Dr. Larissa Ruiz Baia
Dr. Larissa Ruiz Baía has been appointed president of Lakes Region Community College in Laconia. Baía was unanimously confirmed by the Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire on May 23 and the appointment was made upon recommendation of Dr. Ross Gittell, CCSNH Chancellor following a search process.
Baía became interim president in July 2017 and brings nearly two decades of higher education experience. Before becoming interim president, she served for five years as LRCC’s vice president of student services and enrollment management. Prior to joining LRCC, she served as associate vice president of enrollment Management at Manchester Community College in Manchester and had served as director of graduate and evening admissions at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Baía also taught college courses at LRCC, the University of Florida and other institutions.
“I am a passionate advocate for higher education,” Baía says. “Because as a first-generation college graduate, I know first-hand the impact a college education has on individuals, families and communities. For me, a college education opened up new worlds to explore, career pathways that I never imagined and gave me the confidence to believe in my capabilities. I believe strongly in the work of community colleges and, LRCC specifically, because we are engines of upward socio-economic mobility. LRCC is vitally important to the region both as an employer and as the source of an educated and skilled workforce. Therefore, it is imperative that we remain agile and ready to bring creative solutions to the challenges facing the region. I am honored to be selected as LRCC’s next President and look forward to the opportunity to serve our students and contribute positively to the economic vibrancy of our communities.”
Jeremy Hitchcock, chairman of the CCSNH board of trustees, described Baía as a charismatic leader who engages well with students and the business community. "It's exciting to welcome President Baía to LRCC as a president,” said Hitchcock. “We have watched her progress within our community college system, taking on increasing responsibility and leadership roles, including strong service as interim president this past year. Her appointment as president comes after a national search conducted by a search committee of LRCC stakeholders. She is going to be a great president and collaborator within the college community, with employers and across the region that LRCC serves."
Baía, a native of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, earned a PhD in Political Science and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Brandeis University.