Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) honored 8 faculty and staff members Monday night with presentation of the Emeritus Awards for 2017.
Eight Eastern Iowa Community Colleges faculty and staff were recognized Monday with
college’s Emeritus Award. The award was presented to retired and retiring individuals who
exemplified service to students and the community during their years with the college.
Receiving awards were, front row, left to right, Lori Matthew, Heidi Hilbert, Billie DeKeyrel,
Lanell Mogab and Lynn Summers; back row, Lori Walljasper, Mary Baker and Vic McAvoy.
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.
2017 Emeritus Recipients
Mary Baker, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2015 as Nursing Instructor, Scott Community College
For more than 30 years, Mary Baker helped Scott Community College develop nurses with the highest professional standards and skills.
Students often said Mary was the hardest teacher they ever had and the best teacher they ever had. She worked with them as long as it took to help them understand the concepts, but expected them to do their part, knowing that their success was their own responsibility and insisting that they take that responsibility.
In addition to the tremendous impact she had in the classroom, Baker has been a leader in the nursing profession. She was instrumental in the 1989 merger of Clinton, Muscatine and Scott’s separate nursing programs, and her connections in the nursing community enabled her to recruit many clinical faculty for the program.
Baker retired from teaching in 2015 but remains engaged in the nursing profession as an on-call nurse with the Genesis Birthing Unit.
Billie DeKeyrel, Staff Emeritus
Retired 2009 as Assistant to the President, Muscatine Community College
Billie DeKeyrel is the “keeper of the flame” for Muscatine Community College. In her
29 years of service, she worked to preserve the history of the college and its alumni
and keep those alumni connected to their alma mater.
Perhaps her most lasting legacy, though, is the Muscatine Junior College/Muscatine Community College Archive Library, where records, yearbooks, past issues of student newspapers, memorabilia and scrapbooks with photos dating back to 1929 are preserved.
Heidi Hilbert, Staff Emeritus
Retiring June 30, 2017, as EICC Dean of E-Learning
Heidi Hilbert began her EICC career in 1997 in the library at Scott Community College. Her skills got the attention of leaders who were starting the college’s distance learning program and she was asked to manage all aspects of the early electronic classes – from course development to marketing of the finished product.
She threw herself wholeheartedly into the distance enterprise, learning as much as
she could about each new development in technology, curriculum development and teaching
techniques, and becoming EICC’s strongest advocate for expanding accessibility to
higher education through online programming. As Assistant Dean and now Dean of E-Learning,
she strove for the highest quality in online education and worked tireless to continuously
improve and expand the program.
Lori Matthew, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2016 as Education/Psychology Instructor, Scott Community College
After 35 years of dedicated counseling and teaching experience to SCC and its students, Dr. Lori Matthew retired last May as one of the college’s best loved faculty members. She came to SCC as a counselor and began teaching psychology courses before helping to develop the education curriculum.
Matthew served as department coordinator, was named Distinguished Teacher of the Year,
developed multiple courses in education and psychology, and coordinated the college’s
annual “Dr. Seuss Read Across America Day.” She was also very active in professional
development activities, leading many workshops and sessions for colleagues over the
“Lori has been the most compassionate, caring and insightful professor I ever had. Her classroom is a friendly place, where I know I can go to be heard and gain perspectives I normally wouldn’t,” said one of her former students. “She pushes her students to reach their full potential. Lori is everything I hope to be for my future classroom, and I can only hope to be half of the great educator she has taught me to be.”
Victor McAvoy, Staff Emeritus
Retired 2009 as President, Muscatine Community College
In his 29 years at Muscatine Community College, Dr. Vic McAvoy made it a point to emphasize the “community” in college. His mission as MCC’s president for 23 of those years was to advance the college as a whole and to serve as its greatest advocate.
McAvoy’s service resulted in residence halls on campus, a Manufacturing Technology Center, a University Center that bears his name, and a foundation that provides more than $300,000 in scholarships to students each year. His commitment to “curb appeal” led to numerous physical improvements at MCC, and he later expanded that commitment when he served EICC as Vice Chancellor for Ancillary Services, including facilities.
McAvoy’s tireless work in the community created many partnerships for MCC and EICC. First National Bank of Muscatine, on whose board he served for 22 years, recently honored Vic’s community service with a $50,000 gift to the MCC Foundation in his honor for the library renovation project. Since retiring in 2009, he has continued his commitment to the college and its students as the part-time Executive Director of the MCC Foundation.
Mary Lanell Mogab, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2012 as English Instructor, Clinton Community College
As an English instructor at Clinton Community College, Lanell Mogab was recognized as an outstanding teacher, one who held high standards for her students, expecting them to be prepared, engaged, curious and dedicated to their studies. In return, she was a compassionate, caring instructor who worked tirelessly to help them succeed.
Service to the college and EICC were also important to Mogab, as evidenced by the many college and district committees she served. That included serving on an EICC team working in partnership with a college in Chennai, India, where she was instrumental in preparing the team for the academic and instructional conversations that took place.
As a long-time department coordinator, she provided positive leadership and generous support for all faculty and, upon retirement, left her successor with a jump drive full of syllabi, class materials, processes and contact information for adjuncts.
She continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member at the CCC Maquoketa Center and at Scott Community College.
Lynn Summers, Staff Emeritus
Retired March 2017 as EICC Assistant Director of Computer Support
Lynn Summers came to EICC in 1991 B.C. – Before Computers. Her natural logic and analytical skill-set transferred seamlessly to computer technology applications, and five years later she was one of the team leaders for the design, configuration and implementation of EICC’s first computer network. Many of the PC policies and procedures she put into place during those early years are still in place today.
Summers understands the importance of technology to students and EICC employees and, as Assistant Director of Computer Support, she and the technicians in her department provide fast and friendly service – they know that waiting until the next day to fix the problem is not an option.
For 20 years, she worked in the IT department by day and taught as an adjunct instructor
in the Administrative Office Support program by night. Her high-energy level engaged
her students in learning hands-on skills.
Lori Walljasper, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2016 as Information Technology Instructor, Scott Community College
Building the pipeline of students interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is one of Iowa’s highest priorities. Over the course of her long career at EICC, Lori Walljasper made building that pipeline her personal mission.
Both a passionate teacher and an outstanding content expert, Walljasper generates enthusiasm from her students and her colleagues. She has been a driving force in the effort to attract more women and girls to technology careers working in special events such as “Girls in Coding,” “Plant Yourself in STEM,” EICC’s “Women in IT” conference, and STEM-related summer camps for middle school students.
Walljasper played a key role in bringing the EON virtual reality program to EICC,
led the Department of Labor IHUM grant activities, and led the IT department through
the difficult process of revising its curriculum.