TCC Northwest President Named to AACC Board

Tarrant County College’s Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., president of TCC Northwest, recently was elected to serve on the American Association of Community (AACC) board of directors. Blankenbaker will join seven other newly elected board members for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2023.

AACC is governed by a 32-member board of directors. The board acts on behalf of the institutional members to create and maintain a vision for AACC and to determine and ensure that the organization adheres to appropriate standards of performance. The board is committed to guaranteeing accountability of AACC to the membership.

“I am delighted for the opportunity to serve as champion for community colleges across the nation and to continue advocating for a fair, just and inclusive climate so necessary to achieving equity,” said Blankenbaker, who joined TCC in 2017 after serving at Richland College in Dallas as the executive vice president of academic affairs and student success.

Blankenbaker has devoted more than 27 years to innovative leadership and learning excellence. She serves as TCC’s champion and curator for its strategic plan principle of Integrated Instructional Learning Environments, which promotes the transformation of learning beyond the traditional classroom to create experiential and active learning with relevant technology in a fluid and flexible environment.

She was a founding board member of the National Asian Pacific Islander (NAPIC) Council, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges. Blankenbaker was elected president of NAPIC in 2009-2011 during its formative years and was largely responsible for helping organize and shape its membership. She has served on several AACC commissions including Structured Pathways, Economic & Workforce Development, Global Education and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as well as participated in the Committee for Affiliate Councils.

Blankenbaker is a 2018 Aspen Presidential Fellow and was recognized as the 2019 Outstanding Alumni of the Year for the University of North Texas Higher Education Program. She earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas. Additionally, Blankenbaker earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Indiana University.