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Outstanding Community College Awardees

Help us celebrate our 2023 Outstanding Community Colleges Award winners. The awardees were celebrated at the inaugural Convention and Tradeshow on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.


In 2023, we had four competitive awards that Community Colleges were able to submit nominations for. Nominations were reviewed by a committee and one winner was selected per award category. Congratulations to our competitive award winners!

Outstanding Equity and Inclusion Award

This award is given to a project, program, or group at one of Iowa’s community colleges that demonstrates commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Revathi and LaShawna Revathi Vongsiprasom and LaShawna Moyle, Western Iowa Tech Community College

Revathi and LaShawna, two exceptional individuals at Western Iowa Technical College, embody the spirit of outstanding equity and inclusion. Their tireless dedication to fostering an environment of acceptance and diversity deserves recognition. Revathi, with her unwavering commitment to inclusion, has made the campus a more welcoming place for students from all walks of life. Her advocacy for underrepresented groups and her ability to bridge cultural gaps have enriched the college experience for everyone. LaShawna, equally remarkable, has worked diligently to break down barriers and promote equity. Her initiatives to ensure equal access to resources and opportunities have empowered students of diverse backgrounds to thrive academically and personally. Together, Revathi and LaShawna have not only created an atmosphere of acceptance but also set an example for their peers. Their collaborative efforts have sparked meaningful conversations about the importance of equity and inclusion, inspiring positive change throughout the college community. In honoring Revathi and LaShawna with the Outstanding Equity and Inclusion Award, we celebrate their dedication to making Western Iowa Technical College a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place for all. They serve as beacons of hope and progress in our educational journey of other DEI-supportive actions and activities. She is simply most deserving of the highest recognition.

Outstanding Business and Industry Award 

This award is given to a business or industry partner (for-profit or non-profit) of one of Iowa’s Community Colleges who has gone above and beyond to impact students and their community.

Kimball and Beecher Group Kimball and Beecher Group, Hawkeye Community College

Dr. Beecher is an industry partner at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, who has gone above and beyond to impact students and the community where he grew up. Dr. Beecher returned to the Cedar Valley after college to build a dental practice and has expanded that practice to multiple locations that serve both urban and rural Iowa residents. In addition to owning and operating a large multi-practice dental business, Dr. Beecher has supervised Hawkeye students in both the dental assisting and dental hygiene clinics as they learn to become dental professionals in the live-patient care setting on the main campus. The Kimball and Beecher Group also works collaboratively with iSmile, a subsidiary of the Black Hawk County Department of Public Health, in providing annual free dental care to kids days each February. The group also participates in Life 101.9's Christmas Wish, KWWL Tools for Schools, 1650 AM's Scoring for Charity, and donates dental care items to House of Hope, the Salvation Army, and the Boy's and Girl's Club.

Outstanding Innovation Award 

This award is given to a project or program innovation at one of Iowa’s community colleges that demonstrates commitment to innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement.

TechWise Program TechWise Program, Des moines area Community College

DMACC partnered with TalentSprint and Google to offer a unique training opportunity for students in the TechWise Program.  DMACC computer science students are selected and participate in 18 months of professionally lead training for about 10-15 hours a week that supplements traditional coursework.  During the training, Google software engineers serve as mentors and students are exposed to a number of high-level projects and tasks, while given great supports and instruction from leaders in the industry.  The program follows a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mission and supports students all over the country.  DMACC currently graduated 13 students in the first cohort this fall and currently has 38 students participating in the second cohort.  Of the 8 partners, DMACC has the highest number of students participating.  The training is free and all students are awarded $5,000 to participate. DMACC anticipates a third cohort early this spring.


Outstanding Alumni Award 

This award is given to a graduate of any of Iowa’s Community Colleges who has shown leadership and commitment to their community.

Anthony Coloff Anthony (Tony) Coloff, North Iowa Area Community College

Tony Coloff has never met a stranger. When you meet him, you walk away thinking you’ve gained a good friend. At NIACC, we refer to Tony as “Mr. NIACC” as he shares his passion and love of NIACC with anyone he encounters. Not only does he support NIACC, but he is a champion for all community colleges. Tony is a 1962 graduate of NIACC’s predecessor Mason City Junior College. He has served on the NIACC Alumni Advisory Board since 2004, demonstrating 20 years of dedicated service and recruiting and promoting the College. Tony and his wife Sue have been generous supporters of the Alumni Association’s annual Pathways to Success, provided annual scholarships, and supported the Keeping NIACC First campaign to help build the STEM center. Time, talent, and treasure – Tony gives it all. 



Outstanding Faculty Award

All 15 Community Colleges were invited to recognize an outstanding faculty member from their campus.

Jacob Krapfl

 Jacob Krapfl, Northeast Iowa Community College

Since joining Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) as a communications faculty in 2011, Jacob Krapfl has distinguished himself as an instructor, student advocate, and colleague. Jacob served as a Sergeant in the United States Army 82nd Airborne Division, initiating a student veterans’ group upon joining NICC.  Jacob is a leader in the College’s assessment initiatives, and has providing training to faculty and administration in the intricacies of effective assessment. In addition, he has represented the College on accreditation site visits and has served as an editor for past HLC porfolios.  A 2008 graduate of NICC, Jacob was inducted into the NICC Alumni Hall of Fame in 2010, an honor bestowed on those who have excelled in personal and professional endeavors beyond graduation.  In 2012 President Obama awarded Jacob a Presidential Challenge Coin, the highest ranking “challenge coin” within the military and veteran culture for his advocacy against mental health stigma among veterans.  Jacob received the 2017 NICC Outstanding Faculty Award, being nominated by his peers for his dedication to students and his work supporting student veterans.


Heather DeWaard-Flickinger

 Heather dewaard-flickinger, North Iowa area Community College

It is our honor to nominate Heather DeWaard-Flickinger for the Community Colleges for Iowa Faculty Award. Heather is active on college-wide committees, champions new initiatives, and embraces challenges through collaboration and the pursuit of excellence. As CETL Director and advocate for mental health and college wellness, Heather regularly plans professional development to support new initiatives. In addition, Heather leads the physical fitness and wellness program, engages with regional colleagues to develop conference opportunities, and takes time to make the rounds on campus to check in on the well-being of colleagues. With Heather, there are no obligations or boxes to be checked, only a genuine desire to make a positive impact.  Our college mission is about enriching lives, and this nomination is a testament to Heather's efforts in fulfilling that mission each day. Her work matters, and we would like to recognize her outstanding contribution and dedication. 


Michael Gengler

 michael gengler, Iowa lakes Community College

Mike Gengler is the Wind Energy Program Coordinator and lead instructor at Iowa Lakes. Mike is a graduate of Iowa Lakes Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Program, and we consider ourselves fortunate that Mike returned to Iowa Lakes ten years ago to bring his industry experience and genuine commitment to the profession to the next generation of Wind Energy Techs. Because of his breadth of knowledge in the sustainable energy industry, Mike’s impact reaches beyond his own program, with Mike sharing lecture load and conducting labs across four Sustainable Energy programs. Because of his reach and approachability, Mike is considered a communications liaison of sorts between students and other program leads. It's no surprise that Mike’s colleagues describe him as dedicated, student-centered, and highly respected by his peers and students alike.


Karla Harris

 Karla harris, Northwest Iowa Community College

Karla Harris started in NCC’s Academic Center, helping students in various subjects.  She worked her way up to a math instructor role.  The strategies she learned in her K-12 teacher and Academic Center days helped students complete their math course when they felt the math barrier would beat them.  Students in trade programs were shown how math applies to them.  She talks to their program instructors in order for the students to have the best experience and support they need to succeed.  This past year, Karla has also stepped up in various subjects as she has filled a role with extra time spent in our Alternative High School.  She takes students where they are and encourages them to move forward in life and school.  We are glad she is a part of NCC.


Jennifer Dutcher

 Jennifer Dutcher, Iowa Central Community College

Jennifer Dutcher, Assistant Professor and Coordinator for Visual Arts, is as dedicated to arts and science transfer students as career and technical students in the creative arts. She actively engages in professional development, focused on cutting edge technical and artistic skills. Her talents benefit our campus and online students. Her students engage in service learning projects, field trips, and cultural components, experiences that build the connections to community and diverse perspectives. She works collaboratively with other faculty to produce student show experiences and similar opportunities for high school art students. She explores community education learning classes and hosts creative workshops for students as stress-relieving activities before finals week. She can organize and prepare any event for any group. Her dedication to our College and community is visible in her presence at events and activities. If anyone exceeds expectations and exemplifies Triton Pride, it’s Jennifer.


Mark Monroe

 Mark Monroe, Iowa Valley Community College District

Mark Monroe joined Marshalltown Community College full time in 2005 and retired last May. During his career he taught most of the math courses offered by MCC as well as some business computer courses.  Mark has been an outstanding faculty member among both his college peers and his students.  His courses were generally the first to fill, and he took pride in helping every student learn.  Mark supported many initiatives and programs over the years, but his greatest contribution was his leadership with the Student Learning Assessment Committee.  He championed assessment initiatives and helped IVCCD evolve its assessment program.  Mark's contributions to learning and innovative teaching strategies make him an excellent example as an Outstanding Faculty Award recipient. 


John cockrell

 John Cockrell, Hawkeye Community College

John has 26 years of field experience as a paramedic, firefighter, and critical care paramedic. John holds a master's degree in Adult Education and Training from Colorado State University, and a BA in Social Sciences from Ashford University. He is a regular speaker at State and National EMS conferences, and is a content expert and exam editor for Pocket Prep. He works part-time as a critical care paramedic at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids in the Emergency Department, and serves on the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association Board of Directors. John has led numerous EMS education initiatives at the State level, and serves an EMS accreditation site visitor for CoAEMSP. In addition, John created an articulation agreement with NIACC to provide EMS education to students. John’s guiding quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”—Nelson Mandela 


Barb Nichol

 Barb Nichol, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

EICC established the title of Distinguished Faculty to recognize faculty members who demonstrate significant contribution to the student success and completion goals of the District. Barb Nichol is the Dental Assisting Program Director and is a three-time awardee of the prestigious Distinguished Faculty Award at EICC. She is a subject matter expert in her field, and is also an advocate for her community and students. Barb has established an annual scholarship for a dental assisting student, spearheads volunteer projects, is an authorized remediator and selflessly serves her colleagues with the same commitment. Barb has been appointed as a National Site Visitor for the Commission on Dental Accreditation and as a District Trustee for the Iowa Dental Assisting Association and to the I-Smiles Workgroup Board. Barb is a passionate educator and life-long learner who exemplifies what it means to achieve overall excellence in the field of teaching and learning.


Shaunda Clark

 Shaunda Clark, Kirkwood Community College

Shaunda Clark is the founding program director for the dental hygiene program at Kirkwood Community College. She developed and maintains a highly successful program.  This past academic year she chaired and lead all three of the Kirkwood's dental programs through a challenging and rigorous accreditation process with the Commission on Dental Accreditation.  In addition, to the accreditation, the three dental programs have gone through significant modification and change in programming and staff.  Shaunda lead or participated in all events surrounding hiring, report completion, and mentoring.  Due to her leadership in these areas, she was asked to serve on the successful  committee for Kirkwood's Presidential search in 2023.


Carrie Morris

 Carrie Morris, des moines area Community College

Professor Morris has contributed to DMACC in exemplary ways. In addition to maintaining a rigorous teaching schedule that includes daytime and evening hours, she provides additional opportunities for her students that are critical to their success, hosting Spanish conversation groups to help her students gain language fluency, rearranging her schedule to meet one-on-one with students, and actively supporting the ELL program at the Urban campus. In addition, Professor Morris has a far-reaching record of service to the college and to her profession. An active leader in DMACC HEA throughout her time at DMACC, she has been a tireless advocate for faculty. She has served on several collegewide committees, presented at conferences on best practices in language instruction, and, most recently, has served as founding Co-Chair of DMACC’s College Council, a shared governance body that brings faculty and staff together in equal partnership to provide input on college practices and policies.


Jessica Thompson

 Jessica Thompson, Western iowa tech Community College

Jessica Thompson has been a nursing faculty at Western Iowa Tech Community College for over 15 years. During this time, she has consistently delivered innovative instruction that prepares high quality nurses for our community. She displays professionalism and equity to all students and colleagues. She is always accessible and approachable to students and peers serving a positive role model and mentoring several new faculty members over the years. Jessica was one of two nursing faculty members that started the Nursing Club over 11 years ago and has since served as the co-faculty advisory. She has spent countless hours assisting students to support the community and college through volunteerism and donations. Jessica is actively involved with several college committees and has served on the Head Start and Early Head Start Health Services Advisory Board. Jessica immerses herself in her profession through continuous life-long learning. Student evaluations reflect admiration for her caring demeanor in the classroom and at clinical sites.  Jessica is an exceptional educator that is deserving of this recognition.


Alan Fredericksen

 Alan Fredericksen, Iowa Western Community College

Alan demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the Iowa Western community. Over the last few years, Alan has built a reputation for being an exceptional instructor, colleague, and employee. Alan takes it upon himself to provide excellent support and service to new faculty and staff. The culture of learning established within his classroom sets clearly defined, high expectations for students. Alan cultivates a student-centered classroom that fosters creativity, expression, leadership, and empathy. Alan has mastered the elusive art of being firm but fair, having rules yet maintaining relationships, all while building a supportive environment for students to be successful. This has led to high retention rates for Alan’s students. Alan is a natural leader who is cheerful and inclusive. He is always ready with a joke or smile to bring positivity to every situation. There is no better example of an outstanding teacher than Alan.


Deborah Roberts

 Deborah roberts, SouthWestern Community College

It is with great pleasure Southwestern Community College recommends Mrs. Deborah Roberts as a recipient of the outstanding faculty member award. Mrs. Roberts has served as a full-time mathematics instructor for the college since August 2015. Prior to serving as a full-time instructor at Southwestern, Mrs. Roberts taught mathematics for two local school districts, Lenox and Southwest Valley, from 1994 to 2015. In 2009, she began teaching concurrent enrollment courses for Southwest Valley High School through Southwestern Community College. Additionally, while at Southwest Valley, Mrs. Roberts was selected multiple times as a most influential teacher for the Governor’s Scholar Recognition program. Mrs. Roberts’ pathway to education was non-traditional. She began her college career at Southwestern Community College, earning an Associate of Arts degree in 1990, and she then earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 1993 from Northwest Missouri State University.  In 2003, Mrs. Roberts earned a masters in school mathematics from Iowa State University. Throughout her career, Mrs. Roberts has been a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and she has served as committee member for academic review and Quality Faculty Plan. She has consistently exceeded expectations as she works diligently to ensure student needs are met. Perhaps her most incredible attribute is Mrs. Roberts’ commitment to student success. She regularly meets with students outside of class hours to offer them additional support to make sure that they understand their math lessons. Students will even continue to come to her for math help after they have finished her classes. It is for these reasons Southwestern Community College is pleased to recommend Mrs. Deb Roberts as a recipient of the Community Colleges for Iowa outstanding faculty member award. 


Andy Summers

 Andy Summers, Indian Hills Community College

Andy Summers is a faculty member in the Automotive Technology program at Indian Hills CC.  He has served in his role since 2008 and is a well-known and respected faculty leader across our college community.  In 2020, Andy became a Teaching & Learning Specialist:  an additional role held by only 4 FT faculty to help support and provide guidance to the whole community at Indian Hills. Andy has led the Auto Tech program to one of the most innovative programs in teaching methodology in the nation.  While undergoing ASE certification, the practices established under Andy’s guidance have been adopted as best practices. Not only is Andy a strong faculty member, he serves as the College’s Title IX Deputy Coordinator, and has handled that role in a caring and professional manner since 2017.  Andy is a 1998 IHCC alumnus and lives in the IHCC region with his family in the home he built himself.  He plays the bass guitar locally and is a staple of the IHCC faculty & staff chorus.  We are proud to have Andy Summers as part of the Indian Hills family.



Julie MeyerJulie Meyer, Southeastern Community College

Julie Meyer is the Librarian for the Karre Memorial Library at Southeastern Community College’s Keokuk Campus. She holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Carl Sandburg College, a Bachelors of Art Degree from Western Illinois University, and a Master’s Degree of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. She has served Southeastern Community College for 20 years. Julie has been the Chair of the CREW Committee (Celebrating and Recognizing Employee Work) since its inception. The purpose of this committee is to encourage employee recognition at SCC. She led the Committee’s creation of the five “I Am Excellence” annual awards and the team “We Are Excellence” annual awards. She was instrumental in initiating the Monthly Celebration Calendars and the Employee Spotlights. Julie is co-chair of the Quality Team that promotes a culture of continuous improvement. She chaired the Copyright Committee that developed two new Administrative Guidelines and serves on many other committees.


Outstanding Staff Award

All 15 Community Colleges were invited to recognize an outstanding staff member from their campus.

Daniel Neenan

 Daniel Neenan, Northeast Iowa Community College

Dan Neenan has served as the Director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), located on the Northeast Iowa Community College Peosta Campus, since 2002.    Under his leadership, NECAS manages and provides safety training and rescue programming aimed at preventing illnesses, injuries and deaths among farmers and ranchers, agricultural and horticultural workers, their families and their employees.  NECAS training is credited with saving 35 lives to date.  In addition to providing training locally, nationally, and internationally, Dan coordinates national health and safety awareness and advocacy programming, including National Grain Bin Safety Week and National Farm Safety and Health Week.  In 2017 Dan was honored for 25 years of service with the Epworth, IA Volunteer Fire Department where he continues to serve as a volunteer  Paramedic/Lieutenant, and in 2021 he received the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) Educator Award.


Dr. Shelly Schmit

 Dr. Shelly Schmit, North Iowa area Community College

It is my pleasure to write in support of Dr. Shelly Schmit’s nomination for the Community College for Iowa Outstanding Staff Award. Shelly serves as the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Organization Development at NIACC. She is responsible for human resources, professional development, institutional research, accreditation, and a variety of other duties. Shelly has many outstanding qualities, including one of the strongest work ethics I have observed in my 33-year administrative career. Shelly is a tireless worker who, because of our size, is responsible for many significant functions of the College. She has provided leadership and technical expertise to NIACC for 26 years. 

Kathy Muller

 Kathy Muller, Iowa lakes Community College

Kathy has served as an employee at Iowa Lakes Community College since 1979 serving in her current role since 2016.  Kathy has always put both students and employees first while having a servant heart.  Responsibilities have included dealing with all employee issues, employment law, benefits, compliance, supervision of human resources staff, and title IX co-coordinator.  Kathy's knowledge, level of professionalism, and ability to communicate make her worthy of this award.  


Alicia Van Horsen

 Alicia Van Horsen, Northwest Iowa Community College

Alicia Van Horsen has been an integral part of our college for many years.  Her expertise in our Learning Management System, CANVAS, keeps our students connected, faculty supported, and staff serving students.  She takes the initiative in creating processes, revising procedures, and ensuring compliance.  Alicia understands our systems so well yet is a warm and gentle guide when helping those who are not as familiar.  Alicia has led the way in new processes for our assessment collecting and reporting.  Doing this work, she helps all on-campus keep pushing the needle forward.  Alicia is a steady voice for keeping students' costs low as she works with our digital books and resources because she knows students need the knowledge at a respectable cost.  At NCC, we have values of success and service, and Alicia takes all steps in order to provide guidance to make sure we are living those values.  

Dr. Stacy Mentzer

 Dr. Stacy mentzer, Iowa Central Community College

Dr. Stacy Mentzer, Vice President of Instruction, leads her academic division by example. Bringing her faculty experience from the Medical Lab Technician program through Institutional Effectiveness, she blends her experience into an efficient knowledge base that allows her to serve Iowa Central students with a broad perspective focused on student success. She led her deans and faculty through a pandemic, staying connected and supportive through virtual learning challenges and opportunities that maintained our positive impact on learning. She has initiated assessment, curriculum, and catalog software implementations and is responsible for recent grant awards, new learning space designs, and institutional data and reporting. Her research interests complement her roles with accreditation, shared governance, and strategic planning. She does not shy from any new directive and opportunity. Dr. Mentzer is a collaborator and mentor whose integrity, accountability, and passion define her and accomplishments.

Honoria Balogh

Honoria Balogh, Iowa Valley Community College District

Honoria Balogh has been an employee at Ellsworth Community College for over twenty years and moved to the Dean of Academic Affairs role from faculty just over a year ago.  She has been involved in the Higher Learning Commission’s Assessment Academy for the past five years which has made her an incredible asset in her current role.  She has taken what she learned in the classroom and applied it to the work she is carrying out and gained the trust of her faculty colleagues.  She is also a natural leader in her work with our local high schools and our business partners in our community.  In the short time she has been in the Dean of Academic Affairs role, she has made a significant impact on the growth and overall success of our campus.


Nick Landmesser

 Nick Landmesser, Hawkeye Community College

I nominate Nick Landmesser, Director of Transitional Programs, for the Staff award due to his diligence and hard work supporting students. Nick Landmesser is the Director of Transitional Programs at Hawkeye Community College. In this role, Nick oversees the Student Tutoring and Computer (STC) Lab which assists students by offering tutoring, computer support, and Supplemental Instruction. Nick also has oversight of the student development and work-based learning courses, the Western and Independence Outreach Centers, and the Hawkeye Career Connections program. Nick started at Hawkeye in 2014, as a Retention Specialist working with developmental education students. Prior to that, he spent five years working in residence life at the University of Dubuque and the University of Northern Iowa. Nick graduated from Iowa State University and earned his M.Ed. in 2009. “I believe that every student can be successful and it is a privilege to be part of that journey when working with our students at Hawkeye.” - Nick Landmesser


Kelsey Snyder

Kelsey Snyder, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

The Connie Campbell Award is given annually to a faculty or staff member who demonstrates a sincere commitment to exceptional service to both internal and external customers. Nominations for this year’s recipient, Kelsey Snyder, came from both staff and faculty. Kelsey, a Computer Technology Support Specialist, goes above and beyond for the staff and students of Clinton Community College.  She goes the extra mile and is always willing to help when needed, is always courteous, kind, professional and has a work ethic that motivates others. If she does not know the answer, she will find the answer within minutes and get back to you. Colleagues have said, “Kelsey knows her stuff and is always genuine when listening to my concerns and issues and never makes me feel like I am asking a stupid question.  She took time out of her day to help set up for an event off campus.” 

Cassandra Brown

 Cassandra"cassie" Brown, Kirkwood Community College

Cassie manages the team of financial aid advisors who provide assistance to students who have a range of enrollment and financial aid related questions. Cassie provides exemplary leadership of the team to help ensure students are well served. Often times, the work of assisting students with complex processes, like financial aid, is challenging and tests the patience of the students served and the staff who provide service. Cassie is creative, dedicated and thoughtful. She leads both by example and through her decision-making when guiding her team. She is supportive of the team professional development, and she directs resources accordingly to demonstrate her commitment to the team’s growth and success. Her work as a leader in building a strong team has a major impact on the quality of service overall and the success of students. The student services operations at Kirkwood have changed tremendously, especially as a result of the pandemic and with the opening of the new student center. Cassie has shown she is adaptable and able to manage the challenges that come with significant change, while also ensuring continuity of services for our students. Finally, Cassie is a servant leader. She regularly handles the most challenging student financial aid and enrollment related concerns. She provides firm guidance and compassion when working with students who are angry, upset, or frustrated, which is not an unusual circumstance in this line of work. Cassie is a strong contributor and leader who is most worthy of this recognition. 

Jen Wollesen

 Jen Wollesen, des moines area Community College

Jen Wollesen serves as Carroll Area Career Advantage Site Coordinator, Templeton Regional Center Site Director, Carroll Regional LCAN Director.  She has recently finished a successful Local College Access Network Grant (LCAN) improving a number of outcomes for our 10 partner high schools in our area, including increasing FAFSA completion and decreasing summer melt.  Additionally, Jen Wollesen wrote and received a Career Academy Incentive Fund (CAIF) grant for $1,000,000.  The grant was used to build a new center in Templeton, Iowa for four underserved school districts, creating new Career Academies and both CTE and liberal arts college courses for area students.  The project was completed on time and on budget.  The Carroll Campus has experienced 40.6% in face-to-face dual-credit credit hours since last fall, and 93.6% increase in Templeton.  This is a direct result of Jen Wollesen’s work building relationships, recruiting consistently, and establishing new, exciting programming for our partner schools.

Anthony Coloff

 Mike logan, Western iowa tech Community College

Mike Logan, retired Dean of IT and current consultant at Western Iowa Tech Community College, is an innovator and leader in the field of technology.  During his time as Dean of IT, Mike transformed the WITCC IT department to one of service to students and staff.  Instead of saying "maybe" or "no" to a request, Mike said, "Let's figure out a way to make this work."  Because of his in-depth research and planning skills, along with his vision and decision-making ability, the College has become a leader in technology.  Our students have been given distinct advantages which help to narrow the digital divide. Mike has a reputation on a national level as being a leader who is the first to try new things.  He serves on numerous national boards including the Ellucian Advisory Council, Zoom's Higher Ed Council, and Apple Education Higher Ed Council.


Libby Woods

Libby woods, Iowa Western Community College

Libby oversees both Continuing Education and Adult Education at Iowa Western Community College.  In that role, she oversees 13 grant programs that serve the underserved populations of SW Iowa.  These include ESL, low income, HiSET and more.  Libby creates and maintaining high quality programming and she does it with the focus of helping other individuals.  She creates a team around her to consider what success looks like in uplifting these lives.  Besides her role at Iowa Western she also works and chairs multiple state committees.  She also maintains a work life balance as she has a husband and two young children.  


Denise Kelley

 Denise Kelley, SouthWestern Community College

It is with great pleasure that Southwestern Community College nominates Denise Kelley as a recipient of the Community Colleges for Iowa Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award. Denise has served at Southwestern for nearly 30 years in the business office, and throughout her time, she has been a steady, consistent, and dedicated employee, colleague, mentor, and leader. Denise has played an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the college, working an insurmountable number of hours, often being the first one to arrive on campus and the last to leave campus. As a result of her diligent efforts, she is very well-respected by her colleagues college-wide. Prior to her career at Southwestern, Denise was a student at Southwestern herself, earning both an office occupations information specialist degree and an associate of science degree in accounting. Denise began her career as a part-time accounting clerk at the college in 1994. After a short-time, Denise moved into a full-time accountant/accounts payable position. She served in this role until 1999 when she was promoted to budget accountant. In this position, she carried an enormous amount of responsibility of preparing and tracking the budget for the college, ensuring all accounts are adjusted and balanced, overseeing the month-end and year-end close, and preparing materials for the year-end audit. In 2018, Denise was once again promoted. Now serving as the controller, Denise is often stretched in many directions, however, no matter how much she has on her plate, she makes sure every one of her staff member’s needs are met. Throughout her career, Denise has navigated several key leadership changes within her division and the college overall. During these transitions, Denise has often taken on additional responsibilities to support the college and has always operated with the college’s best interest in mind. During times of transition, Denise has also been instrumental in assisting with the onboarding of the college’s Chief Financial Officer position. In addition to taking on formal duties, staff members often turn to Denise for support and guidance during uncertain times. It is for these reasons Southwestern Community College is pleased to recommend Denise Kelley as this year’s nomination for the Community Colleges of Iowa Staff Member of the Year Award. 

Dr. Brett Monaghan

 Dr. Brett Monaghan, Indian Hills Community College

Dr. Brett Monaghan serves at Indian Hills Community College as Vice President, Student Development and Operations. During his tenure at Indian Hills, Brett has proved to be someone who will do anything to support the mission of Indian Hills and the students we serve. Brett has led many initiatives at Indian Hills during his time that have made a profound difference in the lives of our students on-campus, other Iowa community colleges, and community colleges across the United States. During 2020, Indian Hills was the first community college in Iowa to start women's wrestling. Brett is a champion for the sport of women's wrestling helping other AD's in Iowa start their programs and he serves as the NJCAA Women's Wrestling Committee Chair. Due to Brett's work, there has been significant growth in women's wrestling at Iowa community colleges and across the country. His dedication to our student-athletes has led Indian Hills to start the program as three-time National Champions in Women's Wrestling. Beyond women's wrestling Dr. Monaghan serves as the Region 11 Women's Chair, NJCAA Division 1 Softball Committee Chair, and on NJCAA Governance Committee. 

Keri MercerKeri Mercer, Southeastern Community College

Keri has been employed as SCC’s Help Desk Manager for over 6 years and consistently provides outstanding customer service to our students, staff and community.  Keri excels in many areas such as supervision, project management, communication and the ability to manage the requirements of a fast paced, complex environment.  Keri has a positive attitude towards everyone she encounters and goes beyond the call to ensure students, faculty and staff have the technical resources they need to be successful.  Keri is well-respected throughout the College and has the unique ability to make everyone comfortable even during stressful situations.

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