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Great Basin College covers 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties. We border Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and California.

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About Great Basin College

President Joyce HelensPresident Joyce Helens graphic.

Joyce Helens has both broad and deep higher education leadership experience in multi-state two-year colleges and universities. Since 2006, Helens has enjoyed success in the MinnState System as President of St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where she has built a nationally recognized comprehensive community and technical college with increased enrollment, new and renovated programs and facilities, and a successful college re-accreditation.

SCTCC has grown from a single building technical college to a state of the art comprehensive campus in the last decade of Helens’ tenure beginning with the introduction of an ongoing collaborative strategic planning process through Appreciative Inquiry, called the All College Conversation which led to the re- branding and a new name, St Cloud Technical & Community College, one of the fastest growing and successful colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Helens’ driving passion is always to insure that the institutions she leads provide a “well lighted path” to life-long learning that continuously develops an engaged and informed citizenry to obtain meaningful employment. She sees the liberal arts and technical applied learning as integral to the development of an educated whole person. A dedicated servant leader who deeply believes in the teaching/learning process, Helens has also developed teams who have been instrumental in leading many other successful major initiatives at SCTCC during her tenure. She knows and values the “power of we” and believes in sparking and supporting leadership in others.

Helens was born in Philadelphia, Pa but headed west as soon as she graduated from high school. She obtained a baccalaureate degree from St Martin’s University in Washington State and her Master’s Degree from Portland State University where she also completed her doctoral coursework. Before coming to Minnesota, Helens was at the University of Alaska State Wide System holding leadership positions at the University of Alaska Anchorage Community & Technical College and then as Executive Director of the University of Alaska Corporate Programs where she created a Corporate University within an academic university system to respond to the education and training needs of Alaska business & industry. Joyce Helens also served in senior and executive community college leadership positions in Oregon, Texas and Washington. She has been a presenter in Women’s Leadership nationally and in addition to her duties as SCTCC President, Helens serves MinnState as a leadership mentor and has chaired MinnState Presidential searches.

In Spring 2016, Helens was asked by Chancellor Steven Rosenstone to become interim president of Rochester Community & Technical College for six months in addition to her position as president of SCTCC to work with a college in turmoil and assist in the search for a new president, which she successfully accomplished.

Helens and her husband, John Hart, have two grown daughters, Sophie and Rose Helens-Hart. Joyce and John chose to live and raise their children rurally where they have ranched on a small scale, raising cattle, sheep, angora goats and hogs. They have also provided homes to rescued equine and three dogs. Their passion is the history of the American West and they spend their leisure time in historical reenactments and competing nationally in Old West pistol, rifle and shotgun shooting sports.

Why Great Basin College

Great Basin College wants to be your choice for higher education. GBC offers associate and baccalaureate level instruction in career and technical education and academic areas. About 3,800 students are enrolled online from across the country and on campuses and centers across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties. We border Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and California. We are GBC!

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