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Howard Community College President Named 2022 Influential Marylander

Dr. Daria J. Willis recognized by The Daily Record as a top education leader

The Daily Record named Dr. Daria J. Willis, president of Howard Community College, to its 2022 listing of Influential Marylanders. The honorees were selected by The Daily Record editors for their significant contributions to their respective fields and for their leadership in Maryland.

“Congratulations to Dr. Willis on this well-deserved honor,” said Christopher G. Marasco, chair of the board of trustees. “Your commitment to empowering students at Howard Community College is inspiring, and the board of trustees looks forward to continuing to work alongside you to lead the college into the future.”

“I am humbled that The Daily Record selected me as an Influential Marylander in my first year at Howard Community College,” said Dr. Daria J. Willis. “This award is a recognition of the trust placed in me by the college’s board of trustees and the outstanding work and dedication by the faculty, staff, and students at the college to accomplish our shared mission of providing pathways to success."

Dr. Daria Willis serves as the fifth president and first African American to lead Howard Community College. She assumed office in January 2022, following a nation-wide search process and a unanimous vote by the college's Board of Trustees. Dr. Willis has focused her first semester on diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring the college’s culture of care and belonging extends to all students and employees. To build an equitable academic foundation, she is leading the HCC Forward initiative to reorganize academic affairs and re-envision student success. An active social media user, Dr. Willis also launched her own Instagram Live series, “Conversations from the Couch,” to connect with the college community and Howard County.

The Daily Record launched Influential Marylanders in 2007 to recognize those who have made significant impacts in their field and continue to be leaders in Maryland.

"The 2022 Influential Marylanders are, quite simply, inspirational. Their hard work and dedication to their fields have changed the landscape of Maryland through their extraordinary efforts," said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, senior group publisher of The Daily Record. "They make a difference in communities throughout the state every day. The Daily Record congratulates this year's honorees."

The Influential Marylanders were honored at an evening awards celebration on July 28 in Cockeysville. For more information about the awards and a complete list of winners, visit

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