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.
2016 Emeritus Recipients
|Fourteen Eastern Iowa Community Colleges faculty and staff were recognized Monday with the 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, Pat Cawiezell, Sue Trudell, Nancy Kothenbeutel, Carol Cunningham, Jan Phillips, Nancy Keel and Nnachi Umennachi; back row, Bill Roba, Darrell Hanan, Marshall McDonald, Kirk Barkdoll and Frank Spies. Not Pictured: Dan Morgan and Alice Nielsen|
Kirk Barkdoll, Staff Emeritus
Retired 2012 as Director of District Facilities
Kirk Barkdoll started at Scott Community College in 1982 as a career and technical instructor, before moving on to become Associate Dean for Community Education and Alternative Programming, Dean for Applied Technologies and then Dean of the College at Scott Community College (SCC). When EICC decided to make a major change in its IT operations, Barkdoll led the monumental transition effort. Following that success he was named Director of Facilities as EICC began $33 million in construction projects approved by voters in a 2007 bond referendum. Barkdoll retired when the last ribbon was cut in 2012, but remains dedicated to EICC, serving as a consultant on current facilities projects and volunteering his time as a LEAD Advocate for the colleges’ internal leadership academy.
Patricia Cawiezell, Staff Emeritus
Retired 2011 as Assistant to the President, Scott Community College
During Pat Cawiezell’s 33 years at SCC, she set a pace that few could keep up with. In addition to her responsibilities overseeing bookstore, cafeteria and maintenance operations, she was an early pioneer in the college’s sustainability efforts. From the beginning of her tenure in 1978 through today, Cawiezell has been one of SCC’s biggest supporters, both within the college and throughout the community, continuing to serve on the SCC Foundation Board and assisting part-time in Student Services and with a Continuing Education grant program for seniors.
Carol Cunningham, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2009 as Business Instructor, Muscatine Community College
As Muscatine Community College (MCC) Business Instructor, Carol Cunningham was committed to her students and their success, serving as both teacher and mentor. As the college’s Business Department Coordinator, she was a leader among her colleagues and used her strong connections in the community to build a highly effective program advisory committee and create internship opportunities for students. Cunningham also served on many college and district committees, bringing her calm and efficient manner to the task at hand.
Darrell Hanan, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2015 as Automotive Technology Instructor, Scott Community College
Putting others first was the hallmark of Darrell Hanan’s 28 years of service to Scott Community College and EICC. As a two-time recipient of the college’s Distinguished Faculty Award, he was widely recognized as an outstanding teacher. From designing the Automotive Technology classroom and lab in the most effective instructional format, to videotaping lectures and labs for students to refer to after class, Hanan found ways to help his students really grasp the skills they needed to learn and to encourage them to become lifelong learners once they were on the job.
Nancy Keel, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2007 as Speech and Drama Instructor, Muscatine Community College
Over the course of her 39 years as Speech and Drama instructor at MCC, Nancy Keel introduced generations of students to the challenges and joys of public speaking, dramatic performance and theater production. In her pursuit of producing the best musical and dramatic productions possible, she reached out to Muscatine-area fine arts organizations and to business and industry to build support for student and community productions at MCC. That work led to development of MCC’s Partners in Excellence program, through which the community provides financial support to arts programming at the college.
Nancy Kothenbeutel, Staff Emeritus
Retired 2013 as Vice Chancellor for Continuing Education and Workforce Development
EICC’s outstanding Continuing Education division owes its strength in no small part to the visionary leadership and creativity of Dr. Nancy Kothenbeutel, Vice Chancellor for Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Through her 36 years, led establishment of the Business and Industry Centers, the Blong Manufacturing Technology Center, the Midwest Center for Public Safety Training, and the West Davenport Center. She was a respected leader at the state and national levels including the National Council for Continuing Education and Training, the National Council for Workforce Education, and the Iowa Department of Education.
Marshall McDonald, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2013 as Agriculture Instructor, Muscatine Community College
In his three decades as an agriculture Instructor at MCC, Marshall McDonald embraced the concept of high aspirations and high expectations in all aspects of his teaching that extended well beyond the classroom to student organization meetings, study abroad trips to Ukraine and Denmark, and simply sitting down to lunch with students and fellow instructors. His positive influence extended well beyond the classroom and campus, to district committees, the annual FFA Soils Contest that he oversaw, Muscatine Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee, Muscatine Sister Cities organization, and the farmers in the far reaches of northern Europe.
Dan Morgan, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2011 as English Instructor, Scott Community College
For 32 years, English Instructor Dan Morgan taught students, encouraged and supported his peers, and strove to improve the academic environment at SCC. As English department coordinator he encouraged faculty to engage in professional development and to share what they learned with their colleagues. In addition to grateful students and colleagues, perhaps his most lasting legacy at SCC is the Honors Program. In his quiet, passionate way, Dan led a group of equally passionate colleagues in the development of this signature SCC program.
Alice Nielsen, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2006 as Humanities Instructor, Scott Community College
Alice Nielsen was hired in 1974 as an English Instructor for SCC’s career and technical programs. Her legacy began with an uncompromising dedication to help steer the development of SCC as it journeyed from a strictly vocational-technical institution to a comprehensive two-year college. She developed numerous classes in communications, human relations, humanities and art appreciation, and has taught telecourses, online classes and at businesses through the Continuing Education division. Although she officially retired in 2006, Alice continues to teach at SCC, where another generation of students benefits from this creative and gifted teacher.
Jan Phillips, Faculty Emeritus
Retiring 2016 as Music Instructor, Muscatine Community College
Jan Phillips has been MCC’s musical ambassador for 37 years. As music instructor, she encouraged students to explore the joys of music, no matter their perceived talent level. Students not only learn in the classroom, but gain the experience of performing in front of groups, from the MCC campus community and local Rotary Clubs to cruise ships and the hallowed stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City. Phillips works closely with the drama department to produce a biennial Spring Madrigal Feast, as well as musical theater productions and variety shows. She also serves as musical director for the Muscatine Civic Chorale, and was one of the founders of the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra.
William Roba, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2015 as History Instructor, Scott Community College
Dr. Bill Roba is the Quad Cities’ recognized expert on German-American history and was instrumental in the creation of the German-American Heritage Center. Many years before that, as one of the first Arts and Sciences instructors to come over in the merger with Palmer Junior College, he established SCC’s social sciences department. He serves as the college’s historian, having compiled and cataloged an impressive college archive, and recently wrote EICC’s chapter in a statewide book celebrating the 50th anniversary of Iowa’s community colleges. Roba was recognized with a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, allowing him to spend a semester teaching and learning in Ukraine.
Frank Spies, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2008 as Diesel Technology Instructor, Scott Community College
In 32 years of teaching diesel technology at SCC, Frank Spies had a tremendous impact on hundreds of students, the college and the program. Through his efforts, SCC’s program was the first in the state to earn Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. His strong relationships with professionals in the field resulted not only in generous donations of equipment to the program but in 100 percent placement for his graduates. Spies continues to teach in the diesel technology program as a substitute instructor, serves on the program advisory committee, and serves as a teaching assistant at the Blong Technology Center.
Susan Hamilton Trudell, Faculty Emeritus
Retired 2014 as English Instructor, Scott Community College
Sue Trudell had an uncanny ability to connect with her students, perhaps because she was once one of them. Sue was a non-traditional student at SCC who went on to earn a Master’s degree and came back to teach in the SCC English department, eventually serving as department chair. She was instrumental in bringing the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society to campus and is a major reason why that organization is now recognized as a Five-Star Chapter.
Nnachi Umennachi, Faculty Emeritus
Retiring 2016 as Philosophy/Humanities Instructor, Scott Community College
As coordinator of the Honors Program at SCC, Philosophy Instructor Nnachi Umennachi has been the driving force in developing the program into one of the most respected community college honors programs in the country. His commitment to education extends into the community, both locally and internationally, and he is actively involved in everything from research and publication to leading international educational organizations and building primary schools in his home state in Nigeria.