Student Affairs

Student Affairs

The CCCS Student Affairs Division works collaboratively with the Student Affairs divisions at each of our 13 community colleges by providing strategic leadership, planning, and support for student success initiatives, strategic enrollment management, student financial aid programs, student enrollment services, student life and government programs, and other student development functions. The work of the Student Affairs Division is centered on ensuring the personal growth and success of all Colorado Community College System students, and on those strategic initiatives which focus on the improved efficiency, effectiveness, and excellence in advancing the mission of the System and its colleges. In prepare our students for the workforce needs of the future, the Student Affairs Division aims to improve innovation and equity in education through collaborative efforts within the System, other higher education institutions, the K-12 education community, and partnerships with Colorado workforce leaders.

System level support to the colleges includes:

  • Policy development, monitoring, analysis and evaluation
  • Service coordination and program oversight for greater efficiency and resource leveraging
  • Technical assistance and coordination
  • Strategic planning in the areas of equity and inclusion, enrollment management, student success, and student support services

    Landon Pirius, Vice Chancellor Academic & Student Affairs

    Landon PiriusLandon Pirius, Vice Chancellor Academic & Student Affairs,

    Landon K. Pirius is the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). Landon serves as the Chief Academic Officer for the Colorado Community College System providing strategic leadership related to all aspects of academic affairs, student affairs, and institutional research. Landon also provides leadership and coordination among college Presidents and college Vice Presidents, and works closely with other System and college staff to improve, expand, evaluate and promote academic and student affairs leadership resulting in excellence in teaching, learning, thinking, experiencing, and succeeding for all students. Landon leads diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives aimed at exceptional teaching and learning.

    Prior to his current position, Landon was the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota where he was committed to building a collaborative culture of student success, data-driven decision-making, strategic planning, and continuous quality improvement. Landon also served in a variety of leadership roles at Inver Hills Community College, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Walden University, and as an adjunct faculty member at different institutions. Landon completed his undergraduate degree in Russian Studies and Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. His focus in graduate school was on comparative and international development education. In his free time, Landon enjoys spending time with his family, obstacle course racing, cooking, gardening, traveling, and playing video games.

    Ryan Ross, Associate Vice Chancellor Student Affairs, Director Equality & Inclusion

    Ryan Ross, Assoc Vice Chancellor Student/Dir. Equality & Inclusion,

    Dr. Ryan E. Ross is a sought after speaker, educator, leadership coach, and servant leader committed to equity and inclusion, educational access, and the development of leaders.

    Ryan’s professional, community, and social contributions have afforded the opportunity to be coined “Denver’s role Model for Inclusiveness, as well as land him recognitions such as:

    • The Denver Business Journal’s prestigious 40 under Forty Award,
    • The City of Denver’s Mayoral Diversity award,
    • Being named as an African American who make a difference by the Denver Urban Spectrum,
    • Receiving Colorado’s M.O.D.E.L (Man of Distinction Excellence, and Leadership) award,
    • Receiving the 2013 MLK Humanitarian award from Colorado’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission,
    • Being named as one of Colorado’s top five most influential young professionals by COBIZ magazine, and
    • Being recognized as the 2016 Colorado 9 News leader of the year.

    Ryan’s passion for community, leadership, and education is directly related to his experiences growing up and desire to pay it forward to the community that afforded him many opportunities. Ryan’s innovative work can be witnessed through his leadership in programs such as the Kappa League Leadership development program, the Urban Male Initiative, the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado, and in collaboration with many community partners such as Denver Public Schools, the Ethnic College Counseling Center, Gilliam Youth Services, Jack and Jill of America Denver Chapter, Colorado Beautillion Inc., and the Center for Multicultural Excellence centers at the University of Denver and Colorado State University to name a few.
    Professionally, Ryan serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Equity, and Inclusion for the Colorado Community College System, owns a boutique speaking and consulting firm called Stirred UP Enterprises, and serves as the President of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado. In the community you will find him serving organizations such as the Denver Botanic Gardens, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and the National Western Denver Scholarship Advisory Board.

    Dr. Ryan E. Ross continues to live by his own words…“Achievement waits ahead so never look back besides why settle on being Good when we are designed to great!”

    Karla Nash, Director of Financial Aid

        Karla Nash, Dir. of Financial Aid,

    As a proud second-generation Colorado native, Karla began her education in the Denver Public School system. After having 4 wonderful children, Karla sought out career opportunities and quickly realized the path to establish a workable-wage career involved higher education. As a non-traditional, first-generation college graduate, Karla began her higher education pursuit at Front Range Community College where she was extremely proud to earn her Associates of Arts.  Karla went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Metropolitan State University and has since earned her Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Colorado.

    With over 20  years of working  with directly with students to help them fund and reach their education goals, Karla joined to the Colorado Community College System office to provide leadership for all 13 CCCS Financial Aid Offices .  Karla’s role at CCCS is to collaborate and work with areas across the system to ensure all students have access to higher education regardless of their economic status.

    Michael Roberts, Director of Veterans Education

     Michael Roberts, Dir. of Veterans Education,

    Michael Roberts retired from the United States Navy with 24 years of service. During his naval career, he had various shore and sea duty assignments with key stops at the White House and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Upon his retirement, he accepted the position as Program Manager for Veteran Services at the University of Colorado – Boulder where implemented a program to support Veterans as they transitioned form the military to the academic arena. He joined the Colorado Office of Veterans Education and Training in December 2012 as an Education Specialist with a focus on compliance. In August 2019, he assumed the role of Director. Michael has direct oversight of 310 active academic programs to ensure approximately Colorado GI Bill® beneficiaries have access to variety of education platforms across the state.

    Michael Schulman, Director of Student Affairs

    Michael Schulman, Dir. of Student Affairs,

    Michael has a Masters of Science in Student Affairs Administration from Indiana University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University. He is currently working on his doctorate in Leadership for Educational Equity in Higher Education at CU Denver.

    Michael has worked in various aspects of higher education administration for over 18 years and his previous experiences include managing student finance, student services, financial aid, auxiliary services, and information technology.

    Before joining the Colorado Community College System, Michael worked as a higher education consultant helping colleges across the country leverage new technology and best practices in the areas of student finance, records, and financial aid. He then spent five years working in Information Technology at CCCS, primarily supporting Student Affairs, before stepping into his current role as Director of Student Affairs.

    Michael’s main duties at CCCS include collaborating with system office staff and Student Affairs staff at the 13 CCCS colleges as well as developing and interpreting System policies, procedures, and strategies that relate to student affairs, student success, and enrollment management. In addition, he serves as a liaison between college staff and CCCS staff, and represents the Student Affairs related functional groups (excluding Financial Aid) at the system level in regards to the support and use of the student information system, degree audit system, EAB Navigate, and other technologies, procedures, and business processes that support student success. Michael currently co-chairs the CCCS Data Governance Committee.

    When Michael is not at work, or working on his doctoral program, he enjoys spending time with his two young children, cooking, and traveling.



    Click Here to RSVP for the CCCS Student Excellence Awards

    2020 CCCS Student Excellence Awards

    The event will honor the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Colorado Academic Team for the academic accomplishments of high-achieving two-year college students from across the state of Colorado as they are inducted into the PTK All-Colorado Academic Team; Rising Star Award recipients for their outstanding leadership contributions both on their campuses and to their wider community; and Inclusive Excellence Champion awardees who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion practices on their campus. Based on the individual award, student honorees are selected through a variety of rigorous application and nomination processes that evaluate academic excellence, leadership, and community service.

    Phi Theta Kappa and All-Colorado Academic Team

    • Nominations ended November 8, 2019.
    • Nominations and selections are handled through PTK National. For more information please visit the PTK Website or contact Sarah Reynolds, PTK Scholarship and College Relations Specialist at
    • Open to students who have applied for PTK scholarships.
    • PTK National will send notification of selected scholars to colleges beginning in February.


    Rising Star Awards

    Nomination and Selection Process

    • Nomination forms must be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2020
      • Students may be nominated by any member of the campus community.
    • Winners will be selected by College Selection Committees which should convene the week of March 9, 2020.
      • Plan ahead to schedule time for headshots to be taken this week for PTK Honorees, Rising Star Award and Inclusive Excellence Champion winners.
      • Each college should select two award winners, except FRCC, which is allowed one winner from each of its three campuses.
    • Student Winner headshots and bios are due to Stacie Amaya by Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
      • Student bios should be 250-300 words and written in the third person.
      • Colleges are responsible for taking student headshots. These should be high quality images, preferably not cell phone captures.

    Award Criteria

    The Rising Star Award is sponsored by the State Student Advisory Council and recognizes an individual student that has increased the level and quality of student engagement on campus.

    The student(s) selected to receive this award may have facilitated meaningful engagement by either broadening the scope of student engagement or by deepening the engagement of other students around a particular issue or initiative.

    Some possible examples: A new club that addresses student needs/interest, bringing speakers to campus, innovative events to bring awareness to issues, revitalizing and re-engaging the community.

    Nominee must satisfy these requirements:

    1. Be an enrolled student of a CCCS college taking at least six (6) credit hours
    2. Demonstrate a high level of involvement in campus leadership activities
    3. Maintain a college GPA of at least 3.0


    Inclusive Excellence Champions

    Nomination Process

    • Nomination forms must be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2020
      • Students may be nominated by any member of the campus community.
    • Nominated students will be evaluated by a selection committee at the system office and vetted by college leadership.
      • One winner (an individual student or student org) will be selected from each college.
      • Campus coordinators will be notified of selected winners the week of March 9, 2020.
    • Student Winner headshots and bios are due to Stacie Amaya by Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
      • Student bios should be 250-300 words and written in the third person.
      • Colleges are responsible for taking student headshots. These should be high quality images, preferably not cell phone captures.

    Award Criteria

    The Inclusive Excellence Champion Award is sponsored by the State Student Advisory Council and recognizes an individual student, student organization, or particular initiative that has demonstrated a strong commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on their campus.

    The student(s) selected to receive this award may be involved in supporting or creating diversity activities and services; working to address issues of inequity; expanding the scope of inclusivity on campus; demonstrating advocacy for social justice and intercultural awareness.

    Some possible examples: created a welcoming and supportive campus climate whether through the efforts of a club or directly by the students own work; fostered opportunities to speak on inequity and inclusion on campus; demonstrated significant commitment to advocacy and social justice on campus.

    Nominee must satisfy these requirements:

    1. Be an enrolled student of a CCCS college taking at least six (6) credit hours
    2. Demonstrate a significant contribution toward creating a diverse and inclusive environment on campus
    3. Maintain a college GPA of at least 3.0

    2019 CCCS Student Affairs Conference

    Greetings Colleagues,

    Thank you so much for your attendance, presence, and spirit of collaboration and relationship building at the 2019 Student Affairs Conference.  It was a great day of development, and we had nearly 450 attendees present, our most massive turnout yet.

    Please help me in expressing gratitude to our hosts and colleagues at Pueblo Community College, our Vice Presidents of Student Affairs, the Fine Wood workings department at RRCC, and our VIP guests for making the day possible. We salute you!

    This year we got a later start than we would have liked on the planning; however, colleagues from across the system came together to deliver a thought-provoking and content-rich day that helped us all grow. Please help us in expressing sincere thanks and appreciation to the 2019 Student Affairs Conference committee. This terrific group of leaders came together and made this day possible in a matter of a few shorts months. We all know the demands of our daily schedules, so hats off to these folks for quickly connecting, planning, and implementing our conference.

    Thank you Committee members:

    Mandi Myers – CCCS
    Dawn Stratton – ACC
    Jessica Lanfranco – CCD
    Stacie Amaya – CCCS
    Steve Smith – NJC
    Ashlie Cogburn -TSJC
    Nicole Taylor – CCD
    Brian Carey – FRCC
    Shirley Carey -PCC
    Cristina Guerra – PCC
    Danielle Anderson – NJC
    Judith Anderson – CCA
    Charles Amaya – OJC
    Brad Stratton – CCA
    Mindy Kinnaman- FRCC
    Monica Bellaire -CCD
    Jen Macken – RRCC
    Marvena Baker-Shriver – CCD
    Tina Moore – CCCS
    Crystal Lopez Castillo – OJC

    Having a system-wide conference committee is beneficial and necessary as it allowed us to hear in real time from and give voice to our colleagues. Your voice and this committee structure allowed us to pivot to ensure we supported an inclusive and equity-minded community agency with our diaper gift service project, create space for functional group networking, and continue a theme integral to the work we do every day.

    Your voice continues to be an integral part of this event.  Using this committee structure with appropriate planning time and your valuable survey feedback, we will build on the success of this year and bolster next years’ experience. Next year you will have a complete first-class experience with intentional attention to areas such as logistics and registration, increased breakout session offerings, the lunchtime format, and more.

    If you are interested in joining the 2020 Student Affairs Conference committee, please feel free to send an email to  The conference committee debrief has occurred, and the committee will begin working on next year’s conference early this fall.

    I am so thrilled to be a part of this system!  Thank you all for the open and warm welcome, conversation, and purposeful, positive impact you have on our 137,000 students.  My door, ear, and email are always open, please never hesitate to reach out if I or the system can be of service; after all, our job is to make your work easier.  I look forward to working with you all this year. You exude educational and student service excellence. It’s an honor and a privilege.  Please feel free to use this link to view and/or download pictures from the conference.  See you next year!

    Continue to be Great on Purpose

    Dr. Ross
    Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Equity, and Inclusion
    Colorado Community College System

    Gabriele Woolever Photography