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Chesapeake Veep Retires

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007

WYE MILLS - When Dr. Barbara Houchen was working on her Master´s of Business Administration at the University of Maryland, College Park all of her classmates had dreams of working at IBM or Merrill Lynch. She said that her goal was to work at a community college.

Dr. Houchen spent 23 years working at Maryland community colleges as both an instructor and administrator. She retired March 16th as vice president for administrative services at Chesapeake College.

"I had such a great experience as a student at Prince George´s Community College, that I knew I wanted to work at a community college. Community colleges help everyone regardless of their goals, income or background. I couldn´t imagine a better way to make a living," Dr. Houchen said.

So, she pushed on; earning first a bachelor´s degree and then an MBA. While in graduate school, she began teaching at the College of Southern Maryland and University of Maryland University College. She joined the faculty at Anne Arundel Community College in 10985 in the Business Divison. Dr. Houchen taught for 10 years at AACC and served as an administrator for five years.

As administrative vice president at Chesapeake, Dr. Houchen was responsible for finance, human resources, facilities, capital projects, and several auxiliaries. The vice president, who came to Chesapeake in August of 2000, worked with others throughout the campus to oversee construction of the college´s Learning Resources Center, construction of the mezzanine in the Performing Arts Center, and the renovations of the Dorchester Administration Building and Caroline College Center.

An avid traveler, Dr. Houchen will head to Honduras at the end of March to celebrate her retirement. She plans to travel to Mexico in the summer and to Italy in the fall. She also plans to spend time with her family, including six young grandchildren.

"I´m ready for this change, but I will miss Chesapeake and the people who work here very much. I love it here. It is a great place to work." Dr. Houchen said.

The former professor said she is keeping all options open at this point, but would be interested in teaching part-time, doing project-oriented consulting work, or stretching her wings in other areas.

"My husband always told me that what I did was important because it changed people´s lives. Even after I became an administrator and stopped having that direct student contact, I felt that I was contributing to the success of this diverse student population. That makes me proud," Dr. Houchen said.

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