Dr. Celeste M. Schwartz
Vice President of Information Technology and Institutional Effectiveness
Celeste M. Schwartz currently serves as Vice President of Information Technology and Institutional Effectiveness at Montgomery Community College. Her relationship with the College dates back more than 50 years to when she earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in computer science in 1970. She’s worked in several roles at the College, including as an adjunct faculty member and Chief Information Officer. Today, her leadership ensures the College’s information and technology strategies provide a modern learning environment.
Celeste brings a deep commitment to supporting students and their success to her current leadership role. She believes in collaboration and working together to solve problems and is very transparent and honest when sharing her perspective. She’s fearless about change. In the information technology world, change is constant, and she embraces it and brings this perspective to the conversation. Celeste loves the College’s mission and sees the school as an organization that can help propel people to have a better life or maintain a good life. It gives lots of people first chances and even second chances.
In 2018, Celeste received the prestigious national EDUCAUSE Leadership Award – EDUCAUSE’s highest recognition for individual achievement. The annual award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has a significant and positive impact on advancing the theory and practice of information technology in higher education. Celeste was the third recipient from a community college and was among only a few women selected for this honor in this mostly male-dominated career field. In 2020, Celeste received the distinct honor of being appointed – not elected – to serve on the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors, which is made up primarily of representatives from large private and public four-year universities. She is also the namesake for the Dr. Celeste Schwartz Legacy Fund, which provides scholarships to students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics programs.
Celeste attended four colleges or universities – Montgomery County Community College, St. Joseph’s University, Villanova University and Walden University, where she earned a PhD in higher education administration. At both Montgomery County Community College and Walden, she had mentors who were influential in her educational and career success, particularly since she is a female working in the predominantly male career of IT. In turn, she has mentored numerous students and staff members at the College and takes pride in the fact that more than a third of IT employees are alumni of the College. She also mentors aspiring technology leaders both locally and nationally. She serves on many boards and committees focused on education in Montgomery County and beyond. In her spare time, Celeste enjoys spending time at the beach, cooking and getting together with friends and family for dinner at her home or theirs, as well as spending time with her sons and grandchildren.
Her advice to students is to never give up. “When times get tough, keep believing in yourself. You can do this. Persistence is the difference between success and almost making it. Your education is an investment – make the time to learn as much as you can, and you will accomplish your goals.”