Annual Report

Leading for Success

2017 Board of Governors Officers

Linda Aerni

In January, Linda Aerni of Columbus was elected by the college Board of Governors to serve as board chairwoman for 2017.


Austin Miller Roger Davis Sam Cowan
Also elected as board officers for 2017 were Austin Miller (left) of Grand Island, vice chairman; Roger Davis (center) of Kearney, secretary; and Sam Cowan (right) of Stromsburg, treasurer.

Sandra Borden Diane Keller  
Sandra Borden (left) of Gibbon and Diane Keller (right) of Harvard were retained as representatives of the college on the board of the Nebraska Community College Association.

Gotschall to Succeed Smith

Gotschall and SmithThe Central Community College Board of Governors announced in June that Dr. Matt Gotschall (left) would be the fifth president of the school, succeeding Dr. Greg Smith (right) following his retirement in Jan. 2018. Gotschall currently serves as the campus president of CCC-Columbus, a position he has held since 2005.

“I am very excited to be asked to lead and serve Central Community College and continue the great mission set forth by the CCC Board of Governors of maximizing student and community success,” said Gotschall. 

“The CCC Board of Governors has selected wisely,” said Smith. “Dr. Gotschall’s education, experience and personal integrity will serve the college well.”

Smiths Make Generous Donation to CCC

Central Community College President Dr. Greg Smith and his wife, Marilee, pledged a planned gift to CCC’s new Kearney Center in the amount of $600,000 minimum.

“Marilee and I are so fortunate to be in a position to be able to give this gift to Central Community College,” said Smith. “I can think of no better way to give back to an institution that has benefitted our lives and that of so many others.”

The generous donation was originally intended to be anonymous as the Smiths are generally private people; however, the couple had a change of heart. They are hopeful that others will make similar pledges.

Kemnitz Selected to lead CCC-Grand Island

Kemnitz-graduationIn August 2016, Dr. Marcie Kemnitz was appointed to serve as president of the Grand Island Campus, succeeding Dr. Thomas Walker. She previously served as CCC’s dean of instruction for health sciences, a position she had held since 2009. As president of CCC-Grand Island, Kemnitz is responsible for the overall administration of the campus as well as college-wide student services.

Student Success

CCC Graduate Selected as National Success Story

Angela Cuffe headshotCentral Community College graduate Angela Cuffe of Elgin was selected as the 2016 National Success Story by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance. She gave a presentation on how CCC and Project HELP assisted in her academic and career success at the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program Annual Grantee Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Project HELP is designed to help low-income individuals overcome barriers to success, whether they want to complete short-term training or work toward a diploma or degree in the health care field. It provided Cuffe with essential services and support as she continued her education while also going through a divorce, raising four children and working full-time. She earned a diploma in practical nursing from CCC-Columbus in 2012 and is now the LPN administrator at Prairie View Assisted Living in Tilden.

“I can honestly say that fighting my way up to become a nurse was the best decision I ever made,” Cuffe said. “When I look back on my life and where I was, the situations I’ve been in, and what I have accomplished, it makes me proud to know that if you want to accomplish something, you can. All you have to do is have faith and put your mind to it.”

Bench Honors AugspurgerFamily, friends and former co-workers pose for a photo with the bench dedicated to Dr. Roger Augspurger.

A bench created by Behlen Mfg. was dedicated April 24 in the courtyard of the Central Community College-Columbus Administration Building in memory of Dr. Roger Augspurger.

Augspurger served in multiple capacities at CCC, including department chair, dean of educational services and twice as interim campus president.

He came to CCC in 1974 and retired in 2000, but his involvement with the CCC concert band continued for years after his retirement.

In addition to the bench, the Augspurger family is sponsoring scholarships for high school juniors and seniors who want to take college classes while they’re still enrolled in high school.

Central Closet

Personal Hygiene and non-perishable food items fill the shelves of the Central Closet in Hastings.Since January, the Central Closet has been open at CCC-Hastings. It is a pantry open to all CCC students who are having trouble meeting basic needs such as food or hygienic items.

Dr. Susan Oliver, nutrition instructor, came up with the idea and researched it as part of a back-to-industry experience. She also was knowledgeable about local efforts to address food insecurity. She has packed food into backpacks for Food4Thought, a community program in Hastings that addresses food insecurity involving kids in kindergarten through the fifth grade.

There are no set hours, but three CCC employees open the closet when needed. Similar pantries are available at the Grand Island and Columbus Campuses. All three pantries accept donations.

PTK All-State Team

Six Central Community College students were named to the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Nebraska All-State Academic Team April 11 in a ceremony at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln.

The all-state academic team is an effort sponsored by PTK, an international honor society for two-year colleges, and the Nebraska Community College Association to honor students for academic achievement, leadership and community service. 
The team included the following CCC students:

Megan Ahlers headshotMegan Ahlers of Emerson was an academic transfer student at the Columbus Campus where she was active in the PTK Chi Sigma chapter. She was named to the college’s Dean’s List for achieving a GPA between 3.5 and 3.99 each semester. After graduating from CCC in May 2017, she planned to transfer to the University of Nebraska at Omaha to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Cadee Brown headshotCadee Brown of Hastings was a business administration major at the Hastings Campus where she served as president of the PTK Beta Alpha Delta chapter in 2015-16. She was a member of the Student Activities Committee and Judicial Board and a tutor and consultant in the Academic Success Center. She was named to the Dean’s List one semester for achieving a GPA between 3.5 and 3.99 and to the President’s List for four semesters for achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA. After earning her degree at CCC in May 2017, she planned to work toward a bachelor’s degree in business at Hastings College.

Brittanie Bunger headshotBrittanie Bunger of Kearney was a business administration and accounting major at the Grand Island Campus. She was an active member of the PTK Alpha Tau Tau chapter and National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and was recognized for achieving a high GPA three semesters in a row. She also serves as chairwoman for Cub Scouts Pack 135 in Kearney. After she graduated from CCC in May 2017 with an associate’s degree, she planned to seek a job in the business administration and accounting field.

Jordan Dassinger headshotJordan Dassinger of Heartwell is a dental hygiene student at the Hastings Campus and will begin the dental hygiene program this fall. She has served as vice president of scholarships for the PTK Beta Alpha Delta chapter and vice president of the NSLS and has been named to the President’s Honor List for earning a perfect 4.0 GPA. She also is involved with the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, is a NSLA-SNT facilitator and has worked with the NSLS Campus Cleanup, PTK Blood Drive, and PTK Food and Hygiene Drive. After she completes her associate of applied science degree, she plans to take online classes from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Allan Osburn headshotAllan Osburn of Cairo was an academic transfer student at the Grand Island Campus where he was vice president of service for the PTK Alpha Tau Tau chapter. He also is assistant scout master for Boy Scout Troop 103; campground chairman for Merit Badge University, which attracts about 400 Boy Scouts and leaders; adjutant for American Legion Post 333 in Cairo; vice commander for American Legion District 6; and safety officer for the Cairo Fire Department. He has received the U.S. Army’s Meritorious Service, Army Commendation and Army Achievement medals and Boy Scouts’ District Award of Merit. After he graduated in May 2017, he planned to work toward a secondary education degree at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Grant Wyatt headshotGrant Wyatt of Tilden was an environmental biology major at the Columbus Campus where he served as president of the PTK Chi Sigma chapter. His other activities included serving as a student ambassador, peer mentor and tutor. He also had received the EducationQuest Reaching Your Potential Scholarship, Vincent Lempke Memorial Scholarship and Newport Presidential Leadership Scholarship. After he graduated from CCC in May 2017, he planned to transfer to Peru State College to complete his undergraduate studies

Student Snapshots

Human services students in the multicultural counseling class visit Wat Lao Buddhametta Phaaphayaram, a Buddhist temple in Grand Island.

Central Community College human services students in the multicultural counseling class visit Wat Lao Buddhametta Phaaphayaram, a Buddhist temple in Grand Island.

Human services instructor Joyce Meinecke says that Ven. Khyo Phaaphay welcomes visitors to the temple. CCC students have attended meditation and prayers led by Ajahn Khyo and taken half-day meditation training sessions from Ajahn Jackson, a visiting monk from Sioux City, Iowa. CCC students have described these interactions as amazing opportunities to learn more about diversity in central Nebraska. (Photo by Joyce Meinecke)

Members of the Chi Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society at CCC-Columbus assemble food packages that can be put in a backpack that kids can take home from school for weekend consumption.

Members of the Chi Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society at CCC-Columbus assemble food packages that can be put in a backpack that kids can take home from school for weekend consumption. The project is part of a community program working to eradicate childhood hunger. (Photo by Rosie Heinisch)

UNMC Personnel Visit CCC-Hastings

Students demonstrate the dental hygiene program's endoscope/periscope.In November, four visitors from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s School of Dentistry journeyed to CCC-Hastings to see a demonstration of the dental hygiene program’s endoscope/perioscope.

The computer monitor shows the endoscopic images.

The device is a minute camera that goes down into the gum tissue and provides an actual view of the tissue and tooth on a monitor. No other dental facility in Nebraska – private, public or educational – has an endoscope/perioscope and the UNMC dentistry school was considering purchasing one of its own. The cost is extremely high and thanks to a Perkins grant, CCC was able to pay the school rate of $25,000.

Teaching and Learning

Foundation Awards $893,698 Grant to CCC

The National Science Foundation awarded CCC a three-year, $893,698 grant to develop a “Mechatronics with Instrumentation and Controls” program in an effort to help Nebraska meet a growing need for process instrumentation and controls (I&C) technicians. 

To accomplish this goal, CCC uses its state-of-the-art Mechatronics Education Center and its business, education and community relationships to develop an I&C specialization within the college’s existing mechatronics associate of applied science degree program.

As part of the grant, CCC also offers professional development and awareness activities on mechatronics career pathways for secondary educators and their students; implement strategies to attract women, Hispanics and military veterans from rural communities into the program; and adopt methods for enhancing student retention and completion.

N-PACE Nets First Graduates

The Nebraska Precision Ag Center for Excellence (N-PACE) began with a $2.49 million Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant. It was awarded to Central Community College in October 2014 to develop a precision agriculture specialization for the agricultural sciences program available at the Columbus and Hastings campuses and online.

The early work involved creating eight new classes and updating an existing class. Help in that area came from industry.
On campus, student training includes simulators, field trips, speakers, and the opportunity to work with drones and GPS.

The N-PACE staff enjoyed the fruits of their labor in May when two CCC students become the first to graduate with an associate of applied science degree in precision agriculture. Since the program’s inception, the college also has awarded 10 certificates and four diplomas.

SCORE and Lux Receive Grants

The Columbus SCORE Chapter in conjunction with Central Community College received a $5,000 grant from Paychex and The SCORE Foundation.

This is the second year the Columbus SCORE chapter received a grant, which was used toward lunch-and-learn sessions, which are offered in Spanish on Tuesdays and in English on Wednesdays, March through August.

Additionally, a $1,000 SCORE Foundation grant also was awarded to Entrepreneurship Center Director Doris Lux. The money was earmarked for a 2017 Paychex HR Seminar Series in the Columbus area.

CCC Receives $20,000 Grant for Hard Hats and Heels Camp

The Extended Learning Services division at Central Community College-Grand Island received a $20,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to fund “Hard Hats and Heels,” a National Summer Transportation Institute camp.

This is the third consecutive year the college has received the grant for the camp, which focuses on science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) concepts and introduces high school students to engineering careers related to the transportation industry. Participants visit local businesses, explore university facilities, and experience life on a college campus.

Almost as Good as Being There

Thanks to FaceTime, Central Community College Board of Governors members and other individuals at the January 2017 board meeting in Grand Island were able to watch a check presentation in Hastings. The oversized check given from Tom Marick of Productivity, a Haas Automation distributor, to Billy Dunbar from the CCC Foundation and Hastings Campus administrators, instructors and students represents a $20,000 donation for student scholarships in the advanced manufacturing design technology program.

DO Bug Me!

Central Community College’s Ord Learning Center hosted its first session of entomology classes in June.

The classes were taught by entomologist Crystal Ramm and attended by seven students eight years and older. They had the chance to learn about different aspects of entomology including identification, collection, preservation and pinning.

The students also had the chance to learn about aquatic collecting, witness giant silkworm moths morph from eggs into different stages of larvae and see an observation beehive.

Students participated in a Cockroach Tractor Pull in which they selected a Madagascar hissing cockroach and guessed how many washers it could pull behind it.

The class was made possible through donated equipment from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Insect Science Club.

Program Receives $1,000 NRCA Grant

The Nebraska Rod and Custom Association (NRCA) awarded a $1,000 grant to the auto body technology program at Central Community College-Hastings. The grant covers supplies and tools for the program.
This is the first time CCC-Hastings received the grant, which is funded by Tour Nebraska, a 600-mile weekend tour that drew 382 cars in 2016.

The NRCA was established to serve as a watchdog for laws and regulations affecting old cars. With more than 1,700 members across the state, the organization continues to have a strong base for lobbying state senators about legislation.

Expanding Global Experience

A group comprised of staffers at five community colleges in the state, known as the Nebraska Global Leadership Task Force, is providing and expanding opportunities for community college students, faculty and staff across the state to study abroad.

“We want to create and foster collaboration between Nebraska community colleges,” said Diana Watson, CCC international studies coordinator and task force member. “By doing so, our colleges will be able to offer a wider variety of opportunities in a more cost-effective way.”

The task force also seeks to develop partnerships with higher education institutions in other countries and future plans include planning a consortium-based study abroad trip.

The New New Student Orientation

A New Student Orientation (NSO) pilot program at Central Community College-Grand Island aims to set students on the path to success on their very first day.

The idea grew out of the 2014 Higher Education Innovation Forum where CCC attendees worked with and learned from similar-sized, multi-campus community colleges from across the U.S. They soon became convinced that NSO should be available in face-to-face and online formats and that CCC should consider making NSO mandatory for new credit and credential seeking students.

Leading the efforts to create the online orientation were Lydia Lough, director of the Hastings Campus Academic Success Center, and Crystal Ramm, extended learning services regional director in Ord. Planning the face-to-face orientations were admissions directors Erin Lesiak from the Grand Island Campus and Kristin Hoesing from the Columbus Campus. Both types of orientations were rolled out in the summer of 2016.

As part of the pilot program, 162 students were asked to take a survey before and after orientation. Fifty-one participants completed the pre-survey and 52 participants completed the post survey, for an approximate 31 percent response rate.

Employee Success

CCC-Hastings Outstanding Service Award

John Brooks received the 33rd Annual Outstanding Service Award at Central Community College-Hastings.

The award is presented annually to a Hastings Campus employee who demonstrates exemplary service to the college.

Brooks joined the CCC-Hastings staff in 1987 as a broadcasting instructor. He later started the media arts program and was one of the original faculty members involved in launching the college’s distance education program.

Nominators cited his leadership skills, rapport with students and fellow employees, and ongoing commitment to keeping his program’s curriculum current and interfaced with state-of-the-art technology. Students call him engaging and fun, yet firm and fair.

Brooks is a member of Nebraska Press Photographers, Hastings Photo Walkers and the National Press Photographers Association.

CCC-Columbus Employee of the Year

Marti Honke was named the Employee of the Year at Central Community College-Columbus.

The award is presented annually to a Columbus Campus employee who demonstrates dedication, enthusiasm and innovation as well as a rapport with students and other staff members and a willingness to go the extra mile.

Honke started working as a part-time administrative assistant in the CCC-Columbus extended learning services office in 1989 and was promoted to full-time status in 1991.

Nominators cited her strong working relationship with her co-workers, attention to detail, and her ability to anticipate and address problems before they occur.

CCC-Columbus Faculty Member of the Year

Gary Senff was named the Faculty Member of the Year, marking the second time he’s received the honor. A welding instructor at CCC since 1979, he first received the award in 1998.

The award is given annually to a Columbus Campus faculty member who displays excellence and innovation in teaching; rapport with students; and institutional, professional and community involvement.

Nominators cited his high expectations for his students and his willingness to invest additional time working one-on-one with them. They also noted his emphasis on integrity, work ethic, quality and dependability.

College Team Earns Innovation Award

Central Community College’s employee training team received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2016 HR Innovation Award for its Faculty and Staff Summits professional development program. Thanks to the generous support of PeopleAdmin, CUPA-HR received a $5,000 contribution to the CCC endowment or a scholarship fund of the team’s choice.

The Teaching and Learning Summit and the Staff Summit were created to provide timely, relevant, collaborative professional development opportunities for employees. Each day-long summit is set up like a mini conference, with several different concurrent sessions offered from which attendees can choose.

Summits take place at all three CCC campuses each spring or summer, and internal talent is used to the extent possible in order to help keep costs down.

The CCC employee training team includes (in photo, from left) Morgan; Christopher Waddle, vice president of human resources; David Clark, compliance and equity manager; and Kory Cetak, employee training director.

CCC Employees Take Part in Inaugural Leadership Program

Sixteen Central Community College employees were selected to participate in the college’s inaugural Leading with Excellence Program.

The nine-month program was designed to introduce participants to the programs and services available through the college, help them build relationships across departments and campuses and provide them with personal and professional development activities.

The program began in October and concluded in June. It includes a full-day session each month at a different CCC location.

Any full-time or part-time employee who worked 600 hours in previous last year or taught six credit hours were eligible to apply for the program.

Employees that participated in the 2016-17 program were:

Area Administration Office: Fran Davis, institutional research coordinator; Ben Newton, environmental sustainability director; and Jessica Williams, executive assistant to the college president.

Columbus Campus: Brenda Preister, Academic Success Center coordinator.

Grand Island Campus: Becky Fausett, Project HELP director; Mariah Garcia, administrative assistant to the associate dean of business occupations; Emily Gildersleeve, assessment coordinator; Amy Osburn, instructional technology specialist; and Brittney Zetocka, recruiting coordinator.

Hastings Campus: Jerry Dunn, N-PACE success coach and recruiter; Janice Hill, human services instructor; Carol Kucera, administrative assistant to the dean of skilled and technical sciences; Liz McAteer, print service technician; and Kyle Sterner, career and employment services director.

Holdrege Center: Elena Olson King, community education coordinator.

Kearney Center: Delilah Gillming, community education coordinator.

Take a Break

Central Community College staff members Teresa West and Laura Emde show off the park bench donated by the Grand Island support staff. The bench sits along the hike-and-bike trail south of the college, providing a convenient resting place for walkers, runners and bikers. The bench was installed on Oct. 7.

Month-by-month accomplishments by CCC staffers from all campuses and centers

July 2016

Wanda Cloet, dental hygiene program director, was a presenter at the 2016 American Dental Education Association Allied Dental Program Directors’ Conference, which was held in New Orleans. Her presentations were “Who is Really Doing the Work?” and “The Experienced Directors’ Workshop.”

September 2016

“Until they Forget,” a play by biology instructor Robin Buckallew won second prize in a one-act competition in St. Croix, Wis.
Dr. Kelly Christensen, associate dean of extended learning services, was named to the board of directors of Kearney Works. The nonprofit’s goal is to provide comprehensive services and resources that will help unemployed and underemployed people improve their labor skills so they can fill available jobs and increase their earning potential.

October 2016

Four employees received Medallion Awards at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 5 conference in Kansas City. Amanda Groff, marketing manager, received awards for two print advertisement series: a silver for “Great Things Start Here” and a bronze for the Kearney Campaign Executive Committee ads. Also receiving awards were Liz McAteer, printing services technician at the Hastings Campus, a gold for the Hastings Print Shop logo; Tiffany Seybold, web content specialist, a silver for the 50th anniversary T-shirts; Seybold and Mike Garretson, media producer at the Grand Island Campus, a silver for a college promotional video on the reverse transfer degree.

November 2016

Karin Rieger, associate dean of extended learning services, was named the Charles Farnham Volunteer of the Year by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. She has been a long-time volunteer for the Center for Survivors, Columbus Area Chamber, Elks, Columbus Public Schools Foundation and United Way.
Wanda Cloet, dental hygiene program director, was selected to serve on the National Dental Hygiene Examination Practice Analysis Review Committee. She and five other dental hygienists from across the U.S. met at the American Dental Association in Chicago to review the National Board for Dental Hygiene.

April 2017

Campus President Dr. Matt Gotschall was appointed to a three-year term representing higher education on the Greater Nebraska Workforce Development Board (GNWDB). The board’s mission is to establish a community-based public and private partnership to obtain and train a quality workforce for greater Nebraska businesses. Gotschall joins CCC Adult Education Director Ann Chambers on the GNWDB. She has represented adult literacy on the board since joining it in 1998.
Doris Lux, Entrepreneurship Center director, received the 2016 Extra Mile Award from the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) at an award ceremony in York. The REAP Extra Mile Award is presented annually to an individual or organization that demonstrates outstanding support to REAP and exceptional dedication to small business development in rural Nebraska. Lux co-hosts training sessions offered by the REAP Women’s Business Center at the Central Community College Business Incubator and refers business owners to the group.

May 2017

Marketing Manager Amanda Groff earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Bellevue University.

June 2017

Charlie Gregory, associate dean of extended learning services, earned a doctor of education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He majored in educational studies with specialization in educational leadership and higher education.


Celebratory Connection

Cheri Beda, alumni director at Central Community College, celebrated 50 years of education with each campus and center throughout the 25 counties CCC serves. This was a special milestone for the college and its alumni. Central Community College’s students have been making a difference for 50 years within our communities and beyond. The celebrations included campus tours, music, food and special guests. Each community really got behind this milestone. The final piece to the 50th celebration was commencement 2017 where each graduate who walked across the stage received a special commemorative medal. This is something they will treasure for years to come. 

New Nomination Process

The alumni relations office also implemented a new process for the Outstanding Alumni Award. Previously the nomination was open only to current staff and faculty. Now, the nomination process is also open to the public. It was a big success and picking just one person per campus was a difficult task. There were so many amazing individuals nominated from all different fields of work. The Outstanding Alumni Award is the most prestigious award the college bestows upon a graduate. Please nominate an outstanding alum today.

The 2017 recipients were:

Beth Boesch – Columbus Campus

Beth Boesch graduated from St. Francis Central Catholic High School in Humphrey in 1968. She attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., prior to enrolling at CCC-Columbus where she received an associate of arts degree. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Doane University.

Boesch’s professional accomplishments include 40 years of supervisory and executive management experience at Nebraska Public Power District. During her tenure at NPPD, she became the first woman to serve as its district manager, regional manager and vice president. Prior to her retirement, she represented NPPD at the State Capitol as senior manager for government and public relations and was its chief lobbyist at the state level.

Her volunteerism and community service extends throughout the region and the state. She was appointed by Gov. Ben Nelson to serve on the Nebraska Rural Development Commission and was named Woman of the Year by both the Nebraska Business and Professional Women and the Norfolk Business and Professional Women Chapter.

She is a member of the Central Community College Foundation Board of Directors, Lower Loup Natural Resources District Board of Directors and St. Isidore Church Endowment Board. She also is a current and founding member of the Nebraska Open Steering Committee and Scholarship Golf Tournament, which has raised nearly $1.5 million in scholarships for the state’s community colleges.

A 23-year breast cancer survivor, Boesch has raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society through participation in annual Relay for Life activities. She was recognized as the top female fundraiser for the Platte County Relay in 2015.

Boesch and her husband, Jim, have two children and five grandchildren.

Keith Vincik – Grand Island Campus

Keith Vincik graduated from Grand Island Northwest High School in 2001 and from CCC in 2004 with an associate of applied science degree in electronics technology. His specializations include Cisco networking, local area networking, and computer repair and maintenance.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business information systems from Bellevue University in 2006.

Not only is Vincik a graduate of CCC, but he’s also been employed by the college in its information technology services department since 2001. He started out as a part-time employee, first working as a computer technician and then as a network assistant. He was promoted to full-time server administrator in 2006, to lead server administrator in 2011 and to his current position as director of network and infrastructure in 2014.

Outside of work, Vincik enjoys home brewing, BBQ, spending time with his family and staying active. His wife, Jana, is a CCC-Hastings media arts graduate who currently works for CCC as a service center technician. They have two daughters.

Lee and Bonnie Preston – Hastings Campus

Lee and Bonnie Preston maintain residences in Hastings and Lincoln and have a long affiliation with CCC.

They both graduated with associate of applied science degrees from CCC-Hastings. Bonnie earned her degree in architectural drafting in 1969 and Lee earned his in accounting in 1973. Lee also went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in vocational education and a master’s degree in business administration from Kearney State College.

Lee taught accounting and income tax at the Hastings Campus from 1973 to 1978. Bonnie reconnected with CCC in 2001, when she became a member of the CCC Foundation Board of Directors. She served on the scholarship and finance committees and as secretary before retiring from the board in 2016. She also is a past president of the CCC Alumni Board.

The Prestons owned their own business, Books & Balances Inc., for 35 years, with Lee serving as president and Bonnie as corporate secretary.

Lee has also worked as financial director of the Adams County Child Development Council; chief financial officer for Blue Valley Foods Inc., Oxford Cheese Inc. and Garnett Foods Inc.; and as an IRS agent for the Grand Island Post of Duty.

Bonnie had also worked as office manager of the Hal C. Smith Insurance Agency and as a media paraprofessional and secretary for various public school districts, the Phelps County Attorney, Holdrege Chamber of Commerce and Holdrege First Presbyterian Church.

The Prestons are Presbyterian Church members and elders. Lee also is first vice president for the Nebraska Society of Independent Accountants, treasurer for Southern Hills Realty Company and a member of the Hastings American Legion, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and Elks Lodge. Bonnie is a member of P.E.O. Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and Pythian Sisters.

They were active community members most of their lives.

Lee was a U.S. Army military police sentry dog handler during the Vietnam War, 1969-70. He formerly served as state president and district director of the Nebraska Society of Independent Accountants; state director and scholarship committee member of the National Society of Accountants; board member of the Holdrege Chamber of Commerce; board member, president and treasurer of the Holdrege Country Club; member of the superintendent selection committee and co-chair of the new middle school feasibility study for Holdrege Public Schools; and a member of Rotary International and the Kiwanis Club.

He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Nebraska Community College Association in 2002 and the Aurora High School Alumni Hall of Fame Award in 2006.

Bonnie formerly served as a committee member for South Central Nebraska Presbytery, treasurer of the Phelps Memorial Health Center Service League; secretary of the Phelps County Hospital Authority; president of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s South Central Nebraska Community Builders; treasurer of the Phelps County American Cancer Society; president, secretary and treasurer of the Campbell Alumni Association; president and secretary of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority; and president of P.E.O., Chapter GZ.

The Prestons have two daughters and two grandchildren.

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Benjamin Newton was hired as the environmental sustainability director in August 2016. In his first year, the office revised the environmental sustainability action plan goals, installed the bike fixit station in Grand Island and added a CCC bike share mobile app. Newton also oversaw the organization of the first America Recycles Day in Columbus, the implementation of the pilot student e-badge in environmental stewardship, the planning of pollinator gardens on all three campuses and collaborated with the institutional research department on the pilot environmental sustainability dashboard. The office achieved the AASHE STARS Bronze rating and held Earth Week events on all three campuses.

Environmental Sustainability Action Plan

Central Community College’s environmental sustainability action plan (ESAP) spells out the commitment, goals and actions CCC is taking to be a great steward of our environment – for our students, community and the planet. Some highlights of the plan include increasing the number of e-badges awarded by 5 percent annually, increasing recycling diversion rates, increasing community service and health projects, and planning annual events with student/faculty projects.

Central Community College Earns a AASHE STARS Bronze Rating 

In recognition of its sustainability achievements from July 2015 through June 2016, CCC earned a Stars Bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).  All of the reporting data was collected by the current staff and was submitted in June 2016.

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, measures sustainability progress across academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership through an established set of standards in higher education.

All of CCC’s previous sustainability initiatives and projects positively positioned the school for its first review using the established AASHE STARS rating system. The rating highlights areas where CCC has made great progress such as its e-badge program and community partnerships. With the 1.7 megawatt wind turbine beginning operation in January 2017 at the Hastings Campus, a new pollinator garden on each campus, and now increased awareness of tracking water, waste, paper, and engagement, CCC is moving toward its goal of becoming a top-tier, two-year higher education sustainability leader.

CCC-Hastings Wind Turbine

The CCC-Hastings 1.7 megawatt wind turbine became operational on Jan. 1, 2017. The turbine is directly connected into the sub-transmission system of Hastings Utilities, and all of the electricity produced at CCC-Hastings is used locally. The turbine currently produces over 100 percent of the overall energy use for the Hastings Campus. Also, CCC receives all of the renewable energy credits for overall energy generated by the wind turbine. 

America Recycles Day and Earth Week

The first America Recycles Day was held at the Columbus Student Center. The event featured local recycling businesses and nonprofits, and environmental science student projects were displayed at tables for the national event sponsored by Keep America Beautiful. For the first time, Earth Week events were held on all three campuses and featured local sustainable businesses, a walk/bike ride and a bee presentation and demonstration. Other activities included a wind turbine tour at CCC-Hastings, garden and greenhouse tours, a local food movement event, and an annual Earth Day play on the importance of pollinators.

Grand Island Bike Fixit Station and new Bike Share Movatic App

A bike fixit station was installed in fall 2016 by the Grand Island Bike Trail along the west side of Stuhr Museum, halfway between Hall County Park and CCC Grand Island. The fixit station includes all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs.

Spring 2017 saw the implementation of the new Movatic bike share app, which allows users to check out and return a Bike Share bicycle with a mobile device. The app is designed to encourage participation in the bike share program in Grand Island and Columbus.

Leadership in Environmental Stewardship E-badge

CCC launched its first e-badge program in fall 2016 for all fields of study and for all learners. An e-badge is an award that demonstrates the holder’s knowledge and skills in environmental stewardship for either that field of study or personal application. For CCC students, earned e-badges also appear on their co-curricular transcript and all learners can post the e-badge award on their resumes and social media networks, which could appeal to potential employers. In the first year of implementation, 43 students registered for the e-badge and four students completed the e-badge in the pilot year. The e-badge involves collaboration with the Environmental Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ESATC) committee with Benjamin Newton serving as co-chair along with CCC faculty member Brent Adrian.

Fifth Year of the Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series

Central Community College continued its partnership with the Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series (SLPS) during 2016-17. The partnership has grown to include the Center for Urban Sustainability at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities, Metropolitan Community College, Nebraska Recycling Council, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Environmental Studies. The SLPS is a monthly live broadcast featuring experts in the field of environmental sustainability and climate change. The presentations are free and open to the public and anyone with a computer and a link may participate. Programs included:

  • Stories from the Field: Using Social Science to Build Sustainable and Resilient Communities presented by Dr. Prabhakar Shrestha, sustainability coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Healing Industrial Amnesia: How Art Can Help Us Remediate Our Environmental Memory Disorder presented by Dr. Leila Nadir, lecturer in Environmental Humanities and Sustainability at the University of Rochester and former Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities at Wellesley College.
  • The Disproportionate Impact of Climate Change on Nebraska’s Poor: The Legal Implications presented by Milo Mumgaard, executive director of Legal Aid of Nebraska, the statewide provider of free civil legal aid to low-income Nebraskans.
  • Manufacturing and Selecting Net Positive Materials presented by Dr. Gregory Norris, co-director of the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise within the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health and Chief Scientist at the International Living Future Institute.
  • Energy Efficiency in Transportation: Reducing the Impacts of Our Mobility presented by Michael Helgerson, transportation and data manager at the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, the metropolitan planning organization for the Omaha-Council Bluffs region.
  • Green Practices, Policies and Attitudes in Information Technology Past and Presentpresented by Daniel Gompert, information technology and systems instructor at Central Community College.

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

Four former Raiders athletes, one team and one business were inducted into the Central Community College Athletics Hall of Fame. The inductees were:

Chuck Bruenig – A longtime sports enthusiast and a staunch supporter of athletics at the Hastings Campus. Prior to his retirement in 2013, Bruenig served CCC in different capacities including wellness coordinator and counselor at the Hastings Campus.

Kate Erickson – The first All-American softball player for the Columbus Campus. She was also a two-time All-Region IX selection, leading the Raiders to back-to-back Region IX championships in 2010 and 2011.

Dan Hollatz – An All-Region IX basketball player in 1974, Hollatz was a member of the first Platte College basketball team to qualify for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament in 1973

Jim McMahon – Served as the track and cross country coach at Platte College from 1973 to 1977. He led the 1974 cross country team to the NJCAA national championships. McMahon later moved on to Midland University, where he was on the athletic staff for 36 years before he died in December.

Pinnacle Bank – A steadfast supporter of all Raiders athletics and many CCC programs, its sponsorships include the Pinnacle Bank Basketball Classic, the Spirit of Excellence Student Award and the Raider Booster Club. Pinnacle Bank’s enshrinement marked the first time that a business has been inducted into the CCC Athletics Hall of Fame.

2011 Softball Team – The Raiders won the 2011 Region IX softball championship, marking back-to-back region titles. CCC finished 25-19 and hosted the District F championship.

Fall Sports


Dave Silva was appointed to lead the men’s soccer team. Silva came to CCC from Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Fla., where he served as head coach of the Raiders boys soccer program for seven seasons. Following Santa Fe’s successful 2013 campaign, Silva was named the Class 2A District 7 Coach of the Year. During his tenure as a high school soccer coach, Silva amassed more than 100 victories.

In his first season at the helm, Silva guided the Raiders to the Region IX tournament and a first-round win over Sheridan (Wyo.) College, 3-1.


In her 22nd season, head coach Mary Young guided the Raiders to a regular season mark of 25-9, a Region IX tournament title, a District G championship (pictured) and a sixth straight trip to the NJCAA national tournament. At the national tournament, CCC lost to Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, then defeated the Community College of Rhode Island and bowed out with a loss to Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College.

Sophomore setter Riley Dorn was named NJCAA Division II First Team All-American, while freshman Maeghan Pieper garnered NJCAA Division II All-America Honorable Mention. Additionally, the American Volleyball Coaches Association named assistant coach Jared Johnson the 2016 AVCA Two-Year College National Assistant Coach of the Year.

Collectively, the Raiders sported a 3.5 team GPA.

Winter Sports

Men’s Basketball

Head coach Jerry Drymon led the Raiders to an 18-14 record and a Region IX championship before falling to Dakota County Technical College in the District VII championship game at Raider Fieldhouse.

Postseason honors went to Logan FlemingMarco FabiettiJerome Dixon and Ruben Fuamba, who made the All-Region IX team. Additionally, Fleming and Fuamba were named to the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference All-Conference team, while Dixon earned Honorable Mention honors. Fuamba was named to the NJCAA All-America Third Team.

Women’s Basketball

The Raiders finished the 2016-17 campaign with a mark of 14-15 following a 70-58 loss to North Platte Community College in the Region IX championship game.

Four members received postseason honors. Teisha Snyder and Payton Blanke were named to the All-Region IX team for the regular season, while Blanke and Maddy Wolfe were named to the Region IX All-Tournament team. Snyder and Blanke were named to the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference All-Conference team, while Quenshae Love earned Honorable Mention honors.

Snyder was named as the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Division II National Player of the Week for Nov. 28 through Dec. 4. In three games, Snyder averaged 30.5 points, 10 rebounds and 5.5 assists. In CCC’s 99-84 home win over Hesston on Dec. 4, Snyder recorded a career-high 37 points. 

Spring Sports


The Raiders went 16-33 in 2017 under head coach Jack Gutierrez. CCC finished as the runner-up in the Region IX tournament.

Five Central Community College softball players earned 2017 Region IX Division II softball honors. Freshman shortstop Mackenzie Eller, sophomore outfielder Maddie Kucera and freshman catcher Danica Schaefer were named to the All-Region IX team. Sophomore infielder Cassidy Edwards and freshman infielder Toni Rodriguez joined Kucera and Schaefer on the Region IX All-Tournament team.


Second-year head coach Britt Blackwell led the golf team to great strides in 2016-17, as the Raiders finished as the runner-up in the Region IX golf tournament. 


Awards and Accolades

CCC ranked first in nation as Best for Vets four years consecutively

In 2016-17, for the fourth year in a row, Central Community College was ranked first in the nation as “Best for Vets” for two-year colleges by Military Times, the main news source for the military community.

Military Times – comprising the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times – used a detailed survey to evaluate a wide array of factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families.

The survey required schools to meticulously document the services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives they offer to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture at their institution.

National Bellwether Award Payoff

Pearson Education Group ventured to Central Community College in fall 2016 to produce a short video on G.R.A.D.E.S. – Guiding Reintegration and Directing Educational Success, a faculty and staff professional development series. The video came about in direct response to CCC winning the coveted Bellwether Award from the Community College Futures Assembly earlier in the year. The revolutionary professional development program works to improve veteran and military student success on campus with a unique approach that engages faculty and staff in understanding the challenges veterans face reintegrating into the classroom.


Salute to Women Warriors Night

The VMRC hosted the third annual Salute to Women Warriors banquet. Women veterans and service members had the opportunity to come together for an elegant dinner and silent auction to honor women who have served or currently serving in the U.S. armed forces. The keynote speaker was Gen. Roma Admundson, the first female general in the Nebraska National Guard, who shared the courageous history of women serving our nation. Two recipients were awarded the Women Veterans Scholarship in honor of Wilma Kellogg. They were Stephanie Ajtumn, an Army National Guard solider majoring in construction engineering, and Brittney Holloman, an Army Reserve solider in CCC’s registered nursing program. Funds raised contributed to this scholarship.

Women Veterans Scholarship in Honor of Wilma Kellogg 1st Lt, U.S. Army Veteran  
1st Lt.Wilma Kellogg served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a nurse from September 1944 to March 1946, achieving the rank of 1st Lt. She traveled to England serving in the general hospital unit, which followed soldiers to France, Belgium, and Germany. She is decorated with the EAME Theatre Ribbon, a Bronze Battle Star, two Overseas Bars, and the Victory Medal. She retired as VA hospital nurse after 20 years and is a true example of a woman warrior.

Veteran’s Day at the Nebraska State Fair 

The Milestone Partner Award from the Nebraska State Fair executive board was awarded to Central Community College for continued cooperation and support for Veterans Day events and activities during the Nebraska State Fair. 

The VMRC hosted the Veterans Day ceremony that honored all veterans, service members, and their families with over 500 attendees. During the event, members from CCC’s Student Veterans Association chapters displayed maps from around the word and connected with veterans as they pinned locations where they served. Additionally, they created a photo display of Nebraska’s fallen service members to honor their sacrifices. This event was created to provide learning opportunities for veterans and communities throughout Nebraska.


The Student Veterans Association (SVA) links veterans, service members, and supporters and provides them with opportunities to develop or enhance their professional and leadership skills. Annually, they host Veterans Day activities, Memorial Day events and dinner banquets on each CCC campus and dedicate time to help with community activities in their areas.

SVA Members attended the Ninth Annual Student Veterans of American National Conference in Anthem, Calif., accompanied by over 2,000 student veterans from across the nation. They were able to learn new ways of enhancing their personal leadership skills as well as ways to improve the SVA on their campus. 

Vets Centers Help Increase Veteran’s Graduation Rate 


Since CCC established its Veterans and Military Resource Center program in 2011, the graduation rate for veteran students has increased from 21 percent to 55 percent. That is one of the main reasons why the program has garnered top honors nationally. CCC’s four-star rankings for staff support and extracurricular activities reflect its commitment to veteran and military students. In addition, Military Advanced Education named Central Community College a Top School in its 2016 guide to colleges and universities. The guide measures the best practices in military and veteran education through a questionnaire on military-supportive policies at more than 600 colleges. To learn more, visit the veterans page.


Campaign Meets $10 Million Goal

CCC Foundation LogoThe Kearney Center Major Gifts Campaign reached its $10 million goal in December, said Dean Moors, campaign manager and executive director of the Central Community College Foundation.

The campaign – the first of its kind for the CCC Foundation – was launched in early 2015 to help support Central Community College in building a new 63,000-square-foot facility in Kearney.

The total project cost was $23.3 million with $10 million coming from the major gifts campaign and $13.3 million coming from college reserves and short-term facility bonds.

Because of the campaign’s success, the new center was open for the 2017 fall semester, a year earlier than projected. 

“This project [became] a reality because of strong support from the Kearney community, surrounding region and state,” Moors said. “We appreciate every donation, whether it was large or small, that we received from individuals, families, businesses and other foundations. They were the key to this campaign’s success.”

Moors also cited the dedication and work of the campaign’s executive commits: Jon Abegglen, First National Bank; Dawn Chavanu, Great Plains Asbestos Control Inc.; Dale Pohlmann, retired; Darren Robinson, Economic Development Council of Buffalo County; John Sahling, Sahling Kenworth Inc.; Dan Schulte, Baldwin Filters; Dallas Wegner, Midlands Contracting Inc.; and Dr. Greg Smith, Dr. Deb Brennan, Dr. Marcie Kemnitz, Dr. Kelly Christensen and Joel King, CCC.

Community Give Days

Each year, the Central Community College Foundation participates in several Give Days throughout the CCC service area. Give Days are one to two-day giving periods where donors can support their favorite nonprofit organizations by giving online with the possibility of receiving matching gifts and other hourly bonus incentives. 

This past year, the CCC Foundation wanted to celebrate Central Community College’s 50th Anniversary by creating a working goal of funding 50 scholarships for its students through Give Days. We are excited to announce that we surpassed that goal and would like to thank everyone for supporting CCC and their respective community Give Days. 

Since 2013, when the CCC Foundation first participated, it has raised over $30,000 in scholarships through these events, which continue to reach its mission of fulfilling one dream at a time for students and their communities.

CCC Foundation Goes Social

You will receive notices about events such as Give Days and help spread the word about this and other fundraising opportunities throughout the year. You also can see and post pictures from numerous CCC Foundation events.

Budget and Finances

Budget Report

The college operating budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year was $59,912,720. Funding sources were:

  • State aid in support of the operating budget increased from $9, 271,142 in 2015-16 to $9,623,104 in 2016-17, which provided 16.06 percent of the total.
  • Local property for 2016-17 tax contributed $35,382,288 to the operating budget, compared with $36,042,153 in 2015-16, which provided 59.06 percent of the total.
  • Tuition provided $9,915,506 in 2016-17, which amounted to 16.55 percent of the total.

Operating budget breakdown:

  • 62.70 percent went toward instruction and academic support.
  • 21.02 percent went to institutional support.
  • 8.44 percent went to physical plant support.
  • 6.42 percent went to student services.
  • 1.43 percent went to student aid.

The capital improvement budget for 2016-17 was $10,466,267 and the budget for the hazardous materials/handicapped fund was $3,924,850.

Facilities Gallery

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During 2016-17, there were a number of project completed and on-going at various CCC campuses and centers. Here is a pictorial sample of some of the projects: