Emeritus Award

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) honored seven faculty and staff members with Emeritus Awards for 2019.

Begun in 2015, the award recognizes those retired and retiring faculty and staff who served lengthy careers of dedicated service to the college. To be considered, an individual must have served at least 15 years at EICC and made significant contributions to the college, communities and their disciplines or professions. 

“We are blessed to have a number of individuals who, over the course of long careers have far exceeded what is required of them and have helped to create the culture of high aspirations and high expectations EICC works to maintain and develop today,” said EICC Chancellor Don Doucette. “These individuals have given of themselves both personally and professionally to move the colleges forward and to ensure our students have the best possible higher education experience. The individuals we honor here tonight represent the very best of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges and are truly deserving of this recognition.”

Nominations are made by peers and supported by letters from colleagues, supervisors, students and community members. The nominations were reviewed by a selection committee that recommended recipients to the Chancellor with the final award bestowed by the EICC Board of Trustees.

Those recognized include both faculty and staff, and were employed at EICC’s Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community College campuses and other locations. The recipients include:

2019 Emeritus Recipients

Laurie AdolphLaurie Adolph
Staff Emeritus

Retired 2018 as EICC Dean of Curriculum, EICC District Office

For more than 30 years, Laurie Adolph has supported student success from all directions. From striving for excellence in her teaching as an English instructor at Clinton Community College, to effectively leading countless district initiatives, including assessment, accreditation and curriculum, Adolph has exemplified what it means to be a leader.

Adolph believes in the importance of EICC changing lives and communities, and her passion for this important work is evident in everything she does. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Adolph has led the way on many new initiatives that have made EICC an even better institution.

Described as a “forever teacher,” Adolph’s willingness to always share, encourage, and do whatever it takes to get the job done leaves a lasting imprint on the hearts and minds of everyone she encounters.

Mark AronsonMark Aronson
Faculty Emeritus

Retired May 2019 as Biology Instructor, Scott Community College

Mark Aronson has served as an environmental science instructor at Scott Community College for more than three decades, using his expertise to ignite a passion in students for stewardship of the outdoors.

An innovator in the classroom, Aronson has the led the way in new methods to actively engage students. His classes rarely take place inside the lab – instead students participated in hands-on field experiences, like a trip to the wastewater treatment plant or Nahant Marsh. Since 1988 he’s worked tirelessly with members of SCC’s Environmental Club to make the campus a more beautiful, sustainable place. He’s helped initiate a campus recycling program, planted a butterfly garden, installed numerous campus bio swales, created hiking trails, hosted campus speakers and organized off campus field trips.

His legacy will live on not only in the wonders of nature found throughout campus, but also in each and every student making an effort to protect and preserve the environment.

Russ DunnRuss (Armond) Dunn
Faculty Emeritus

Retired May 2019 as Biology Instructor, Scott Community College

Very few instructors reach the point where students use the word “hardest” and “best” in the same sentence when describing their class – but Scott Community College Biology Instructor Russ Dunn is one of the rare few.

Despite the sometimes difficult nature of his classes, his passion for science is contagious and serves to motivate students to learn and achieve beyond their own expectations. In his 30 plus years with EICC, he’s impacted countless students with his enthusiasm and commitment to professional development. Once a week without fail, he traveled to the University of Iowa to read the latest journals and publications, sharing what he’d learned with colleagues and students. In 2008, he created an Honors Seminar titled “The Biology of Cancer,” which has been taught repeatedly due to its popularity, especially among pre-health majors.

Beyond being a beloved and effective instructor, Russ has shown himself to be a selfless and caring person, helping students succeed by giving them a winter coat or a ride to class when their car was in the shop.

Cindy LaFrentzCindy LaFrentz
Staff Emeritus

Retiring in June as Purchasing Specialist, EICC District Office

During Cindy LaFrentz’s 40 plus years working in the EICC Business Office, her dedication, enthusiasm and positive disposition have impressed everyone who’s had the pleasure of working with her.

As the Purchasing Specialist for the district, she serves a vital role in its day-to-day operations - often handling a significant workload with the highest level of efficiency and professionalism. Over the years, the district has gone through many changes. From conversions to new computer systems to facility improvements to the recent move to SCC’s Urban Campus, LaFrentz has used her immense knowledge and talent to ensure a smooth transition.

In addition, she is the “go-to” person when it comes to all purchases and contracts and is always willing to lend a helping hand. That giving spirit extends far beyond her professional role, as she is often one of the first to volunteer for campaigns like United Way or Toys for Tots.

Brad ScottBrad Scott
Faculty Emeritus

Retired May 2019 as Culinary Arts Facilitator, Scott Community College

In the last 20 plus years, Chef Brad Scott has worked tirelessly building Scott Community College’s Culinary Arts Program into what it is today – a nationally recognized program that produces highly trained chefs every year.

A leader in culinary teaching, Scott has won numerous awards and been recognized for the extremely successful Culinary Arts Apprenticeship program, which even earned him a personal visit from former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. In 2010, he was instrumental in the creation of SCC’s state-of-the-art Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management facility.

With his vibrant personality and passion for cooking, he’s made a name for himself not only on campus but also in the community. He strongly believes in giving back and instills this commitment of community service in his students. He’s hosted dozens of charitable functions, televised cooking segments, and initiated a second chance program, giving students with a past criminal history a fresh start.

Brad Scott

Ron Serpliss
Staff Emeritus

Retired 2018 as Dean, Clinton Community College

Ron Serpliss came to EICC in 1997, first serving as the Dean of Students at Clinton Community College before assuming the role of Dean. An active listener, Serpliss served the college and students with great enthusiasm and incorporated their ideas and concerns into his planning.

Giving of his time and resources, he was always willing to help those in need. Whether that be paying for a student’s books or mentoring faculty. A forward thinker, innovator, and creator, Serpliss was the guiding handing in many campus improvement projects, especially library and classroom renovations. As plans were discussed for the library, it was his idea to carve out an Art Gallery. This addition has provided students, faculty, staff, and local artists a beautiful space to display their work.

The manner in which he served the faculty, staff and students helped create a college community that takes care of each other.

Paul WiltsPaul Wilts
Faculty Emeritus

Retired 2016 as Welding Instructor, Muscatine Community College 

In his 38 years as an instructor for Muscatine Community College, Paul Wilts exemplified EICC’s commitment to a culture of high aspirations and expectations. Initially hired to teach welding classes, when the program temporarily closed he demonstrated great flexibility.

He worked in continuing education training dozens of companies, instructed students in the maintenance technician and engineering tech programs, and even taught a German class or two, before eventually transitioning back into his original position as a welding instructor. His ability to connect with students and understand their needs made him a very well-liked and respected instructor.

He was particularly keyed into the needs of at-risk students and strongly believed education would provide them a way forward. He did everything he could to ensure they received a job-ready education and was a big supporter of women in the welding industry as well.

Giving of his time and talents, Wilts frequently volunteered in the community wherever help was needed.