Normandale Vice President of Student Affairs Orinthia Montague named a 2016 Cohort Fellow For Thomas Lakin Institute

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

Orinthia Montague, Vice Present of Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Normandale Community College, was named one of 15 fellows with the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership (Lakin Institute). The Presidents' Round Table (PRT), a national association dedicated to supporting African American leaders and students in community colleges, presents the Lakin Institute annually.

Dr. Montague currently provides leadership for the following areas that provide support and services to students: Advising & Counseling, Office for Students with Disabilities, Diversity Center, Student Life, Center for Experiential Education, Recreation & Wellness, Student Conduct, Orientation & New Student Programs, Financial Aid, TRIO Student Support Services and Upward Bound, Registration and Records, Kopp Student Center, College Bookstore, and Admissions and Marketing.  

Prior to being named Vice President, Dr. Montague served as Dean of Students at Normandale College for approximately four years. Before her time at Normandale, she was at University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she most recently served Associate Vice Provost/Dean of Students from 2006 to 2010 and Assistant Vice Provost from 2004 to 2006.  

In 2015, she was selected by a national review panel as one of only 36 community college leaders to attend the prestigious Executive Leadership Institute sponsored by the League for Innovation in the Community College. Dr. Montague is also the Co-Chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Advisory Council for the Minnesota State System, has participated in the 2014 Executive Development Program and serves as a system representative for the Greater MSP Economic Development Diversity Taskforce.  

Dr. Montague earned a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication at Truman State University, a M.A. in Counseling from Lindenwood University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri - St. Louis.   

"The 2016 Lakin Cohort is an outstanding group of leaders who will deeply benefit from this experience," said Dr. Kirk A Nooks, Dean of the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership. "With the complex leadership challenges we are experiencing now, and in the future, this group will be able to demonstrate that community colleges are in good hands." 

Hosted this year in St. Paul, Minnesota by the Minnesota State System, the Lakin Institute seeks African-American participants whose experience and credentials indicate they are ready to attain the highest academic positions. The program is an opportunity for open dialogue with chancellors, presidents, and CEOs.  It covers all aspects of academic leadership.  

"The Thomas L. Lakin Institute experience has helped over 100 community college professionals who aspired to executive leadership to reach their goals, including serving as presidents nationwide," said Charlene Newkirk, South Campus President of the Community College of Allegheny County, and President of PRT. "The Presidents' Round Table is committed to growing the talent pipeline for serving our communities with capable and committed leadership."  

More than 200 participants have attended the Lakin Institute since its inception in 1994. The Lakin Institute has the highest graduate placement rate of any leadership institute in the United States. One of three participants become a college chancellor, president or CEO.  It is named in honor of Dr. Thomas Lakin, a former Chancellor of the Ventura County (CA) Community College District.   

About the Presidents' Round Table The Presidents' Round Table (PRT) is a professional association of African American CEOs and presidents of community colleges.  PRT has charted a course for increasing visibility in the higher education arena to support African American leaders and students in community colleges.  Founded in 1983 to bring together African-American Community College leaders for the purpose of ensuring their success as campus leaders, today the association focuses on advocacy; mentorships to ensure the African-American legacy in campus leadership positions; successful matriculations of African-American students; and employment opportunities for African-Americans in community colleges across the nation with special emphasis on grooming future Presidents. PRT is an affiliate organization of the National Council on Black American Affairs and the American Association of Community Colleges. For more, visit