The Northwest Vista College administrative team comes together to serve the needs of the college community and to foster a culture of learning and service. They set high standards of excellence, share information across the campus and work to support college-wide initiatives. The team makes strategic decisions that align with the Alamo College and Northwest Vista College mission, vision and values as well as deploy the strategic plan throughout the broader campus community.
Dr. Ric Neal Baser is the president of Northwest Vista College, a vibrant and outstanding community of more than 18,000 students and 900 employees who are passionate about teaching and learning. He is also the president of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio, representing 22 colleges, universities and institutions of learning in Bexar County.
Dr. Baser has devoted his career to educating students and providing them opportunities for a better tomorrow. He has served in various roles as both a college instructor and administrator. He understands the importance of leadership and community building among students, having worked in student affairs, students activities and colleges and alumni relations.
Prior to joining Northwest Vista College, Dr. Baser was the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Tulsa Community College where he led and provided fiscal guidance to six of the president's cabinet members including campus provosts, associate vice presidents, deans and directors. He worked alongside 1,500 Academic and Student Affairs employees.
Dr. Baser holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, a Master of Arts in Speech from Oklahoma State University and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Oklahoma State University.
He is a 2014 inductee into the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the 2013 Recipient of the Service Award from the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges as "The Golden Voice" of the All Oklahoma Academic Team Luncheon and the 2008 Recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Hallmark Award for Distinguished College Administrator.
Dr. Baser enjoys spending time with his wife, Kari, and granddaughter, Kennedy.
Lisa is responsible for facilitating the daily operations of the President’s Office, including serving as a liaison between the President’s Office and the campus community, coordinating special events, meetings and conferences, planning, implementing and assessing the college’s strategic plan and budget. She also provides leadership on special projects and assists the President’s Office in internal communications and relationships with groups on and off campus.
Lisa has 15 years of experience in education, having served in many roles including: faculty member, academic advisor, director of a writing lab, various other administrative roles and as a middle school teacher. Most recently, Lisa worked as the executive assistant to the vice chancellor for Student Success at Alamo Colleges District, where she was the lead project facilitator of 30 partner Alamo Area College Access and Completion Consortium. Lisa has also worked for Miller-Motte College in Jacksonville, North Carolina as director of Student Ambassadors, English chair and the head of Events Committee. She held various roles at Delgado Community College & Northwood University in New Orleans, Louisiana and at Motlow State Community College in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Lisa earned a Bachelor Degree of Science in Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction/English Language Arts from the University of Phoenix. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University.
Dr. Amy Whitworth is the Vice President for Academic Success. She works with the Academic and Workforce programs at Northwest Vista College, providing leadership and support. She is passionate about helping to create opportunities for success for our students. She is dedicated to the work that we do here at NVC providing students with an excellent, rich, and rigorous education that will ensure their success at their chosen transfer institution or in the workforce. She believes strongly in the vital and important role that community colleges play in not only giving people access to higher education but in providing the support they need to achieve their goals. Our students deserve the highest quality educational experience.
Prior to joining NVC, Dr. Whitworth taught English and Reading at Rhodes Middle School for three years before accepting a faculty position at San Antonio College where she taught Philosophy for 19 years. During her tenure at San Antonio College, she served as Program Coordinator of Philosophy and as Chair of the Language, Philosophy, and Culture Department. Out of her strong commitment to higher education, she has served on various college and district committees. She is also the recipient of two National Endowment of Humanities Awards to work alongside other scholars in Oxford, England, and Athens, Greece.
Dr. Whitworth earned her BA in Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin, her MA in Philosophy from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and being in nature.
Erin Sherman is the Vice President for College Services for Northwest Vista College. She provides strategic leadership and alignment in the areas of budget and financial services, information technology, institutional research, strategic planning and institutional effectiveness, facilities development and support, and other services.
Erin served as Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Research Compliance and Export Control Officer prior to joining NVC. She also brings private sector experience as an auditor for KPMG, LLP, and an accountant in the petroleum industry.
Erin earned a B.B.A in accounting and a Master of Accountancy from Texas A & M University--Corpus Christi. She is also a graduate of Palo Alto College with an associate’s degree in Agribusiness.
Erin is actively involved with Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) and is currently a member of the National Awards Program Committee. She has served the organization in several capacities over her fourteen year membership, is a member of the Texas Phi Beta Lambda State Committee, a lifetime Professional Division member, and is a past National President of Phi Beta Lambda.
Erin enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Business faculty member. San Antonio is Erin’s hometown, and she is thrilled to once again be living close to family.
Debi Gaitan, Northwest Vista College Vice President for Student Success, has more than twenty-five years of experience in higher education in the area of student services that includes admission, advising, student life and development, disability services, counseling, veteran's affairs and judicial affairs. She has worked at Northwest Vista College (NVC) since 1998 in various positions that included the Associate Director of Admissions and Records, Director of Student Life, Director of Advising, Dean of Student Success and Vice President for Student Success.
Ms. Gaitan is a dedicated advocate for community college students and works diligently to partner in their educational success. She has made it her life work to promote higher education and to provide the best environment for students to flourish and discover their passion for learning. During her years at NVC, college enrollment surged from 200 students to over 17,000. She has helped develop the college's culture of student focus, respect, collaboration and joy. As a result, NVC ranks among the best community colleges to include the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) in 2007, special recognition by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for best practices in Leadership and Customer Focus (2012), and the 2015 BestColleges.com NVC number two ranking in Texas among community colleges for enrollment, retention, graduation, and the success of graduates. Ms. Gaitan was also instrumental in spearheading the college's reaffirmation of accreditation efforts with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on colleges.
Prior to joining Northwest Vista College, Ms. Gaitan worked for two non-profit educational organizations in San Antonio where she helped young men and women overcome educational barriers. She began her work in higher education at Our Lady of the Lake University where she served as a recruiter, advisor and associate director. Ms. Gaitan attended St. Philip's College, Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Our Lady of the Lake University. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in human sciences. She is also the recipient of several awards and recognitions to include All American First Team athlete, Excellence in Teaching, and Trusted Leader Award.
In her spare time, you can find her cheering on the San Antonio Spurs with her husband of more than 30 years and their three children, who all have degrees from Northwest Vista College.
Dr. Russell Frohardt is the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Northwest Vista College. Prior to that, Dr. Frohardt served as Associate Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at St.Edward's University in Austin, Texas, where he has held various faculty and administrative positions since joining the community in 2003.
Prior to his term as interim Dean of BSS, he was an American Council on Education Fellow, hosted by Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he learned about administrative, curricular, and co-curricular practices across the country. Dr. Frohardt received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Vermont, and he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College before coming to Texas.
His research interests span the neurobiology of learning and memory, spatial navigation, sexual behavior, and models of relapse and addiction. In his free time, Russ enjoys playing basketball and roller derby, live music, and spending time with friends and his wife, Dr. Fay Guarraci, and son, Cole.
Jennifer Comedy-Holmes began her career in higher education as an adjunct faculty member in Speech Communication at Northwest Vista College in August 2002. Throughout her tenure at NVC, she has served as discipline coordinator for Speech, academic chair for Social Sciences, and currently, as the dean of Student Success. Jennifer believes strongly in "Creating Opportunities for Success" for our students and serves as an advocate for our students in her role.
Debi Gaitan, vice president of Student Success, said "as the dean of Student Success, "Jennifer leads the Veteran Affairs, Counseling and ACCESS/Services to Students with Disabilities teams. In addition, she works with faculty and staff on student discipline and code of conduct violations. Jennifer is instrumental in NVC's quality journey and has guided her colleagues through the college's unit assessments and process improvements."
Jennifer received a degree in Agriculture Development from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in Speech Communication from West Texas A&M. She, and her husband, Staten, are the proud parents of two daughters.
Patrick Fontenot believes that computer literacy is important to each and every student, regardless of what career they choose. In fact, he says, everyone benefits from understanding and appreciating this rapidly changing field. “Technology is here to stay and it touches our lives daily in one way or another,” he says.
As the Dean of Workforce Education and Training, Pat leads a wide range of programs and services to students, businesses and community members. He provides strategic direction to his team of directors, coordinators, faculty and staff to ensure that the programs offered incorporate the latest technology and training. Pat and his team work closely with local employers, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to ensure that all of the technical programs at Northwest Vista College prepare graduates for high demand jobs and lead to employment opportunities in fields such as Information Security, Nanotechnology, Digital Media, 3D Animation, Advanced Water Treatment, Clinical Research and many others. Under Pat’s direction, the nearly 20 degree programs have continually improved student graduation and job placement rates.
Many local employers such as USAA and the Southwest Research Institute have additionally benefited from customized training for their employees in leadership, teambuilding, strategic planning and customer relations that Pat’s team provides as part of the Business Solutions program.
Pat believes that everyone deserves a satisfying life and that education is the way to achieve that. He feels that his current position has been the most satisfying because it impacts many lives and strengthens college partnerships with community organizations. In collaboration with other colleagues, Pat has been instrumental in working with the military to provide training for those in the service. He himself served in the United States Air Force for 20 years.
Having grown up speaking French in Southwest Louisiana, Pat understands the importance of language skills in the workforce and every day communication. He celebrates the success of students in the English as a Second Language program, offered as part of continuing education. Other community and personal leisure programs that Pat manages include kids programs, enrichment for seniors, healthcare fields, information technology, cooking and robotics education and training for elementary, middle and high school students.
Pat has been with Northwest Vista College for 12 years. He began as an instructor and has achieved increased leadership opportunities that included working as a program developer, program coordinator and academic leader for all Business and Computer disciplines. He also served as the Director of Information Technology and Communications for the college. Pat holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Arts Degree in Computer Resource Management from Webster University.
In his 12 years of service to Northwest Vista College, Pat is known for his simple and direct style that cuts through the chase. His advice to students is always the same: “Choose a career that will make you happy and that you will enjoy every day.”