Community college welcomes two to its board of trustees

Hutt, Rensin replace Rakes, Athen on panel

April 01, 2003|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF

Howard Community College welcomed two new trustees last week, bringing the school's governing board back to its full strength of seven trustees plus the college president.

Katherine K. Rensin, a retired speech and language pathologist and vice president of the college's educational foundation board, is filling a seat vacated in June last year by Joan Athen. Athen left to take a position as community college specialist with the U.S. Department of Education.

Louis G. Hutt Jr., an accountant, lawyer and partner with Bennett, Hutt and Co., will complete the term of David A. Rakes, who left the board in September to successfully pursue a seat representing District 2 on the Howard County Council.

"They are two outstanding individuals, and I am thrilled they are joining the board," said Roger N. Caplan, chairman of the board of trustees.

Caplan said Rensin is familiar with the college, having served on the foundation board and as chairwoman of the 2002 Columbia Classic Grand Prix, an equestrian jumping competition that is an important fund-raiser for HCC.

Hutt, Caplan said, understands nonprofit organizations and the role of a trustee, having served on the board of Washington University in St. Louis.

Both trustees were nominated by state senators from Howard County, appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and approved by the Maryland Senate.

Hutt says part of his role is "serving as a resource and someone that [students] feel comfortable in speaking to about their goals, their motivation for attending the community college and suggestions they may have on how we can improve."

The biggest challenge, he said, "is to understand the student population ... where they expect to go and how we can help them get there."

A certified public accountant whose law firm specializes in tax planning and representing clients in tax controversies, Hutt believes that he can help the college in its efforts to reach out to the business community. He is also interested in ways HCC can encourage students to become entrepreneurs.

Hutt earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Washington University and obtained a law degree from University of Maryland, College Park. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife, Nellie. They have two daughters, ages 23 and 11, and a son, 18.

Hutt also served on the boards of the Columbia Foundation and the Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund.

Rensin said that as a new trustee she wants to learn more about the school's needs and step in wherever she can best be of help.

"I'm really very honored to have been asked to join the board of trustees," Rensin said.

" ... [HCC] is a great place to be. The leadership is just superb. I've had nothing but the most positive experience with everyone there."

Rensin earned a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University, where she majored in psychology as well as speech and language pathology/ audiology. She then earned dual master's degrees in speech and language pathology and audiology at Syracuse University.

Rensin is also a volunteer tutor to adults with learning disabilities for Howard County Project Literacy. Previously, she served on the board of directors for the Domestic Violence Center for Howard County, was design chairwoman for the Historic Ellicott City Show House, and she provided in-court advocacy for the Domestic Violence Unit of the Howard County state's attorney's office.

Rensin lives in Glenwood with her husband, Howard. She has four grown children and one granddaughter.

Because they are completing the terms of previous trustees, Hutt's term will end in June 2006, and Rensin's term will conclude in June 2007.

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