Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D.

Dr. Zarina Blankenbaker is the executive vice president for academic affairs and student success at Richland College. She provides strategic and innovative leadership to academic affairs, student development, enrollment management, economic and workforce development, and community and educational partnerships. As the Chief Learning Officer, Blankenbaker develops the College as a center for innovation in promoting student learning in a technology-enhanced environment. Before becoming an administrator, she served as faculty for eight years. Her professional experience includes working as a vice president of instruction, associate vice president, dean, program chair, advisor, adjunct professor, and financial counselor with Army Community Services. In 1999, Blankenbaker received the Richland College Innovator of the Year award. In 2002, she was selected as a nominee for the Excellence in Teaching Award; and in 2008, she was named Administrator of the Year. Blankenbaker has served on several regional and national boards including as President of the National Asian Pacific Islander Council (NAPIC), President of the Texas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TexTESOL V) and a Commissioner on several American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Commissions. TexTESOL recognized her leadership contributions by naming her the 2008 TexTESOLer of the Year. Blankenbaker has experience in strategic planning, accreditation, accountability, and resource development. She was awarded a merit scholarship to attend Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana where she graduated with a B.Sc. in Education (English) and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics with honors. Blankenbaker received her doctorate from the University of North Texas in Higher Education Administration.