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Montgomery College Board of Trustees

Board Members


Mr. Michael J. Knapp was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2017-2018 term. He was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley in March 2012 for the remainder of a six-year term that began on July 1, 2006. He was reappointed to serve a full six-year term, effective July 1, 2012.

Mr. Knapp is CEO and co-founder of SkillSmart, a technology company that uses skills to empower individuals, employers and communities to maximize their potential.  He served on the Montgomery County Council, representing District 2, from 2002 through 2010 and served as the council president in 2007 and 2008.  Prior to his service on the County Council, Mr. Knapp was a biotech executive at Celera Genomics.

Mr. Knapp also serves chair of the Board of Advisors at the Universities at Shady Grove, as a board member for Identity, Inc., the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, as well as a co-chair of Montgomery Moving Forward. While serving on the County Council, he was the chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in 2008 (member, 2002-10), and a former member of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (chair, 2006). Knapp is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and government and he served for ten years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Mr_-Michael-J Knapp

First Vice Chair

Ms. Gloria Aparicio Blackwell was elected First Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2017-2018 term. Effective July 1, 2009, she was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley to the Board of Trustees for the remainder of a six-year term that had begun on July 1, 2008. She was reappointed to serve a full six-year term in 2014.

Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell is the Director of the Office of Community Engagement at the University of Maryland College Park under the Division of Administration & Finance. She has worked for the University more than 19 years. Her primary role is to contribute to the University’s commitment to the land grant mission, as well as, the overall efforts in making the University of Maryland a “Greater College Town.”

Ms. Aparicio Blackwell earned an associate’s degree in safety and fire science from Instituto Tecnológico de Seguridad Industrial in Venezuela and a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology with a concentration in safety and fire science from UMD. In addition, Blackwell earned a M.S. in management from University of Maryland, University College. Prior to joining the University in 1997, Gloria worked in safety and fire management at Potomac Electric Power Company and for higher education institutions, including American University and Montgomery College (as a student worker).  

Gloria Aparicio Blackwell has recently received the prestigious President’s Distinguished Service Award under the category of Public Service at the University of Maryland adding to other awards such as UMD’s Outstanding Woman of Color Award.

Outside of her University service, Gloria volunteers with several organizations, she is a member of the Board of Trustees from Montgomery College, is a graduate and board member of Leadership Maryland and Leadership Montgomery, in addition to serving as a board member of the International Town/Gown Association.

To maintain work/life balance, she is an avid runner/walker and more importantly, finds time to enjoy family and friends. Gloria Aparicio Blackwell resides in Gaithersburg with her husband, Stephen Blackwell.


Second Vice Chair

Dr. Leslie Levine was elected as Second Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2017-2018 term. He was appointed to the Board by Governor Martin O'Malley in September, 2009 for a six-year term, and reappointed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015 for another full term of six years.

Dr. Levine has lived in Montgomery County for 35 years and has contributed to the economic growth and development of the county through his business and volunteer activities. In 1973 he co-founded a successful high tech manufacturing company, Fusion Systems Corporation, based in Rockville. Over its 24-year history, Fusion created hundreds of good jobs for County residents, including dozens of recent immigrants.

Dr. Levine served on the County Economic Advisory Council for over a decade and was on the board of the Montgomery County High Tech Council. He also served on the board of the Jewish Vocational Services and Bethesda Jewish Congregation. He is active in Leadership Montgomery, the Board of the National Philharmonic, and the Advisory Board of the Maryland Technology Development Center, a high-tech incubator. Dr. Levine served on the Board of Advisors for the Macklin Business Institute at Montgomery College and has done informal pro bono consulting regarding the new biotech incubator and the industrial park at the Germantown Campus, as well as for Workforce Development & Continuing Education.

Dr. Levine holds a PhD in physics from Columbia University. 




Dr. Michael Brintnall was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Larry Hogan for a six-year term that began on July 1, 2017.

He has played a leadership role in higher education for over 30 years. Dr. Brintnall was Executive Director of the American Political Science Association (APSA) from 2002 to 2013, where he lead the establishment of the Conference on Teaching and Learning in political science as well as advanced the Association's continuing work in promoting scholarship, public engagement, and diversity and inclusion. In 2013, the Association established the Michael Brintnall Teaching & Learning Award in his name to support future faculty professional development.

Dr. Brintall's earlier positions include Executive Director of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, an organization that promotes public service and accredits professional degrees in public administration and policy; and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Vernon College in Washington, DC. He previously led an office of program evaluation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and held a faculty appointment in political science at Brown University.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has served as president of the National Humanities Alliance and on the boards and working groups of many organizations, including the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the Environmental Investigation Agency, the American Society for Public Administration, and networks of schools and institutes of public administration in Central and Eastern Europe, and in Latin America.

A long-time resident of Montgomery County, Dr. Brintall is a former city council member in Glen Echo. He now lives in Cabin John. He is an active dancer of Argentine Tango and co-edits the DC area Capital Tangueros calendar. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BA degree from Amherst College. 

  Dr. Michael A. Brintnall 


Dr. Kenneth J. Hoffman began his service on the Board of Trustees April 26, 2010, when he was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley for the term of one year. He was reappointed to a full six-year term in 2011 and again in 2017.  

Dr. Hoffman is retired from the U.S. Army Medical Corps after 23 years of active duty. He held positions of increasing responsibility, which include duty assignments as the medical director of the Federal Interagency Board for Military and Veterans Health, medical director for TRICARE Population Health Improvement, and director of preventive services for the U.S. Medical Command in Korea. In addition, he served as the director for the Center of Training and Education in Addiction Medicine at the Uniformed Services University. Since 1988, Dr. Hoffman has taught at the Uniformed Services University in psychiatry and preventive medicine.

He has served on the Montgomery County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council and volunteers his time as a board member of Oxford House. Dr. Hoffman earned his BA from Cornell University, his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, and his MPH from Harvard University School of Public Health. 



Mr. Robert Hydorn was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015 to serve for the remainder of a six-year term through 2019.

Mr. Hydorn first came to Montgomery College as a student in 1968 and was the College’s 2011 recipient of the Milton F. Clogg Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. He has served as president of the College’s Alumni Association and as a representative on the Montgomery College Foundation Board. He is also the longest-serving president of the Montgomery Village Board of Directors, having served from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Hydorn worked for Fitzgerald Auto Malls for almost 30 years including serving as the company’s vice president.


Student Trustee 

Ms. Diyana Kahawita was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan for a one-year term which began on July 1, 2017.  

Ms. Kahawita is a general studies major and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She is also a member of the Renaissance Scholars Honors Program, a selective honors program for high achieving students which emphasizes interdisciplinary learning through paired honors classes. She has presented research papers in multiple conferences including the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council Conference, The Humanities Cherry Blossom Conference, and the Beacon Conference. She has also won the Dr. Harry Harden Jr Award for Academic Excellence along with and Excellence in Literature Award, Excellence in Philosophy Award, and an Honors Scholar Award. She is passionate about giving a voice to marginalized groups in society and giving back to the community. She was motivated to apply for the Student Trustee position because she believes in bringing the student perspective to the Montgomery College Board of Trustees.

  Ms_ Diyana Kahawita


Mr. Bob Levey was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2015 by Governor Larry Hogan. He is serving a term through 2019. Mr. Levey spent more than 36 years on the editorial staff of The Washington Post. His daily column about local life, “Bob Levey’s Washington,” appeared for more than 23 years. Through the column, Levey raised more money for charity than any journalist in history.

In addition, Levey worked for nine radio stations and four television stations as a commentator or talk show host. Since accepting an early retirement buyout from The Post, Levey has been senior vice president for development at Washington Hospital Center Foundation and a senior fellow in the Montgomery County Government. He now runs Bob Levey LLC, a consulting firm that helps non-profits write better so they can raise money better.

Mr. Levey was chosen a Washingtonian Of The Year by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. He has served on seven non-profit boards, including the Montgomery College Foundation Board. He has also been a journalism professor at five major research universities. He is the author or co-author of three books and dozens of magazine articles. He writes a regular monthly column for The Senior Beacon, and free-lances as a commercial voice talent.

Levey first came into contact with Montgomery College through his children, who both starred in productions at the college’s Summer Dinner Theatre. In 1995, Levey played the role of Wally Womper in a Montgomery College production of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” causing massive embarrassment and amusement among his children.

Mr. Levey received a BA in English with special honors from The University of Chicago. 



Ms. Marsha Suggs Smith joined the Board of Trustees on July 1, 2009, when she was appointed to serve the remainder of a six-year term, which ended on July 1, 2004. She was reappointed to a full six-year term in 2010 and again by Governor Larry Hogan in 2016. Ms. Smith is the immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees, having served for two years in that office.  

Ms. Suggs Smith was with the National Education Association from 1992 through 2008, where she served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and worked with members around the country that focused on quality teaching and learning in public schools. Ms. Suggs Smith also worked for more than 30 years as a team leader resource teacher and assistant athletic director in Montgomery County Public Schools. She has a bachelor's degree in education from Tuskegee University, an Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate, and a Master's Equivalent. 

Ms. Suggs Smith is President and CEO of two businesses. She began MSS Concierge of Maryland, LLC, a personal assistant service in 2010 to help clients reclaim their personal time. She began MS Smith and Associates in 2015 to provide strategic solutions for startup businesses and non-profits and to help current businesses begin their transformational change. 



Mr. Ben Wu was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Martin O'Malley in 2012 and is serving a six-year term through 2018. 

Currently serving as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development of Maryland, Mr. Wu has over two decades of professional experience at the highest levels of federal and state government developing national and regional strategic initiatives to advance technology-led economic growth, research innovation, and international competitiveness.

Mr. Wu worked 13 years with Congresswoman Connie Morella, a former Montgomery College professor who represented Montgomery County. He also served as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Commerce and a gubernatorial appointee at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. In addition, he was executive staff for the Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council for Education and acted as Executive Secretariat on the President’s National Science and Technology Council. Mr. Wu has been the chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, a Leadership Montgomery graduate, a Montgomery County Cable and Communications Advisory Committee appointee, and a board member to the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, Montgomery County Mobile Medical Care, MdBio Foundation, and Rockville Economic Development, Inc.

Mr. Wu is a graduate of Wootton High School and holds degrees from New York University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  


Secretary/Treasurer and President of Montgomery College

Dr. Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College on August 2, 2010. She is the ninth chief executive officer of the institution. As president, Dr. Pollard also serves as the secretary and treasurer of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Pollard’s community college career began at College of Lake County (Ill.) in 1995 as a faculty member in English. She developed the institution’s award-winning New Faculty Institute and its Center for Teaching and Learning. After several progressive administrative positions, Dr. Pollard was selected as the vice president of educational affairs in 2005 where she served until her appointment as president of Las Positas College. She received her PhD in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago, and her MA and BA in English from Iowa State University.


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