College announces new School of Energy dean

Pendergrass says Wickman’s experience will help guide School of Energy to meet work force needs in energy industry

Leigh Black Irvin

FARMINGTON — San Juan College officials announced today that a new dean for the college’s School of Energy has been selected and will begin working at the end of January.

Barbara Wickman

The new dean, Barbara Wickman, has extensive experience working in the energy industry, including serving as a geologist and business analyst for the Mobil Oil Company before serving as president and chief operating officer for the Red Willow Production Company, according to a release from the college. Wickman also has served as president and COO of the Aka Energy Group and assistant operations director for the Southern Ute Growth Fund.

Wickman holds a bachelor's degree in geology from Princeton University, as well as a master’s degree in geology from Texas A&M and an MBA from the University of Denver. She is currently founder and president of the Bayfield Education Foundation, an organization supporting educational opportunities in and around the community.

Wickman was unable to provide a statement today to The Daily Times due to family issues, but said in the college press release, “I am excited to be offered the opportunity to join the San Juan College staff. I have been extremely impressed with the knowledge, sincerity and forward-looking energy of everyone I have met on campus, as well as the high-quality facilities and programs. I am especially looking forward to working in this dynamic environment, helping students to achieve their educational and career goals, and assisting industry partners meet their workforce needs.”

In her capacity as School of Energy dean, Wickman will oversee programs such as industrial maintenance mechanic, industrial process operator, instrumentation and controls technology, advanced petroleum production operations, occupational safety, commercial driver’s license trucking, and the Tribal Energy Management Institute.

“We are pleased Barbara has accepted the position, as she will serve as a great asset to San Juan College and the School of Energy,” said Dr. Barbara Ake, the college’s vice president for learning, in the release. “Her extensive experience in project management, operations, accounting and broad scope of knowledge in the energy industry will serve the college, our students, community and energy partners well.”

SJC President Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass said in the release that Wickman’s experience will help guide the School of Energy to meet work force needs in the energy industry as the community faces economic challenges.

“Our top priority at San Juan College is our students’ success,” Pendergrass said in the release. “Barbara’s extraordinary academic background, knowledge of the industry and commitment to education will enhance and further these initiatives.”

The college plans to announce a community meet-and-greet session for Wickman at a later date.

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 564-4621.