Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) President Emerita Katherine M. Johnson, Ed.D., was recently honored with the Dr. James L. Wattenbarger Award by the Association of Florida Colleges (AFC) Council of Presidents. The AFC Council of Presidents select a recipient annually who has advocated for affordable, convenient open access to higher education and who has made significant contributions to Florida’s higher education system. The award is named for James L. Wattenbarger, renowned as the architect of Florida’s internationally recognized community college system.
“We are pleased to recognize Dr. Johnson as the second PHSC president to receive the prestigious Wattenbarger Award,” said Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., PHSC president. “The award is a tribute to Dr. Johnson’s dedication to higher education and PHSC.” President Emeritus Robert W. Judson, Ed.D., received the Wattenbarger Award in 2004, the year prior to Johnson’s presidential post at PHSC.
During Johnson’s tenure from 2005 to 2015, PHSC established two new full service campuses; the Spring Hill Campus and the Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel. The college also transitioned to Pasco-Hernando State College in 2014 to reflect adding baccalaureate degrees to the curriculum, in addition to associate degrees and certificate programs.
Johnson retired as PHSC president in June 2015 after more than a decade of service. Now residing in Gainesville, Fla., with her husband, Chuck, she collaborates with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and several other community college systems. She also serves as a leadership development mentor for administrators in higher education.
Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) serves the educational needs and interests of its community by awarding certificates, diplomas, associate and baccalaureate degrees. As a comprehensive, multicampus learning-centered institution, PHSC utilizes various instructional modalities and support services. PHSC provides an accessible, diverse teaching and learning environment rich with opportunities for students to achieve academic success and cultural growth in a global society.