College Leadership

In this Section

Colleen Simpson

Colleen Simpson, EdD


Dr. Simpson (she/her) took the helm as FRCC's president on August 1, 2022. Her decades of higher education experience have included work in enrollment management, student affairs, academic affairs, teaching and leadership.


Most recently, she served as the vice president of student services and regional learning centers at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. In that role, she oversaw multiple campuses and five regional learning centers—with a focus on:

  • leading academic innovation
  • designing “student-ready” experiences
  • addressing the educational, economic and workforce development needs of the region

Prior to that role, Simpson worked at Bronx Community College—part of the City University of New York (CUNY)—as the administrator overseeing retention and student success. There she led and managed a comprehensive program of services that:

  • promoted access to education
  • kept students engaged and in college
  • helped students complete their degree or credential

Dr. Simpson earned her doctoral degree (EdD) in educational leadership, administration and policy from Fordham University. She earned both her master's degree (MSEd) in higher education administration and her bachelor's degree (BBA) in international marketing from Baruch College (also part of the CUNY system).


Dr. Gabriel Castaño

Gabriel Castaño, EdD

Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Success

Dr. Castaño (he/him/él) serves as Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Success.  This means his work at FRCC is focused on removing barriers to education and supporting students from before they engage in higher education through graduation.  He brings 20 years of experience in helping students navigate their college search and selection process, making education affordable through financial aid and scholarships, and staying on track with academic advising, counseling, and student engagement.


Prior to joining FRCC in 2023, Dr. Castaño worked with students at a wide range of public and private colleges and universities, and served as a Policy Fellow for Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) in 2021. In his most recent previous role, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment at University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) where he focused on access, increasing diversity of the student population, helping CU Denver become a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and closing equity gaps in student success through focusing on strategic initiatives which addressed the changing needs of students. 


He is a first-generation college student who earned an Associate’s degree from Bergen Community College, a bachelor's degree from William Paterson University, a master's degree from Jones International University, and a doctorate of education from University of Colorado Denver where his dissertation topic was “College Choice and Institutional Fit for First-Generation Latina/o/e/x Students Leveraging a Pre-College Outreach Program along with Community Cultural Wealth”. 


He lives in Denver with his partner and their two dogs.



Beryl Durazo

Beryl Durazo, CFRE

Executive Director, FRCC Foundation

Beryl Durazo (she/her) leads FRCC’s fundraising arm and has dedicated her career to helping those in need through strategic philanthropy, community partnerships and a steadfast commitment to donor stewardship. During her 10+ years in the nonprofit sector, Durazo has been an avid member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has raised more than $7 million in grants, major gifts and event-based fundraising.


In 2019, her passion for serving at-risk youth led Durazo to join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County as the organization’s vice president for advancement. In 2022, she won the Legacy Gifts Award at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Conference. Before that, she served as executive director of the Firehouse Art Center (FAC).


Throughout her non-profit career, Durazo has demonstrated a strong commitment to education and ethical practices. In 2020, she earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential and is now an ambassador for CFRE International. Beryl first began her non-profit career as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, working with youth who experienced the highest food insecurity rate in the country



Tricia Johnson

Tricia Johnson, EdD

Vice President, Westminster Campus

Dr. Johnson (she/her) serves as the Vice President of the Westminster Campus. She serves as the campus executive officer, overseeing campus operations and representing the campus throughout the north Denver metro area, including Adams, Broomfield, and northern Jefferson counties.


Prior to joining the college in early 2021, Johnson was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Community College of Aurora and had led programs at the Colorado Department of Education and in postsecondary education and training institutions in Colorado and Oklahoma, focusing on high quality teaching and learning and connection with workforce. Over the last two decades, Johnson has worked in education teaching, promoting, designing, and administering programs in secondary, postsecondary, and career and technical education. During her tenure, Johnson has served as a classroom teacher, community college department chair, research analyst, and marketing manager. She is committed to issues of social justice and removing barriers for adult learners.


Johnson earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver, a Master of Education in Secondary Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Oklahoma.


Johnson has served as a board member for several non-profit organizations including the Juvenile Assessment Center, Leadership Aurora, and the Oklahoma City Ad Club. Currently,


Johnson is a Workforce Development Board Member with Adams County and a Community Leaders Council Member with the Rocky Mountain Partnership.



Aparna Palmer

Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer, PhD

Vice President, Boulder County Campus
Interim Vice President, Larimer County Campus

Dr. Palmer (she/her) joined FRCC as vice president in May of 2021. As a member of the president's cabinet, she contributes to college-wide strategic planning and decision-making. In addition, she is the chief executive of the Boulder County Campus and is the interim chief executive of the Larimer County Campus. In these positions, she is responsible for overseeing key areas such as academic affairs, student affairs, accreditation, hiring/evaluation, capital construction, and facilities maintenance on both campuses. She also develops and expands partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, industries and donors, both regionally and nationally.


Before joining FRCC, Palmer was the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Colorado Mesa University/Western Colorado Community College (CMU/WCCC) and was Professor of Biology at CMU. During her 22 years there, she served as the Director of the Academic Honors Program, Faculty Senate President, and Faculty Trustee on the CMU/WCCC Board. Dr. Palmer holds a PhD in Zoology from Washington State University as well as a BS in Biological Sciences and a BA in English from Colorado State University. As a scientist, she studies the natural histories and molecular genetics of tardigrades (water bears) and polychaetes (seaworms).



Aparna Palmer

Krishna Pattisapu, PhD

Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion

Dr. Pattisapu (they/them) earned their PhD in Culture and Communication from the University of Denver in 2014. They bring 15 years of experience working in higher education, including academic instruction, new instructor development, inclusive curriculum design, college pathway and pre-collegiate program administration, organizational leadership, and first-generation/BIPOC student support. They are an advocate for intersectional equity and inclusion efforts. They have volunteered and served in leadership roles in various LGBTQ+ community organizations in Denver, Boulder, and Longmont. 



Aparna Palmer

JoAnne Wilkinson, MSOL, SHRM-SCP

Executive Director of Organizational Development & Human Resources

JoAnne Wilkinson (she/her) has more than 23 years of experience in the field of human resources in both the public and private sectors, including not-for-profit. Wilkinson holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Colorado State University-Global Campus. 


She serves not only as the senior human resources officer for FRCC, but is also a trusted advisor, strategic business partner and advocate for all employees. Her passion lies in building new structures that support both employees and an inclusive environment, while also advising colleagues on current and forward-thinking human resources strategies, challenges and opportunities. 



Rebecca Woulfe

Rebecca Woulfe, PhD

Vice President, Academic Affairs & Online Learning

Dr. Woulfe (she/her) serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Online Learning. In this role, she works college-wide to support the work of Academic deans, chairs, faculty and instructors. She has oversight for college and programmatic accreditation, areas of state and federal compliance, program review, and leads the online team. Woulfe is also the FRCC liaison to the Colorado Community College System office (CCCS).


Prior to joining FRCC, Woulfe was Vice President for Instruction and Provost for Arapahoe Community College. She has worked for community colleges for over 20 years, serving as a faculty, a Director of eLearning , and an Academic Dean. In her role as VPAA and OL, Rebecca leans on her experience from the classroom to support the success of faculty and students. In her previous role, she led the expansion of work-based learning through apprenticeships and internships and provided leadership in new program development to address industry needs. Woulfe has also been instrumental in the implementation of Guided Pathways. Guided Pathways is a researched-based approach to education that integrates student success practices and equity work to ensure positive outcomes for students and to close opportunity gaps.


Prior to her work with community colleges, Rebecca led the implementation of technology integration for the Daniel's College of Business and University of College at the University of Denver. She provided consultative services to faculty and facilitated professional development sessions on a range of high-impact practices for using technology in the classroom and in online delivery of courses.


Rebecca has a PhD in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Arts Degree in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from the University of Colorado-Denver. Rebecca is committed to creating an inclusive environment for students and employees and recognizes the importance of honoring unique perspectives.