The Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) named Kent Hanson President of the Year during the 2015 Spring Assembly in Brainerd, Minn., April 10-12. Kent is serving his second year as President of Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College. MSCSA is a statewide advocacy organization that represents the interests of more than 100,000 two-year college students.
“This is such a great honor, especially coming from students,” said Hanson. “I have been (and continue to be) a student advocate since 1991 when I started teaching radiologic technology.”
According to MSCSA representative William Tully, “Kent Hanson was chosen because of his active engagement with students in virtually all college affairs. It is unusual for a president to win [this award] so early in their tenure, however, student leaders at each of his campuses sent testimonials describing they have been empowered by the positive environments created for student government operations.”
With Kent Hanson as President, leadership empowerment through collaboration and positivity are threaded throughout the organizations.
“I am committed to creating a positive culture at our institutions,” Hanson explains. “I am not a fan of hierarchy but more interested in ideas, regardless of where they come from in the organization. I see student, faculty, and staff leaders as college leaders. I completely embrace collaborative leadership, focus on listening more than speaking, and honor a culture where ideas are shared freely and openly for the betterment of our students, employees and the communities we serve. It is a pleasure for me to serve such wonderful students and employees at Anoka-Ramsey and Anoka Tech. I love these colleges and I always will.”
Before accepting the position of president at Anoka-Ramsey and Anoka Tech, Hanson served as interim president of Riverland Community College (with campuses in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna). He also served nine years as provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Northland Community and Technical College (with campuses in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls) and 12 years at Northwest Technical College (in East Grand Forks), first as radiology program director from 1991-99 and then as health and human services dean from 1999-2003.
Hanson actually began his career in higher education as a teacher – training students to become Radiologic Technicians. According to Hanson, “teaching is at the heart of the important work that the college provides.”
Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in human resource administration from Central Michigan University.
Kent Hanson, Ph.D., President of Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Coon Rapids and Cambridge, Minn.) and Anoka Technical College (Anoka, Minn.).