Two Finalists Announced for Vice President for Student Success Vacancy

November 3, 2021

Dr. Urisonya Flunder and Dr. Paul Machen have been announced as the two finalist in the search for the next Vice President for Student Success. Both candidates are expected to make open forum presentation Friday, November 5, 2021 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm via Zoom and on both MLK and SWC. 

Dr. Urisonya Flunder

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Dr. Urisonya Flunder, a native Houstonian, serves as the Executive Director of Student Life at Odessa College (OC). She previously served as Associate Dean of Students at South Plains College and Director of Multicultural Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU). Her higher education/student affairs resume includes over 17 years of experience in student conduct, student programming, multicultural affairs, Title IX, fiscal management, residence life, crisis management, student leadership, student organizations, policy creation and implementation, federal compliance, campus safety, student financial aid appeals, event planning, academic advising, and teaching.

Dr. Flunder embraces the student affairs generalist mindset by wearing multiple hats to deliver positive and effective student outcomes for varied student demographics. Her student service philosophy is “learning is reciprocal.” 

As the product of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) family legacy, Dr. Flunder maintains an enduring relationship with HBCUs as an alumnus and researcher. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss.; a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, and a doctorate degree from Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Her research focuses on HBCUs and HBCU presidents. She also serves at a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) helping to amplify the voice of Latinx students through programming, bilingual events, workshops, and cultural celebrations. She advocates for all student/staff equity and inclusion through serving ethically, providing mentorship and coaching, and utilizing “teachable moments.” 

Over the past five years at OC, Dr. Flunder had the privilege of being an integral part of creating meaningful resources for students such as a Student Services Office (including a social worker position, the Wrangler Food Pantry, and the Food Pantry Garden), and an alumni association. She stays abreast of current student challenges, intentionally seeks new resources, and builds partnerships for student access and learning. She is deeply passionate about meeting the needs of students as shown in the committees and councils she chairs such as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council and the Behavioral Intervention Team. Dr. Flunder is always ready to serve, navigating uncharted waters and pivoting when necessary. 

Ever the advocate and mentor, Dr. Flunder provides guidance, facilitates conflict resolutions, and manages behavioral/health emergencies for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, she has led her department in the creation of comprehensive staff training, implementation of online databases for various areas (student conduct, Drive To Success, student behavioral interventions, and residence life programming), creation of New Student Orientation, implementation of a new digital residential laundry program, and creation of a student educational series (covering DEI issues, professionalism, activism, volunteerism, financial literacy, etc.). She and her team have increased residence life staff positions, staff stipends, residential programming, student organization involvement, and student engagement. 

As a strong believer in creating cross-divisional and community partnerships, Dr. Flunder has continuously collaborated with academic affairs, campus stakeholders, and community constituents to meet the co-curricular needs of students bridging student engagement and learning. Proof of her hands-on experience is witnessed by the fact that many of her signature programs at other institutions are still in existence today such as the Alternative Break Series, the Tunnel of Oppression, and Cultural Ambassadors at SFASU. These types of outcomes have made Dr. Flunder a sought-out OC committee member serving on numerous campus committees, most recently the SACSCOC Decennial Report Committee.

She has also assisted in several program accreditation processes and consistently strengthened and revised several college and program-specific policies in areas such as student conduct, student grievances, and Title IX. She is truly all in for student engagement and campus involvement, actively cheering on students, attending campus programs and activities, and/or emceeing the next big OC event. 

An avid volunteer and active community member, she has served in leadership capacities for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Junior League of Odessa. She is a member of several other organizations and is the recipient of many awards and honors. She is married to Anthony Flunder.

Forum Schedule:

SW Campus

Friday, November 5, 2021

9:05 am - 10:00 am

Tiger Cafetorium or Virtual Zoom

MLK Campus

Friday, November 5, 2021

11:55 am - 12:50 pm

Bowden Alumni Center or Virtual Zoom

Dr. Paul Machen 

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Dr. Paul Machen is currently employed at St. Philip’s College, in San Antonio as the Interim Vice President for Student Success. In this position, he performs executive managerial oversight of 20 departments and almost 130 employees. Dr. Machen served as Dean for Student Success, Educational Support Services for the last 10 years.

  • Dr. Machen’s education credentials are: 
  • Ph.D. Adult, Occupational and Continuing Education, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Master of Business degree in Managerial Leadership, City University, Bellevue, Wash.;
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science Management, Southern Illinois University., Carbondale, Ill; and
  • Three Associate degrees: Social Services, Instructor of Technology, Fire Science.

He has also earned several higher education related certifications, including: Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), Professional Education Systems Institute (PESI Inc.) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Dr. Machen has 30 years of faculty and curriculum development experience, having taught Business Administration, Education Administration and Fire and Homeland Safety courses, both graduate and undergraduate levels, for West Texas A&M University, University of Phoenix -- San Antonio, Southern Illinois University and the Department of Defense Louis F. Garland Fire Academy.  

Dr. Machen is a highly-decorated retired Air Force veteran and performed in top leadership positions such as Command Civil Engineer Chief Enlisted Manager, where he had functional managerial oversight for over 1,300 employees across 13 Air Force installations and managed a $70 million dollar budget comprised of equipment, vehicles and training.  

Dr. Machen has served in numerous non-profit, school board, and city-appointed positions including Quality Texas Foundation; Equal Enrollment Collaborative (Up Partnership), Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio, St. Philip’s College CultureFest and Rib Cook off (Fiesta San Antonio Member Organization); Vice President of the Randolph ISD Board of Trustees; Chairperson for Mental Health/Mental Retardation Services Planning Advisory Committee; Board Member for the Cibolo Texas Economic Development Commission; Chairperson for the McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) Chief’s Group; Chairperson for the McConnell AFB Enlisted Top 3 Committee; El Paso Elementary Site Council member.     

Dr. Machen is married to Vickie and they have three grown children Adrian, Paul III and Ashley. They have two grandsons Jaden (13) and Mykah (6).      

Forum Schedule:

MLK Campus

Friday, November 5, 2021

8:00 am - 8:55 am

Bowden Alumni Center or Virtual Zoom

SW Campus

Friday, November 5, 2021

10:50 am - 11:45 am

Tiger Cafetorium or Virtual Zoom

Learn more at: https://www.alamo.edu/spc/vpss-forum

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