Skip To Main Content

IVCCD presents outstanding service and longevity awards

Nine individuals received Ambassador of the Year/Outstanding Service Awards and 20 employees were recognized for their years of service at the annual Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) staff in-service day earlier this week. The employees represent all units of IVCCD, including Ellsworth Community College (ECC), Marshalltown Community College (MCC), Iowa Valley Continuing Education (IVCE), Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell (IVG), and District Administration.

IIVCCD Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree presented the Outstanding Service Awards as follows:

Don FejfarAmbassador of the Year Award to Don Fejfar of Iowa Falls for his longtime support of Ellsworth Community College as an Ellsworth College Trustee, scholarship donor, ECC Band member (for more than 25 years), and more. The nomination read, in part, “At 88 years of age, Don is still very engaged as an Ellsworth College Trustee and always willing to volunteer and work at various student activities. He is described as an excellent recruiter for the college, both for students and getting other community members involved. ECC Music instructor Anne Sherve-Ose says she appreciates Don’s support, advice and mentoring more than words can express. Don truly talks the talk and walks the walk!

Dan LopezAmbassador of the Year Award to Dan Lopez, South Tama High School Counselor, for doing a remarkable job of promoting Marshalltown Community College to STC students. The nomination read, in part, “Five years ago Dan enrolled STC students in 430.5 credits’ worth of dual credit college coursework and this past academic year that number was 1,292 credits. South Tama has the highest number of students traveling to the MCC campus each day for our Career Academy programs. In 2011 MCC enrolled 16 percent of the STC graduates, and last year we enrolled 21 percent as full-time students. Dan brings between 50-75 students to the MCC campus each year for MCC’s College Fair and Career Fair days. He’s truly an ambassador for IVCCD!

Sherilyn HitchEducational Excellence Award to Sherilyn Hitch, IVCE Director of Adult Basic Education/High School Completion, for her work as a longtime GED/ESL instructor who puts in many extra hours to assure that her students reach their potential. The nomination read, in part, “Sherilyn is the only teacher working with GED/ESL students at Ellsworth. She has created many games and activities to enhance learning and she welcomes and accepts each student just as they are. Sherilyn makes her students the number one priority, sacrificing lunch breaks, vacation time and weekends to work, prepare lessons, and tutor students. She shares in the joy of her students’ accomplishments.’

Chris BreesLeadership & Communication Award to Chris Brees, MCC Director of Student Engagement & Residence Life, for displaying unbelievable dedication to student success and to the success of his co-workers. The nomination read, in part, “Chris went above and beyond to connect with students in housing who were struggling with their grades, setting up meetings with each student to help them prepare success plans. Students know they can come to him with issues regarding school, work, and their personal lives because they know he cares about them. Chris inspires others to reach their potential, and his leadership inspires others to strive for excellence in their personal lives and careers.

Connie GardalenPartnerships Award to Connie Gardalen, MCC Coordinator of High School Relations/Student Success Specialist, for being extremely effective in building partnerships with K-12 school districts, particularly the working relationships with the school counselors. The nomination read, in part, “During the school year, Connie is rarely in her office … she’s out in the field building a college connection with every school counselor and every high school junior and senior student. She works with nearly 10 school districts that have individual needs and expectations, and her style accommodates each with a plan designed with them in mind. The school counselors find her talent, style and integrity to be excellent, which makes it easy for them to partner with MCC and IVCCD.”

Katie KothenbeutelRecognition & Success Award to Katie Kothenbeutel, MCC Library Associate, for being the rock in MCC’s B.J. Harrison Library during the last three years, which saw many retirements and resignations. The nomination read, in part, “In the last three years, Katie has found herself on many occasions being the only full-time employee in the library. With her dedication to the students and faculty of MCC, work ethic and commitment to our college, she kept the library running. She has great rapport with both students and faculty, is well-liked and sought out for help by many, and is considered by her peers to be a remarkable asset to MCC. She personifies the core values of recognition and success!”

Robin Shaffer LilienthalGrowth Award to Dr. Robin Shaffer Lilienthal, MCC Provost, for being forward-thinking and using innovative and careful planning to provide comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing and useful campus resources for students. The nomination read, in part, “Under Robin’s leadership, renovations to campus facilities were created to expand degree programs and promote growth and quality education for students. It’s a pleasure to see how students now gravitate to the new study and social areas. The physical enhancements to some classrooms and expanded technology also have students’ best interests at heart. Robin encourages all MCC faculty and staff to make change within their own areas (physically and procedurally), and empowers them to create and communicate that change with an ongoing focus to grow the organization and better serve our customers!

Aaron FrelandQuality Award to Aaron Freland, MCC Student Success Specialist, who has made a major impact in all of the many facets of his position within the MCC Admissions Office. The nomination read, in part, “From providing high quality, knowledgeable academic advising services, to serving as an on- and off-campus Admissions representative, to placement testing, to financial aid, to organization of student scholarships, to addressing student debt loan concerns … Aaron has sought to encompass it all, and with the highest quality. He has thoroughly committed himself to MCC, to his co-workers, and most importantly to the students. His nominator said he cannot imagine a more dynamic and impactful MCC representative!

Barb WrightChancellor’s Award to Barb Wright, Assistant to the ECC Provost, who has served (and trained) eight different ECC deans and provosts since her arrival in 1991. The nomination read, in part, “After 24 years in her position, Barb is the steadfast constant who everyone counts on to be there, answer a question, and get the work done. In the last several months, while we were absent of an ECC provost, Barb became the primary go-to person on campus. Her work ethic, willingness to go above and beyond, dependability, and trustworthiness place her in a category that makes her more than deserving of this award.

Longevity awards were presented for years of service to the District. Honorees included the following:

40-Year Award – David Young, IT Department Network & Telecom Administrator.

30-Year Award – Julie Thomas, IVCE Conference Center Coordinator.

25-Year Award – Janet Siert, ECC Business/Computer Applications Faculty; and Pat Brown, MCC Education Faculty.

20-Year Award – David Engel, MCC Speech/Theater Faculty.

15-Year Awards – Nancy Ellis, MCC Financial Aid Office Associate; Honoria Baloghova, ECC English Faculty; Greg Hodak, ECC Economics Faculty; Bernie Koehrsen, ECC Social Science Faculty; and Rebecca Peterson, ECC English/Communications Faculty.

10-Year Awards – Tina Ruch Wesselmann, ECC Admissions/Registration Specialist; Monica Warburton, ECC Clinical/Nursing Faculty; Brynjar Brynjarsson, MCC Physical Education Faculty; Mark Monroe, MCC Math Faculty; and Sally Wilson, MCC Biology Faculty.

5-Year Awards – Mike Emerson, ECC Criminal Justice Faculty; Joerg Rochlitzer, ECC Social Science Faculty; Ed Jorgensen, IVG Paralegal Faculty; Nate Chua, MCC Director of Retention & Learning Services/TRIO SSS Director; and Allan Parks, MCC Machine Trades Faculty.

The IVCCD mission statement affirms that the institution is committed to providing quality learning experiences, ensuring student success, responding to diverse community needs, and building community partnerships. It is the staff that fulfills this mission through their daily efforts and dedication. The individuals honored for outstanding service and the employees celebrating an employment anniversary milestone were honored and thanked for their efforts on behalf of Iowa Valley and its students.

5-Year Awards

Five-Year Awards – Pictured above with their five-year awards are, from left, Ed Jorgensen, Joerg Rochlitzer, Al Parks, Nate Chua and Mike Emerson.

10-year awards

Ten-Year Awards – Pictured above with their 10-year awards are, from left, Sally Wilson, Mark Monroe, Monica Warburton and Tina Ruch Wesselmann; Brynjar Brynjarsson is not pictured.

15-Year Awards

Fifteen-Year Awards – Pictured above with their 15-year awards are, from left, Honoria Baloghova, Rebecca Peterson, Bernie Koehrsen, Nancy Ellis and Greg Hodak.

20-Year to 40-Year awards

20- 40-Year Awards – Pictured above with their 20-year to 40-year awards are, from left, Pat Brown, David Young, Janet Siert, Dave Engel and Julie Thomas.

Related Articles

Categories