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Home > About > Where We Are > Newsroom > State Board Committee Certifies Four Finalists for Eastern Shore Community College Presidency

State Board Committee Certifies Four Finalists for Eastern Shore Community College Presidency

RICHMOND – A committee of the State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at Eastern Shore Community College. The finalists were among 92 applicants from across the nation.










The four finalists, in alphabetical order, are Dr. David E. Bowles of Hampton Roads, Virginia; Dr. Richard B. Pagan of Daniels, West Virginia; Dr. James M. Shaeffer of Norfolk, Virginia; and Dr. Mellissia M. Zanjani of Burlington Township, New Jersey.

“The Eastern Shore Community College presidency is attracting a diverse and dynamic collection of talented leaders from across the country,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The college’s unique mixture of opportunities and challenges attracts innovative and creative leaders, excited about the chance to create the model 21st century rural community college, and that’s really promising for the entire Eastern Shore.”

Dr. David E. Bowles is currently in his fifth year as the director of the NASA Langley Research Center. He first joined that organization in 1980 as a researcher. Since then he has risen through its ranks, serving as a project manager, deputy director, associate director, and ultimately his current position, director. At NASA, Bowles oversaw the building and fostering of the agency’s workforce, updating its physical facilities, creating innovative programs, and collaborating with external partners – including Virginia’s Community Colleges – for academic programs and economic development efforts. He earned the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 2017 and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2005 and 2015. He is a member of the Virginia Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council, and a member of the Virginia General Assembly Joint Commission on Technology and Science 2017 committee charged with creating a “Blueprint for Growth of the Virginia Aviation and Aerospace Industry.” Bowles earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Richard B. Pagan has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience following his retirement from the United States Air Force. Pagan joined Fairmont State University and its sister institution, Pierpont Community & Technical College in Fairmont, West Virginia as a professor and program coordinator in 1997. He moved to Guilford Technical Community College, in Jamestown, North Carolina, in 2011 to become the dean of the Transportation Technologies Division. Three years later, Pagan became the senior vice president and campus director of the National Aviation Academy in Bedford, Massachusetts. In 2016, He became the vice president for Academic Affairs at New River Community and Technical College in Beaver, West Virginia – the position he currently holds. Pagan earned two associate degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, a multi-campus program based at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia; a master’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a multi-campus program based in Daytona Beach, Florida; and a doctorate from West Virginia University.

Dr. James M. Shaeffer has worked in education for 40 years, beginning as a middle school instructor in the Kansas City School District in 1979. Between 1984 and 1992, he worked at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, serving in several different positions. In 1992, he became an assistant professor and director of the School for Extended Studies and Public Studies at the University of Wyoming. Between 1996 and 2005, Shaeffer worked at the University of North Dakota, rising from an associate dean to an associate vice president. He moved to James Madison University in 2005 where he was an associate vice provost and an associate professor. He became the founding dean of the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Old Dominion University in 2014 – the position he currently holds. Shaeffer earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University; a master’s degree from Kansas State University; and a doctorate from Northwestern University.

Dr. Mellissia M. Zanjani has nearly thirty years of higher education, nonprofit, and fundraising experience. She is also a 2010 Fellow of the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership. Zanjani began working at Towson University, in Maryland, in 1991 as a student advisor and director of the African-American Cultural Center Program. She joined the American Lung Association of New Jersey in 1993 as the northern regional program director. In 1998, she became the director of development and alumni relations for Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland. Zanjani moved to Tacoma Community College, in the State of Washington, in 2003 to become vice president for Institutional Advancement and foundation executive director. She held similar roles at Mercer County Community College in Trenton, New Jersey, in 2009; Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey, in 2013; and at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 2016. She became the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Lincoln University, in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania a year ago – the position she currently holds. Zanjani earned a bachelor’s degree from Chatham University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a master’s degree from Towson University; and a doctorate from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

The four finalists seek to succeed Dr. Linda Thomas-Glover, the college’s forth president, who retired at the beginning of 2018 after serving in that role for nine years. Dr. Billy Greer has served as the college’s interim president since January, 2018. The finalists will each visit the college in late April and early May to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) is a member of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and serves the residents of Accomack and Northampton Counties as a two-year institution of higher education. Originally a branch of the University of Virginia, the institution joined the Virginia Community College System in 1971. The college was accredited and granted membership in the Southern Association of College Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in 1973 and moved to its current location in 1974. For more information, please visit

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 241,000 students each year. For more information, please visit