Governor Kelly Appoints Alysia Johnston and Neelima Parasker to the Kansas Board of Regents, Reappoints Jon Rolph

TOPEKA – Governor Kelly today appointed Alysia Johnston and Neelima Parasker, and reappointed Jon Rolph to the Kansas Board of Regents.

“These three individuals are highly qualified, committed, and dedicated to ensuring our state’s post-secondary institutions remain top-notch,” Governor Kelly said. “I look forward to working with them and the entire Board of Regents as we continue to ensure Kansas’ higher education system is positioned to meet the needs of students, families, and businesses.”

Alysia Johnston has 37 years of experience in community college education. Johnston most recently served as the President for Fort Scott Community College, where she worked closely with the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Technical Education Authority. She served as Vice President for Academic Services for Coffeyville Community College from 2005 to 2015, where she was Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. Johnston earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Kansas State University and a Master of Science in Biology from Pittsburg State University.

Neelima Parasker is the President and Chief Executive Officer of SnapIT Solutions LLC, an innovative technology company providing IT services, software product development solutions, training, and staffing. With more than 20 years of experience in IT, Parasker has held many leadership positions. She is a Board Member of KansasWorks State Workforce Board and served on the Community Development Advisory Council at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Parasker studied at Osmania University, India, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She later earned her Master of Science in Computer Science from Oklahoma City University.

Jon Rolph currently serves as chair of the board and was originally appointed in 2019. Rolph is President and CEO of Thrive Restaurant Group, which owns and operates more than 50 restaurants across 10 different states. Rolph was a two-time Student Body President at Baylor University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduating, Rolph worked with college student leaders as an intern for the National Student Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. He returned to Kansas in 2002 to work in the family-owned businesses.

The Kansas Board of Regents is a bipartisan, nine-member board composed of members who serve for a staggered period of four years. Each member is appointed by the Governor, and subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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