The OJC Advisory Council exists to advise the college president and the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education on the long-term educational needs of the area served by the college.
OJC's Advisory Council consists of community representatives from the service area of Bent, Otero and Crowley Counties. Council members serve as advisers on the long-term educational needs of the area and promote the college's programs and services among the communities in its service area. In addition, the Council serves as liaison between the college and area employers, local school boards, county commissioners, and other local officials and groups to facilitate identification of employment, training and educational needs of the community.
Yolanda Avalos is from Durango, CO where she has had her Accounting Business for over 38 years. Her profession and objection is as a consultant and provides businesses with all their financial/accounting responsibilities. Currently she is working as a Consultant with the Small Business Development Center to aid in the growth for the community in the small business sector. Ms. Avalos is a born native of La Junta, CO, she is fluent in the Spanish language and attended OJC. As a member of the Advisory Council she is looking forward to helping the future of Otero Jr College. She is excited to be back near her family that reside in the area and looks forward to helping the community has a whole.
Margaret Grasmick was appointed to the OJC Advisory Council in February of 2020. She is a retired elementary teacher with a passion for education. She has worked in this area for over 25 years and has a comprehensive understanding of the valley and OJC’s service area. She is involved with the Rocky Ford City Council, Rocky Ford Chamber of Commerce, as well as being a member of the Rocky Ford Parish Council.
Duane is a presently a Community Organizer with The Colorado Trust in southeast Colorado. He was a first-generation college student who grew up in Rocky Ford, and completed concurrent enrollment courses at OJC while in high school. This gives him unique perspectives on the experiences of our local students. As a result of his experience, he has a deep commitment to supporting the needs of our local diverse students. He is committed to stay in Rocky Ford and wants to be involved in the community.
Mr. Gurulé completed a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in Computer Information Systems. He is participating currently in the Latino Leadership Institute Fellowship with the University of Denver.
He is actively engaged in local community service organizations such as Communities That Care, and the Small Town Project. In addition, his experience as Chairman of the Policy Council for the OJC Child Development Services will be helpful. Duane is very enthusiastic about this opportunity and looking forward to contributing to our mission.
Andrew Huffman was appointed to the OJC Advisory Council in March 2019. He is a Vice President of First National Bank of Las Animas in charge of Audit and Compliance. He has worked at the bank since 1998, bringing a strong business background. Huffman has served on a variety of committees and boards throughout his career representing Las Animas and Bent County.
Tarryn Johnson is a presently the Senior Deputy State Public Defender in La Junta. As a first-generation college student, she has a unique perspective on the college experience and can envision the same challenges that other first-generation students will have to tackle. As a result of her work, she has a keen sense of the heartbeat of the community, particularly some of our most vulnerable members. She is committed to staying in La Junta and is a great supporter of the community.
Beginning her educational journey at Adams State University, Tarryn obtained a bachelor’s degree in Government. She then finished Law School at Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, TX.
Ms. Johnson's relentless passion for equity and inclusion will serve as a great asset to our institution as a whole.
Jack Johnston has been a member of the OJC Advisory Council since May 2015. He is Chief Executive Officer of Southeast Colorado Power / SECOM and brings a strong background in economics and management. Johnston has served on many committees and boards throughout his career, including the Advisory Council for Pueblo Community College.