Dr. Kemper-Pelle is a first-generation college graduate who started her post-secondary education at a community college. She transferred to Illinois State University where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biological Sciences. She conducted marine research for 5 years at McNeese State University before discovering her passion for teaching. After moving to Texas, she reconnected with her community college roots, serving as a faculty member at Lone Star College for 14 years before realizing that community college leadership was her career pathway. In 2005, she earned her Doctorate in Education at The University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Community College Leadership. She immediately moved into progressively higher administrative roles that led her to southern Oregon. What drew Cathy to RCC is its reputation for focusing on students, innovation, and managing its resources wisely. She began her presidency at RCC on July 1, 2016.
Cathy currently serves on the board of directors for SOREDI, Rogue Workforce Partnership, Grants Pass-Josephine County Chamber, and Medford-Jackson County Chamber.
Cathy is married to Robert Pelle, a retired systems engineer who is now an author and entrepreneur. Together they have five children and three grandchildren. Rob and Cathy are avid outdoor enthusiasts who fit in well in Southern Oregon. They regularly enjoy hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and photography.