where he spent 16 years serving students as a faculty member in the Department of Biology, 14 years as the advisor of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and two years as President of the Faculty Union. He spent his last eight years at Sauk Valley as a senior administrator supervising various departments. In his last role as vice president, Steve provided leadership over all for-credit and non-credit academic programs, student services, the Small Business Development Center, adult education (G.E.D./E.S.L.), and student recruitment. While at the College, Steve also served as a Higher Learning Commission peer reviewer where he participated in over ten accreditation reviews of community colleges.

In 2020, Steve was hired at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College as their fifth President. He currently serves as a Board Member for the Cambria Regional Chamber of Commerce, Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board, and JARI. He is also a member of the Greater Johnstown Regional Partnership, the Ebensburg Rotary Club, and the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Executive Roundtable.

He earned an associate degree from Southwest Virginia Community College, both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in community college leadership (Ed.D.) from Ferris State University.

Leadership Team

  • Gary Boast, Associate Vice President of Technology and Analytics

    Gary Boast joined Pennsylvania Highlands in 2014 and currently leads our technology and analytics activities, which include information technology, external reporting, institutional research and effectiveness, strategic planning, and general support of college improvement and accountability efforts through data-based decision making. He has expertise in information technology leadership and quantitative research methods, and he possesses technical knowledge in the areas of statistical programming and data visualization.

    Prior to Penn Highlands, Gary was the CIO for a publicly-traded company where he oversaw a national IT infrastructure, as a member of the executive leadership team. He has held leadership roles in the computer science and IT fields within the education, finance, healthcare, defense, and manufacturing industries.

    Gary is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a graduate of Millersville University and Mount Aloysius College majoring in computer science and business. He currently chairs the PA Commission for Community Colleges Institutional Research Director affinity group, is active in veteran service organizations, is a member of Rotary International, and participates in local church and community-led service initiatives.

    Contact Information

    Phone: 814.262.6483
    Email Gary Boast

    Portrait photo of Gary Boast.

  • Trish Corle, Vice President of Student Services

    Trish Corle began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in April 2010 as the Executive Director of External Affairs and eventually was named Associate Vice President of External Affairs. Her duties included directing the College’s Marketing Department, leading the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Foundation, and serving as the government and community relations communications officer.

    Since May 2016, she has served as the Vice President of Student Services. In this capacity, she works within all facets of student services including admissions, registration, student success, and student activities and athletics. She also supervises the directors of the five regional centers and serves as the Title IX Coordinator and Right to Know Officer.

    Trish spent the first 23 years of her career in human services, serving as the CEO of two different nonprofit organizations.

    She has a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Health and Human Service Administration from Mount Aloysius College. She is also the President and CEO of Corle Consulting LLC, providing affordable consultative services to local non-profit and human service organizations.

    Contact Information

    Phone: 814.262.3841
    Email Trish Corle

    Portrait photo of Trish Corle.

  • Dr. Cynthia Doherty, Vice President of Academic Affairs

    Cindy Doherty joined Pennsylvania Highlands in 2023 as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. In this capacity, she leads the faculty and academic staff. Her position is charged with creating an atmosphere of quality and innovation, as well as championing curricular and program review and development. She has experience working with a wide range of academic programs, assessment of student learning, and academic student support areas. She has also served as a Middle States peer reviewer, having participated in six accreditation reviews of community colleges.

    Cindy came to Penn Highlands from HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, where she spent 30 years as an English faculty member and an academic administrator. Most recently, she served as the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs there.

    She earned a bachelor’s in English from The King’s College in New York, and a master’s and Ph.D. in English from The Pennsylvania State University.

    Contact Information

    Phone: 814.262.6474
    Email Dr. Cynthia Doherty

    Portrait photo of Dr. Cynthia Doherty.

  • Susan Fisher, Associate Vice President of Administration

    Susan Fisher began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in February 2016 as the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources.  In May 2016, she assumed responsibility for campus Security and Safety as the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Security.

    Since January 2022, she has served as the Associate Vice President of Administration. In this capacity, she works within all facets of Human Resources including recruitment, benefits administration, compensation management, employee relations, and labor relations. She also supervises the Director of Security and Safety and the Director of Facilities and serves as a Title IX Investigator.

    Prior to her role at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Susan spent 18 years working as a Human Resources Professional in the manufacturing sector.

    She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland University College. She also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute.

    Contact Information

    Phone: 814.262.3833
    Email Susan Fisher

    Portrait photo of Susan Fisher

  • Omar Strohm, Associate Vice President of Finance

    Omar Strohm joined Pennsylvania Highlands in 2024 as the Associate Vice President of Finance. As the AVP of Finance, Omar serves as the College’s Chief Financial Officer, providing leadership and guidance to the business office, student financial services, procurement, the bookstore, and dining services. In this capacity, Omar is responsible for the development, assessment, and improvement of services in each of the supervised areas.

    He is also a Member of the International City/County Management Association and the Association of Pennsylvania Municipal Managers, as well as a former Board Member of the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, Altoona Parking Authority, Central Blair Recreation Commission, and the Vice-Chair of the Altoona Water Authority.

    Before his role at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Omar spent over 20 years providing leadership for the City of Altoona.

    Omar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and multiple master’s degrees. These include a Master of Arts in Industrial & Labor Relations from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Business Administration from Saint Francis University, and a Master of Community and Economic Development, Public Administration, and the Psychology of Leadership from Penn State.

    Contact Information

    Phone: 814.262.3833
    Email Omar Strohm

  • Dr. Barbara Zaborowski, Dean of Library Services & Special Projects

    Dr. Barb Zaborowski has been a librarian for over 30 years, during which time she has served in school, public, and academic libraries. Currently, she serves as Dean of Library Services and Special Projects. Starting at the College in 1995, she has been instrumental in building the library and promoting library services to students and faculty. She also serves as the College’s Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer.

    She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing and Secondary Education, a Master’s degree in Library Science, and a Doctorate in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

    In 2010, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association presented her with its Heritage Preservation Award for her efforts in digitizing and preserving the history of Johnstown and for her original research on the Underground Railroad in central Pennsylvania.  In 2012, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Contact Information

    Phone: 814.262.6425
    Email Dr. Zaborowski