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About the Episode

The what's what...

This fast-paced show drops listeners into a compelling conversation about higher education. In Your Element asks innovative leaders about the challenges, wins, and future of everything from meeting enrollment numbers to equity in education.

On this episode of In Your Element, Eric Stoller has a deep-dive conversation with Mordecai Brownlee, President of Community College of Aurora. Tune into this episode to learn the following:

  • How does someone with a student affairs background become a community college president?
  • What’s the 6-month plan for a new higher ed president?
  • How do community colleges rebound from the damage done by the pandemic?
  • How does student engagement happen with community college students?

About the Podcast

Eric Stoller


Eric Stoller

Eric Stoller is the former Vice President of Product Strategy at Element451—an advanced student engagement CRM available, providing higher ed institutions with a competitive admissions advantage from recruitment to enrollment. You may know Eric from his articles on Inside Higher Ed, speaking engagements, or consulting work around digital engagement. He’s always loved doing marketing and public relations but never wanted to work for an agency. However, Eric’s experiences in student development services at the University of Illinois Chicago and enrollment management + academic advising at Oregon State University cemented his interest in the intersection of technology, student success, and digital engagement. Eric has an associate degree from Indian Hills Community College, a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Northern Iowa, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Oregon State University, and an honorary doctorate in coffee drinking.

Mordecai Brownlee


Mordecai Brownlee

On July 15, 2021, Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee became the sixth president of the Community College of Aurora in Colorado. With campuses in Aurora and Denver, CCA is a Hispanic-Serving institution providing instruction to nearly 12,000 students throughout its 350- square mile service area. Prior to his presidential appointment, President Brownlee served as the vice president for student success at St. Philip's College, the only college in the nation federally designated as both a historically Black college (HBCU) and a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), located in San Antonio, Texas. During his tenure as vice president, Dr. Brownlee led St. Philip’s to record enrollment of over 13,500 students and the college’s four largest degree and certificate awarding classes in its 123-year history. In addition, Mordecai previously served as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University School of Education & Urban Studies and the University of Charleston School of Business and Leadership where he taught business management, human resources, social justice, and community college leadership. Along with the presidency, Dr. Brownlee will continue his work as a higher education columnist for EdSurge. Recently, Dr. Brownlee was featured by EdTech Magazine as one of the 30 most interesting voices in higher education who are shaping the conversation around IT and EdTech.

In Your Element

All things higher ed from application to graduation and beyond.

In Your Element host Eric Stoller from Element451 asks innovative leaders about the challenges, wins, and future of everything from meeting enrollment numbers to equity in education. His five-question format gets to the heart of what’s happening in each guest’s corner of higher education. The unifying theme: how do we all rally around students’ needs to help them succeed?

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