2019 Annual Report

Student Success

CCC Royalty

Dayana Sifontes, Aubrey Freeze and Jessica ShultisTwo CCC students and one CCC alum wore crowns during 2018-19.

Dayana Sifontes (left) won the Miss Nebraska Latina title, while Aubrey Freeze (center) was named Ms. Wheelchair Nebraska. Jessica Shultis (right) was Miss Nebraska 2018.

Sifontes, a medical assisting major at the Hastings Campus, went on to participate in the Miss U.S. Latina competition in Atlanta, Georgia, and placed in the top 10. Sinfontes intends to transfer to a four-year institution following her graduation from CCC in May 2020.

Freeze, who is working towards a medical billing and coding diploma through CCC-Hastings, is the first Ms. Wheelchair Nebraska since 2011. At the Ms. Wheelchair America competition in Little Rock, Ark., she delivered a speech outlining her platform of disability awareness and peer mentoring for those with disabilities. Freeze and her husband, Andrew, are the parents of two sons.

Shultis, who earned credits from CCC while attending Centura High School, took sixth place in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. For the talent competition, she delivered an address about being a cancer survivor. Shultis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a master’s degree from Doane University. She will compete for the title of Miss Nebraska USA in early January.

Spectrum Performs in Austria and the Czech Republic

Spectrum in AustriaSpectrum, the select musical ensemble at CCC-Columbus, performed multiple concerts in cities in Austria and the Czech Republic. Nineteen members of Spectrum and a small number of CCC staffers made the 10-day venture in June.

The first stop was Salzburg, Austria, where Spectrum performed an exchange concert with a children’s choir in Amadeus Mozart’s hometown. Some of the sites visited included the church that was used in the wedding scene in “The Sound of Music” and Mozart’s birthplace. In fact, the group stood in the room where Mozart was born and saw his first violin.

Vienna was the next stop, where Spectrum members were part of a mass choir that performed Mozart’sRequiem at the Votivkirche (the Candle Church). One of the sightseeing highlights in Vienna was Central Cemetery, which contains the graves of such famous composers as Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert.

The final stop was Prague, where Spectrum performed a concert at St. Nicholas Church.

Diesel Technology Program Hosts Signing Ceremony

Diesel technology program signing ceremonyTwenty-three high school students and graduates from across Nebraska signed agreements to enter the diesel technology program at CCC-Hastings during a ceremony in March.

The ceremony was patterned after student-athlete signing ceremonies, complete with families taking part, cameras clicking and CCC baseball caps for each signee. Diesel technology instructors and other CCC administrators were also on hand to give a congratulatory handshake after each signing.

Eleven students signed sponsorship agreements with one of three program partners, which were also present. They include NMC, Titan Machinery, Nebraska Harvest Center and Green Line Equipment. The companies pay some or all of the expenses of the sponsored students.

This is the first time that a signing ceremony for a particular CCC program was held and it is hoped that there will be similar events held in the future.

Project GPS Scholars

2018-19 GPS ScholarsEleven Central Community College-Columbus students were recognized as Project GPS scholars for the 2018-19 academic year at a ceremony on Aug. 23 at the campus’ Fine Arts Building.

GPS stands for Growing Pathways to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), a scholarship-awarding program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The scholarship program targets high-achieving students with financial needs and who represent underserved populations in the STEM fields. Project GPS scholars receive two years of educational costs paid in full, including tuition and fees and room and board.

Scholarship recipients also have access to experiences that are rare in community college settings and even at four-year institutions. Local industries such as Behlen Manufacturing, DNA Genetics, Loup Power District, Nebraska Public Power District and Pillen Family Farms have agreed to provide tours, job shadowing and internship opportunities.

Central Community College is the only Nebraska community college to be awarded the $648,844 NSF grant to fund the five-year scholarship program.

The Project GPS scholars for 2018-19 were: Michael Bates, Alejandro Espino, Andreas Espino, Elizabeth Ewing, Jenessa Grooms, Alexander Koch, Kayla Kreizel, Tychique Kutalu, Laura Nichols, Dylan Smith and Landon Sokol.

PTK All-State Team

Four Central Community College students were named to the 2019 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Nebraska All-State Academic Team April 23 in a ceremony at the Embassy Suites 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:

Marcus HorwoodMarcus Horwood of Chesham, England, an exercise physiology and sports management major at the Columbus Campus, was a member of the PTK Chi Sigma chapter. He served as captain of the Raiders men's soccer team and a P.A.S.S. tutor. He was named to the President’s List and received the Athletic Academic Achievement and Exceptional Student in Sociology awards. After graduating in May with an associate of arts degree, Horwood transferred to Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, where he is on the Chargers men's soccer team.

Alexis MossAlexis Moss of Hastings, a fisheries and wildlife major at the Hastings Campus, served as vice president of scholarship for the PTK Beta Alpha Delta chapter. She received a regional PTK 5-Star Competitive Edge Award and Distinguished Officer honorable mention, was named a 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and a 2019 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar. Additionally, Moss was named to the President’s List and volunteered for the campus blood drive and Kids Against Hunger project. She graduated in May with an associate of arts degree and then planned to transfer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Cassandra SeckelCassandra Seckel of Columbus, an elementary education major at the Columbus Campus, served as Chi Sigma president. She was also president of the National Society of Leadership and Success, a Student Ambassador, resident assistant, volleyball manager and math lab assistant. Seckel was named to the President’s Honor List and received the regional PTK Distinguished Officer Award. She graduated in May with an associate of arts degree and transferred to Peru State College to complete bachelor’s degrees in elementary and special education. Seckel is a member of the Bobcats competitive cheer squad.

Eli SiddersEli Sidders of Kenesaw, an academic transfer major at the Hastings Campus, was a member of the PTK Beta Alpha Delta chapter. He volunteered for the Red Cross blood drive and was selected to address the CCC Foundation Board of Directors about how the scholarship he received has helped him accomplish his educational goals. Sidders' future plans include transferring to the University of Nebraska at Kearney to obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work and then working in a rehabilitation center for the blind.



Students from the SkillsUSA chapter at Central Community College-Hastings placed in state competition April 11-13 at Fonner Park in Grand Island. The following is listing of individual and team winners:

Individual Winners

  • Laurel Bain, first place in masonry;
  • Austin Bamesberger, third place in cabinetmaking;
  • Jesse Buss, second place in CNC turning;
  • Axel Cifuentes, third place in CNC turning;
  • Drew Hardage, third place in culinary arts;
  • Dane Jacobs, third place in diesel;
  • Samantha Ponce-Hernandez, first place in CNC milling.

Team Winners

  • Additive Manufacturing, First Place: Dillon Burns and Mackenzy Nelson;
  • Teamworks, First Place: Dakota Franks, Keenan Lienemann, Pedro Nunez and Jerrod Punchochar;
  • Welding Fabrication, Third Place: Joseph Harwick, Ryan Klintworth and Kayden Licking.

First-place winners qualified for the national competition June 24-28 in Louisville, Ky.

Teaching and Learning

CCC’s Adult Education Program Is the Largest in Nebraska

According to the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), CCC served 1,785 adult education students in its 25-county service area from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. That makes CCC’s adult education program the largest among all six Nebraska community colleges.

As a result, the NDE increased its funding to CCC by 36 percent for the 2018-19 academic year.

Of the 1785 adult education students at CCC, 69.5 percent studied English as a Second Language (ESL) courses; 24.5 percent were in adult basic education courses, which is for those with skills from kindergarten through eighth grade; and 6 percent were in GED-level classes (grades 9-12).

A large number of international students are enrolled in CCC adult education courses with 51 countries represented and 35 languages spoken.

CCC Partners with UNK and NWU

Central Community College signed articulation agreements with the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Nebraska Wesleyan University.

CCC-UNK SigningThe CCC-UNK Pathway helps applicants, who would otherwise be denied admission, meet UNK admission requirements. Pathway students will have benefits, privileges and access to UNK student services, amenities and organizations, and can live on campus while taking most of their classes at CCC. The one-year pathway leads to a student having the option to fully enroll at UNK to begin their second year, after successful program completion.

CCC-NWU SigningAt NWU, the Pathways Scholarship Program provides two pathways to degree completion at NWU with financial benefits including a $15,000 scholarship to every admitted CCC student to NWU’s traditional undergraduate program. Those enrolling in the accelerated degree-completion program for adults receive a $25 per credit hour scholarship and a low tuition rate. Since 2013, more than 200 CCC students have transferred to NWU.

Holdrege Program Aims to Keep Local Workers Local

Holdrege Blended Business Program PartnersCCC-Holdrege is piloting a blended business program designed to afford educational opportunities for working professionals, which ultimately aims to keep them in the area instead of moving to larger communities. The program combines web-based and in-classroom instruction and if students keep on schedule, they could earn their associates degree in three or three and a half years. Pictured are CCC administrators and business leaders connected with the program. They are (l-r): Scott Latter, Home Federal Bank; Jerrel Gerdes, Franklin Area Development Corporation Inc.; Diana Watson, CCC; Brian Deakin, BD, Jawna Kuck, formerly of Holdrege Chamber of Commerce; Ron Tillery, Phelps County Development Corporation; and Brad Keasling, CCC.

CCC and BD Join Forces in Training Partnership

Zach Largis, Sal Hernandez and Corey StrainThree BD (Becton Dickinson and Company) associates earned diplomas from CCC-Columbus through a unique training partnership.

BD and CCC collaborated to design a 31-credit hour training program focusing on mold maintenance grounded in advanced manufacturing design technology coursework to meet the needs of BD’s Columbus facilities. 

Sal Hernandez (center) and Corey Strain (right) of BD East and Zach Largis (left) of BD West are the first to complete the program, which will educate new and existing BD associates in the fundamentals of plastic injection mold maintenance.

The trio took morning classes for five days a week during two semesters at CCC-Columbus. In addition to math, some of the other courses in the program curriculum include precision measurement and safety, manual machining, blueprint reading and business communication.

Students also had to complete 360 internship hours of hands-on training, including job shadowing and working in the mold repair shops at the BD facilities.

Energy Technology Program Begins at Hastings Campus

An energy technology program was announced in early 2019 even though the program had been in the works for several years. However, it received renewed vigor in January 2017 when the 432-foot, $4 million, 1.7-megawatt commercial-scale wind turbine went online at CCC-Hastings.

Students in the ETEC program will study core aspects of renewable energy technology and system design and sizing. The curriculum will also include courses in wind energy, solar power, battery storage system design and energy efficiency technology.

Other instructional resources include two smaller wind turbines and a series of solar panels that were installed on the Hastings Campus in recent years.

ETEC graduates will be prepared to enter the field as installation or maintenance technicians in the areas of renewable energy such as photovoltaic or passive solar, wind turbine technology or battery storage system design.

Courses began in fall 2019.

Employee Success

John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award Recipients

Dr. Wanda CloetDr. Wanda Cloet, dental hygiene program director at Central Community College-Hastings, and Mary Young, CCC interim athletic director, were awarded the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Cloet was recognized for her work with the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

She has served as a member and chair of the ADEA Council of Allied Dental Program Directors (ADEA CADPD) Planning Committee and given presentations at the ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition Tech Expo and ADEA Allied Dental Program Directors’ Conference. She also has given a number of research poster presentations.

Cloet is secretary of the ADEA CADPD Administrative Board and will rotate into the chairmanship.

Mary YoungYoung was recognized for her service with National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national and regional committees and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). 

She was instrumental in the legislation that added beach volleyball to the NJCAA as well as AVCA/NJCAA signing a dual partnership agreement for NJCAA volleyball coaches in 2018. 

Young previously served as a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Board of Directors and chair of the AVCA Head Coaches Committee.

She was an inaugural member of the NJCAA Board of Regents for Region IX and an NJCAA region director for four years. Young also served as NJCAA assistant region director for 10 years and NJCAA Coaches Association president from 2012 to 2015. She served as vice president of the coaches association since 2017.

The league established the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards in 2012 to celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by faculty and staff in member institutions.

Dale P. Parnell Faculty Recognition Award

Dr. Susan McDowallDr. Susan McDowall, English instructor at CCC-Grand Island, received the 2019 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty designation.

The American Association of Community Colleges in recognition of individuals making a difference in the classroom presents the award. Recipients must demonstrate passion for the students and the classroom; show willingness to support students, inside and outside of the classroom; be inclined to participate in college committees; and go above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors.

McDowall has been with CCC since 2005 and is the only faculty member to have been named as a Fulbright Scholar. She spent the 2015-16 academic year as a lecturer at the Russian State Agrarian University in Moscow. McDowall is a FOCUS multicultural group sponsor and a past participant in CCC's Leading with Excellence course.

CCC-Kearney's He Receives Best Presentation Award

Yunteng HeYunteng He, a chemistry instructor at the Kearney Center, received the Best Presentation Award at the Clute International Conference on Education in January in Maui, Hawaii.

He’s presentation, “Traffic Light Cards – A Cross and Modification between the Minute Paper and Muddiest Point” focused on a simple, effective classroom assessment technique for improving student learning.

Here’s how a Traffic Light Card works: Shortly before the end of class, the students rate their understanding of the topics covered on a notecard as high (green), partial (yellow) or low (red). The results are then used by the instructor to give appropriate review in the next lecture and to help students gain a better understanding of the content.

He’s method also was published online by the academic journal, College Teaching, in November 2018.

CCC awarded the Seven Seals Award

CCC receives the Seven Seals AwardThe Nebraska Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has recognized Central Community College for its support of military employees.

The ESGR presented CCC with its Seven Seals Award during its awards banquet. The award recognizes significant individual or organizational achievement or initiative that promotes and supports the ESGR mission.

Jared Pettit, mechatronics instructor at the Kearney Center, nominated CCC for the award. Pettit is a Sgt. 1st Class with the Nebraska National Guard. Bradley Keasling, CCC associate dean of business and skilled and technical science took over Jared’s CCC responsibilities while he was called away on National Guard Duty for several trainings and emergency actions.

Beck Named to Inaugural Early Childhood Academy

Barbara BeckBarbara Beck, early childhood education instructor at the Grand Island Campus, was selected to participate in the inaugural 2019 class of the Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Leadership Academy.

The academy is a nonpartisan project designed to help citizen-leaders expand their knowledge and skills so they can to effectively engage lawmakers and major influencers on early care and learning issues.

Beck's previous work experiences include teaching in an inclusive preschool and early intervention. She is active on the Board of Directors for Association for Child Abuse Prevention and participates in the Hall County Community Collaborative which works to create a safe and health community for children and families.

CCC-Columbus Employee of the Year

Jim BaldwinJim Baldwin was named the Employee of the Year at the Columbus Campus.

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.

Baldwin joined the Columbus Campus staff in early 1990, as a member of the security team. He was promoted to his current position as custodial supervisor in December of the same year.

According to many staffers at the Columbus Campus, Baldwin can often be heard saying, “May I help you?” “Can I carry that for you?” “Let me get the door.”

In fact, Baldwin has changed so many flat tires and jumpstarted so many cars that it’s impossible to count the number over the years.

Columbus Campus Faculty Member of the Year

Michelle BentzMichelle Bentz was named as the CCC-Columbus Faculty Member of the Year.

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.

Bentz joined the Columbus Campus two decades ago, serving as career services coordinator before becoming a sociology instructor in 2007.

Nominators said that Bentz takes extra care with her online students, making sure she provides complete directions and responds to questions in a timely manner. Because she often has first-time Early College students in her classes, she asked the extended learning services (ELS) department to run a report identifying them. Because of her request, the ELS department developed a new report that now provides this information to all CCC instructors.

Grand Island Campus Spirit Award

CCC-Grand Island President Dr. Marcie Kemnitz and Erin LesiakErin Lesiak (pictured right), admissions director for the Grand Island Campus, received the 2018-19 Campus Spirit Award at CCC-Grand Island. The Campus Spirit Award annually recognizes an employee who makes a signifi cant contribution to Central Community College. The award focuses on service above and beyond what is considered a normal or expected part of their job description. CCC-Grand Island President Dr. Marcie Kemnitz (pictured left) presented the award.

Nominators describe her as someone imbued with positive energy, calmness and patience, even in the face of challenging or difficult situations. Another nominator noted Lesiak’s habit of sending thank-you notes on a regular basis. “She is a forward thinker, great multitasker and creative leader who assures that detailed plans are made well in advance of deadlines and communicates frequently so that her team can successfully juggle many projects at once. She makes work fun and brings a welcome sense of humor to even the busiest of days.”

In the community, Lesiak has long been involved as a mentor and leader with Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Hastings Campus Outstanding Service Award

Lori VanBoeningLori VanBoening received the 35th Annual Outstanding Service Award at CCC-Hastings.

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

VanBoening began work at CCC-Hastings in 1989 as a biotechnology instructor. The position morphed into medical laboratory technology instructor in 2002. She was responsible for writing all the curriculum for the new MLT program.

Nominators cited her commitment to not only teaching her students the information and skills necessary for their profession but also the attitudes and behaviors needed to be effective employees.

Leading with Excellence: Part III

2018-19 Leading with ExcellenceCCC's third Leading with Excellence class graduated in June.

The nine-month program introduces 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 runs from October to June and includes a day-long 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 is eligible to apply for the program.

Employees that participated in the 2018-19 program were:

Area Administration Office: Krista Niemoth, purchasing buyer; and Tiffany Seybold, web content specialist.

CCC Foundation: Cheri Beda, alumni director.

Columbus Campus: Colynn Paprocki, HELP success coach; Nicholas Whitney, biology instructor; and Joan Wilkins, administrative assistant.

Grand Island Campus: Kristi Behlmann, HELP data and marketing coordinator; Misty Peterson; HELP success coach; and Amy Stewart, drafting and design instructor.

Hastings Campus: Tara Bialas, Trio/SSS coordinator; Daniel Deffenbaugh, associate dean of academic education; Linda Lautenschlager, assessment technician; Regina Somer, admissions director; and Erika Wolfe, academic success center coordinator.

Kearney Center: June Collison, nursing instructor; and Angela Smith, early college specialist/GED facilitator.


From CCC Alumni Director Cherie Beda

What a busy year. The best part was getting to know several of CCC's alums and hearing their stories. Here is a list of some of the events and other happenings that took place during 2018-19:

  • Alumni relations enjoyed greeting alums at a Nebraska Danger game at the Heartland Events Center and at a Sodbusters Baseball alumni and family night at Duncan Field in Hastings during the summer. Alumni relations will be hosting similar events in the future, so look for opportunities to bring your family out to a sporting event.
  • Alumni relations hosted a table at the inaugural Pollinator Festival on the Grand Island campus in the fall. This was a great opportunity to meet some returning alums, show them the updates on campus and have a great time while learning about bees and how important our pollinator efforts are.
  • I had the opportunity to be part of the Leading with Excellence class. I learned about how different parts of the college work and what efforts each campus and center are making to engage students and the community. I made friends and lasting connections. It was a wonderful opportunity to engage in strategic conversation and spark ideas for the future of CCC alumni relations.
  • Give Days are an annual opportunity to support scholarships that go directly to the campus or center in the region where the drive is held. Give Days are held in Columbus, Lexington, Hastings, Holdrege, Kearney and Ord.
  • An alumni reunion for graduates from the classes of 1974,75 and 76 automotive, auto body, diesel and agricultural programs was held in March at the Furnas Building on the Hastings Campus. These alums enjoyed a tour of the updated classrooms demonstrations of the virtual reality learning tools and catching up with each other.

If you have ideas for alumni events or just want to share your experience please call me at 308-398-7437 or send an email.

2019 Outstanding Alumni

Nick Steinsberger - Columbus Campus

Nick SteinsbergerBusinessman Nick Steinsberger attended the Columbus Campus before transferring to the University of Texas in Austin where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering.

Steinsberger began his career with Mitchell Energy in 1988 as a production engineer in Fort Worth. He was promoted to completion manager and was responsible for the first slickwater stimulation in the Barnett Shale in 1997. He continued in this role after Mitchell Energy’s sale to Devon in 2002, completing the first 30 horizontal wells in any shale formation.

When Devon closed the Fort Worth office in 2003, Steinsberger took a job as vice president of engineering for Republic Energy in Dallas. Under his supervision, Republic drilled and completed about 50 horizontal wells in less than two years before selling their assets to Burlington Resources. After the sale, he began Steinsberger Gas Consulting.

Steinsberger received the ECC Engineer of the Year Award in 2013 for his work in the Shale Revolution while at Mitchell Energy.

He has written many technical papers on completion techniques in shales and has been featured in five books, with “The Frackers” being the most well-known.

Tracy Jakubowski - Grand Island Campus

Tracy JakubowskiFollowing her 2007 graduation from the Grand Island Campus, Tracy Jakubowski of Wood River went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2009 and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Doane College in 2012. She will complete her educational administration 7-12 endorsement through UNK this fall.

Jakubowski began her career with Grand Island Public Schools at Walnut Middle School and then was an integration specialist at West Lawn Elementary School before accepting her current position as a history teacher at Grand Island Senior High School.

During her time as a teacher, she has served in many additional capacities, from coaching volleyball and basketball to traveling with students to Washington, D.C. She serves as a team leader for the Academy of Freshman Exploration and a sponsor for GISH students attending the Capitol Forum on America’s Future with Humanities Nebraska in Lincoln. She is a member of the district’s Teacher Leader Coalition, the American History Task Force for Curriculum Design, and the Nebraska Department of Education’s Social Studies standards revision team.

In 2018, Jakubowski was named the Nebraska History Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Department of Education and the Gilder Lehrman Institute and was recently named Grand Island Senior High Teacher of the Year.

She and her husband, Ron, have a daughter, Julia.

Lindsay Higel - Hastings Campus

Lindsay HigelLindsay Higel of Kenesaw holds an associate of applied science degree in hospitality management and culinary arts from the Hastings Campus and is now working toward a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management at Bellevue University.

She has been employed by CCC-Hastings since 2001. She served as kitchen manager in the hospitality management and culinary arts department until 2015 when she was promoted to program director. She serves as a sponsor for the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Club and works with the extended learning services department to offer community education classes for adults and children. She also developed and has conducted a Kids College for six years.

Prior to joining the CCC staff, Higel gained industry experience at Sehnert’s Dutch Oven Bakery where she learned the art of baking from scratch, candy making and cake decorating; Big Dally’s Deli in Hastings where she was responsible for opening the second location; and Allen’s Bakery where she taught cake decorating classes to staff.

She has served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors, KN for Kids Board and Kenesaw Booster Club Board.

She and her husband, Jeff, have four children: Kaylee, 16; Blake, 13; Bodie, 6; and Calvin, 5.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction GraphIn 2013, CCC completed its first greenhouse gas inventory, which helped in developing strategies for reducing emissions and made it possible to track the progress. From the 2013 baseline, CCC has reduced Scope 1 (on-campus) emissions by 27.21 percent, Scope 2 (purchased electricity) emissions from by 42.39 percent, Scope 3 (indirect) emissions by 39.76 percent and overall emissions by 39.25 percent.

CCC was able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the follow endeavors:

  • CCC began purchasing hybrid electric fleet vehicles in 2012. As of 2018, 34 percent of the college’s fleet vehicles were gasoline-electric, non-plug-in hybrid vehicles. 
  • In 2012, a 3.7 kW Skystream wind turbine and a 17-kW solar array were added on the Hastings Campus. These systems are used for educational purposes in the campus’ mechatronics program and provide electricity to the Merrick building on campus. 
  • In 2016, a 1.7 MW wind turbine was built on the Hastings campus through a partnership with Bluestem Energy Solutions, Hastings Utilities and CCC. The wind turbine produces enough electricity annually to power the campus and any excess electricity flows into the Hastings Utilities grid. 
  • In 2017, a new Kearney Center was built to LEED Silver standards with numerous energy-saving features. These features include daylighting in the hallways and classrooms, energy efficient lighting, Solatubes in two classrooms and one lab, SageGlass on east facing windows and a geothermal energy system. 
  • In 2018, CCC purchased 350 solar energy shares in the Kearney Community Solar Project.  Each share is equal to 150 kWh/month, which equals 100 percent of the average monthly electricity usage at the Kearney Center. CCC locks in a rate with a purchase power agreement between Nebraska Public Power District and solar developer SoCore Energy. 
  • The Kearney Center received the first GreenPower certificate associated with the Kearney Community Solar Project. CCC retains the environmental attributes associated with the purchased carbon free energy shares. 
  • CCC has improved the ability for its employees to videoconference, thus reducing the need to travel to meet in person.

Nebraska State Fair

Sustainability Pavilion at the Nebraska State FairCentral Community College students hosted projects at the 2018 Nebraska State Fair’s JTech Solar Sustainability Pavilion for the first time. Projects were funded through a collaboration with the Nebraska State Fair and a CCC mini grant. The projects on display were:

  • Aquaponic Herb Garden: An in-home aquaponic herb garden is made to be compact so anyone could find a place for it in their home. Aquaponic gardening is an extremely sustainable way to garden in that it uses only a fraction of the water and doesn’t require any type of fertilizer.

  • Bumblebees of Nebraska: A live bumblebee observation hive consisting of a local bumblebee species, Bombus Impatiens. Judiciously selected live, bee-friendly flowers adorned the upper level of the enclosure. A spacious, lower cavity served as the hive headquarters.

  • Crayfish Aquaponics: The combination of gardening with the cultivation of aquatic animals that uses waste from animals to fertilize plants. The plants then purify the water.

  • Hay Bale Wall: A four-foot wall stuffed with hay inside chicken wire with an adobe plaster finish. Hay is a great insulator and is used as a sustainable alternative to insulation. Historically, hay was used in the Nebraska Sandhills due to a lack of sod.

  • Earth Wall: A two-foot wall made out of upcycled glass bottles and aluminum cans with concrete as mortar. Earth wall is used in sustainable construction of Earthship solar homes near Taos, N.M.

  • Pollinator Gardens: Central Community College installed pollinator gardens to provide food and shelter for beneficial native bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, flies, and beetles on the Columbus and Grand Island campuses in 2017 with support of the Greener Towns grant from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. The site design and photos of both projects were on display along with a mini-pollinator garden.

  • Veggie Re-Use: An herbal fairy garden, powered by a solar water pump, showcased different vegetable scraps. The display table was made out of used wood pallets.

  • Vermicomposting: Vermicomposting is the use of worms to break down organic material into compost/fertilizer. The display consisted of red wiggler worms and organic material in a plastic tote. Visitors learned about vermicomposting and how to start their own vermicomposting at home.

  • Zero Waste: This project showcased everyday items used by consumers and offered solutions to achieve zero waste and become more environmentally friendly.

  • Hydroponic Misting: The hydroponic unit consisted of a central water reservoir, pump and planting stations. Hydroponic systems use water in place of soil to provide nutrients for growing plants. Hydroponic units often use fewer resources and conserve space.

  • Plarn Project: Forming single-use plastic grocery bags into plastic yarn – or plarn – to create a braided rug or any number of other products.

  • Plastic Reuse Repurposed number 2 HDPE plastics (milk containers, shopping bags and lids) made into garden stepping stones, handles, and a replacement for the cardboard at the bottom of reusable bags. It is sustainable as the inputs to this process are either recyclable plastics or trash.

Students 4 Sustainability

Highway 281 CleanupStudents 4 Sustainability (S4S) was approved in 2018 to be CCC’s first college-wide student organization. Students meet via distance learning systems to learn more about sustainability, work on educational projects and discuss service-learning activities related to sustainability. Club projects included a cleanup along Highway 281 in Grand Island, homemade ornament sales and participation in the environmental sustainability office’s events.

Pollinator Festival

Pollinator Festival PosterExtended Learning Services and the Environmental Sustainability Office hosted CCC’s first Pollinator Festival in October at the Grand Island Campus. The event was free and open to the public with children’s activities that showed the importance of pollinators in our environment. There were also presentations on gardening and pollinators and a live band. Featured speakers included Dr. Doug Golick, UNL assistant professor of entomology; Elizabeth Killinger, Master Gardner; Pete Berthelsen, Conservation Blueprint, LLC; Carol Wienhold, Nebraska Department of Roads; Rae Powers, Xerces Society; and Brian Nilson, Nebraska Beekeepers Association.

America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day PosterCCC celebrated America Recycles Day on Nov. 17 during the men’s basketball game against Southwestern Community College of Iowa. The event featured displays on zero waste, plastic recycling and compost project results from the environmental science class. There was also a brief halftime explanation of what America Recycles Day is and the winners of the dorm recycling competition were announced.

New eBadges

Two new eBadges were approved in March:

Symbiosis BadgeSymbiosis: The interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. The Symbiosis eBadge proficiencies will include identification of plants and pollinators in the gardens on all three CCC campuses as well as volunteering at the Annual Pollinator Festival in Grand Island.
Problem Solving Badge

Problem Solving: Biology Sciences Instructor and Environmental Sustainability Across the Curriculum committee member Tanner Jenkins developed this eBadge using the scientific method. The eBadge is intended for Earth Month or State Fair projects and may be applied to any academic discipline.

Earth Month

Earth Month PosterCCC hosted its third annual celebration of the Earth Day holiday in April. Previously called Earth Week, activities and events now span the entire month of April, thus resulting in the new title of Earth Month. Here is a recap of the events held at the Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings Campuses and the Kearney Center:


The Columbus Campus hosted its Earth Month event on April 17. Visitors had the opportunity to see an expo of student projects and local organizations. Tours and presentations included:

  • Kelly Feehan with the University of Nebraska extension office presented the "Trees, Bees and More - Pollinator Garden and Arboretum Campus Walking Tour" in the campus’ pollinator garden.
  • The “Rethink, Recycle” art reception celebrated recycled art projects created by local elementary and high school students.
  • A storm spotter training session was presented by the National Weather Service.

Grand Island

The Grand Island Campus hosted its Earth Month event on April 11. The day started with an expo of student projects and local organizations. There was also a wellness walk in conjunction with the Central District Health Department, CCC Grand Island Wellness Committee, and Grand Island Parks and Recreation. The campus also hosted presentations and tours:

  • Rae Powers with Xerces Society presented "The Importance of Pollinators."
  • Jon Rosenlund with Grand Island/Hall County Emergency Management presented on "Emergency Preparedness on a Budget."
  • Jeff Berggren with GenPro Energy Solutions and Travis Burdett with Grand Island Utilities gave a tour of the Grand Island solar farm.


On April 5, the Hastings Campus hosted "Sustainable Nebraska: Then & Now." K-6 students were shown comparing sustainable practices of Native Americans, pioneers and Nebraskans today. Students had the opportunity to learn about five topics and saw different practices and activities at each station:

  • Nutrition
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Gardening
  • Energy Technology


The Kearney Center event took place on April 24. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in sustainability games. Presentations included:

  • Nature’s Educators presented Talon Talks with live predatory birds.
  • The Rowe Sanctuary presented on the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area and conducted a tour.

Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series

Central Community College continued its partnership with the Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series (SLPS) for 2018-19. Other partners include Creighton University Office of Sustainability Programs; Hastings College Student Environmental Action Coalition; the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities; Metropolitan Community College; the Nebraska Recycling Council; University of Nebraska-Lincoln Environmental Studies; and University of Nebraska at Omaha Sustainability Office. SLPS hosts a monthly live broadcast featuring experts in the field of environmental sustainability and climate change. Programs included:

  • Mainstreaming Sustainability: How to Connect Dots and Create Impact presented by Jamie Carson, founder of Carson+Co Global.
  • The Power of Networks! Link and Leverage: How Higher Ed is Supporting Sustainable Community Growth presented by Stephenie Presseller, Sustainability Manager for Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill.
  • The State of Electric Transport in Nebraska presented by Anne McCollister, executive director of the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance, and Moe Alahmad, associate professor with the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Environmental Studies Students in the Art Museum: A Case for Interdisciplinary Learning presented by Carrie Morgan, Sheldon Museum of Art's curator of academic programs.
  • Measuring Sustainability: Using Animals as Indicators of Ecological Integrity presented by Nico Arcilla, Lead Scientist at the Crane Trust.
  • Managing Stormwater at Your Home & Business: We are All Downstream presented by Andy Szatko, environmental quality control technician with the city of Omaha’s stormwater program.

NJCAA Academic All-Americans

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has recognized 22 Central Community College student-athletes and one team for academic achievement during 2018-19.

Student-athletes who earned a 4.0 GPA were named NJCAA All-Academic First team, while those who posted a GPA of 3.80-3.99 were named NJCAA All-Academic Second Team. The NJCAA All-Academic Third Team is comprised of student-athletes who finished with a GPA of 3.60-3.79.

As a team, volleyball sported a 3.55 grade point average, to place in the top 20. Overall, 106 volleyball teams nationwide earned NJCAA academic honors.

The following is a list of each sport and each team members’ specific honor:


Evan Halbmaier, 2nd team

Men's Basketball

Cooper Pratt, 3rd team

Men's Soccer

Guilherme Balestra Demhougi, 2nd team, Peterson Costa, 2nd team, Marcus Horwood, 3rd team; Riolan Moradillo Mello, 2nd team; and Luis Tovar, 2nd team


Ashten Gibson, 3rd team; Taylor Griffith, 2nd team; Jenessa Grooms, 2nd team; and Morgan Pinkelman, 1st team.


Maddie Davis, 1st team; Mallory Gotschall, 1st team; Katelynn Halstead, 3rd team; Sheridan Holcomb, 1st team; Jordee Korte, 2nd team; Jacie Laetsch, 2nd team; Abbe Mancuso, 2nd team; and Susie Vavra, 2nd team.

Women's Basketball

Gabrielle Baack, 3rd team; Monica Brooks, 2nd team; Maddie Davis, 1st team; and Sarah Monahan, 1st team.

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

CCC Athletic Hall of Fame InducteesFour individuals, one team and one business were inducted into the Central Community College Athletic Hall of Fame in November. The inductees were:

Jessica (Glatter) Ahern - Ahern led the 2005 CCC volleyball team to a top eight finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament. She was named to the all-tournament team and garnered Second Team All-America honors.

Jim Dolezal - Dolezal served as a student manager and statistician for the CCC men’s basketball team from 1981 to 1983. He had positive influence on the 1983 squad, which finished in second place at the National Little College Athletic Association tournament. 

Dr. Elizabeth Przymus - Przymus served as the associate dean of students at CCC-Columbus from 2006 to 2018. She oversaw athletics during that time and was instrumental in the addition of men’s golf, men’s soccer, softball, women’s basketball and the Raider Rex mascot.

Troy Zierke - Zierke was a standout member of the CCC men’s basketball team from 1987 to 1989. Averaging 19 points and eight rebounds per game, he earned All-Region IX honors.

2005 Volleyball Team - The 2005 Raiders won the Region IX tournament and finished in the top eight at the NJCAA national tournament. Multiple players earned post-season honors.

Hy-Vee - Hy-Vee has provided steadfast support for CCC athletics for several years, which has been instrumental in the success of all programs. The Raider Booster Club, Raider Night and Go-Play Multi-Sports Clinics are just some of the things that Hy-Vee has graciously sponsored throughout the years.

Gutierrez Retires

Jack GutierrezIn May, longtime CCC athletic director Jack Gutierrez retired after 39 years with the department. 

Gutierrez joined CCC on July 1, 1980, as the men’s basketball and golf coach as well as the financial aid director. In 1992, he accepted the role as athletic director and retained his role as men’s basketball coach. Gutierrez led the Raiders to five national tournament appearances, including a fourth place finish at the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II tournament. In 1983, the Raiders were the runners-up in the National Little College Athletic Association championship game. He stepped down as men’s basketball coach following the 2006-07 season with a career mark of 418-386.

The next season, Gutierrez started up and became the head coach of the CCC softball program, which he continues to lead. Under his direction, the Raiders won Region IX titles in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2018.

As athletic director, Gutierrez oversaw the addition of men’s and women’s soccer and softball and the return of golf and women’s basketball. He also established the CCC Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, implemented all-star games and improved fundraising efforts. Gutierrez also directed facilities improvements such as the remodeling and additions to Raider Fieldhouse and the new soccer and softball fields.

Young Appointed to Lead CCC Athletics

Mary YoungMary Young, who coached the CCC volleyball team for 24 years, was named as the interim athletic director upon the retirement of Jack Gutierrez.

Young brought a wealth of leadership experience to her role as the head of CCC athletics, having served in a number of capacities with the NJCAA and Region IX in policy, procedures, sanctions and legislation. She is a past president of the NJCAA Coaches Association and was serving as the Region IX women’s director and on the NJCAA Board of Regents at the time of her appointment.

Young had been named NCCAC Coach of the Year 14 times and Region IX Coach of the Year 13 times. She was named as American Volleyball Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year in 2002, 2008, and 2011.

Women’s Soccer Added, Head Coach Named

Jamie BennettIn November, CCC athletics announced the addition of women’s soccer beginning in the fall of 2019.

The new team brings the total number of athletics teams at CCC to seven. They are men’s and women’s basketball, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball.

In December, CCC athletics announced the appointment of Jamie Bennett to serve as head coach of the women’s soccer team.

Bennett brings 12 years of coaching experience to CCC having led teams at the college, high school and club levels. Bennett served as an assistant coach for the CCC men’s soccer team for the 2017 season. For seven years, he skippered soccer teams at Columbus High School. Bennett spent five years as the head coach for the boys team and two years at the helm of the girls squad. He also led various club teams in the Columbus area.


New Coaches

In addition to Bennett’s appointment, three new coaches were named to fill various vacancies.

Abby Pollart

Abby PollartPollart was chosen to lead the volleyball squad, replacing Mary Young.

Pollart garnered coaching experience from multiple institutions. For the 2016-17 season, she served as the interim head coach at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She also served as an assistant volleyball coach at Concordia University in Seward and at the University of Mary in North Dakota.

A product of community college, Pollart earned an associate of science degree from Northeastern Junior College in Colorado before earning a bachelor’s degree in social science-psychology from St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma. In 2015, she graduated with a master’s degree in physical education and coaching from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

John Ritzdorf

John RitzdorfRitzdorf was appointed as head basketball coach following the departure of Jerry Drymon.

The York native came to CCC from the University of Nebraska-Kearney where he had served as an assistant men’s basketball coach since 2016.

Prior to UNK, Ritzdorf served on men’s basketball staffs at South Dakota-based Northern State University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he earned a degree in education. Ritzdorf also served as an assistant boys basketball coach at Ralston High School and simultaneously coached at the AAU-affiliated Omaha Sports Academy.

Caitlin Simon

Caitlin SimonSimon was named as the new softball coach, taking the reins from Jack Gutierrez.

Simon’s appointment marked a return to CCC, where she had an outstanding career on the softball team from 2012 to 2014. After graduating with an associate of arts degree, she continued her collegiate softball career at Wayne State College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sport management in 2016.

During the 2016-17 academic year, Simon served as an assistant coach for CCC softball and basketball before returning to Wayne State to pursue a master’s degree in organizational management. She served as a graduate assistant in the department of health, human performance and sport and as an assistant softball coach at Wayne High School, where she helped lead the Blue Devils to a state title in 2018.


Fall Sports Honors


  • Shania Borchers, Maddie Davis, Jordee Korte and Jacie Laetsch – All-Region IX Team
  • Jordee Kortee, Jacie Laetsch and Abbe Mancuso – All-Region IX Tournament Team


Winter Sports Honors

Men’s Basketball

  • Runner-up in the Region IX championship game
  • Tre’vion Crawfore and Latrell Talley – NCCAC All-Conference Team
  • Latrell Talley – NJCAA All-America Third Team

Women’s Basketball

  • Runner-up in the Region IX championship game
  • Monica Brooks, Day zchay lon Gardner and Alexis Raemakers – NCCAC All-Conference Team
  • Billy Perkins – NCCAC Co-Coach of the Year

Spring Sports Honors


  • Ethan Paban placed fifth at the Region IX golf tournament and earned a medal


  • Runner-up in the Region IX championship series

Awards and Accolades 

Best for Vets

2019 Best for Vets logoIn 2018-19, Central Community College was awarded the ranking of #1 “Best for Vets” for two-year colleges in the nation by Military Times, the main news source for the military community. It is the sixth consecutive year that Central Community College has received the top ranking. 

Military Times, comprising the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, uses 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 requires schools document meticulously the services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture at their institution.

VMRCs Help Boosts Veterans' Graduation Rate

Since the establishment of CCC’s Veterans and Military Services department in 2011, graduation rates for veteran students have increased from 21 percent to 47 percent. The department oversees four dedicated Veterans and Military Resources Centers (VMRC) on the three main campuses, the Kearney Center and additional services for online students.

The VMRC serves veterans, military service members and their families throughout their studies at CCC. The VMRC also acts as a liaison with the Veterans Administration and other external resources providing a holistic approach for academic and career success, part of the reason 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.

The VMRC serves veterans, military service members and their families throughout their studies at CCC. The VMRC also acts as a liaison with the Veterans Administration and other external resources providing a holistic approach for academic and career success, part of the reason 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 CCC a Top School in its 2019 guide to colleges and universities, an award received since 2014. Also, G.I. Jobs listed CCC as a Top Military Friendly School for the eighth year with a gold designation, an award held since 2012. These guides measure the best practices in higher education through a questionnaire on military-supportive policies at more than 600 colleges.

Travis Karr, director of veteran and military services was appointed to the Military Friendly Advisory Council for military friendly schools. The council consists of recognized leaders throughout the nation with professional credentials and unique perspectives in veterans education. Karr serves as the chair of the methodology committee.

CCC-Hastings VMRC Now Includes Prominent Family Name

Alan Hartley and familyThe Central Community College Foundation announced a significant gift from Alan Hartley and his wife Dorothy to Central Community College. The planned gift celebrates and honors the Hartley’s lasting commitment to the nation’s armed forces and Alan’s 40-plus years of service and dedication as a CCC employee.

During a renaming and room dedication ceremony on Sept. 28, the Veterans and Military Resource Center on the Hastings Campus was changed to the Hartley Family Veterans and Military Resource Center. The naming honors the entire Hartley Family and those who serve in the U.S. Military.

An instructor and staff member at CCC for more than four decades, Hartley served for 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. Called to active duty during Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War, Hartley served for six months with the 295th Ordinance Company in Germany.

A commemorative plaque in the VMRC includes the names of Hartley’s sons, their respective branch of service and a brief detail of their experience. They are Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hartley, U.S. Navy; Staff Sgt. Kendall Hartley, Nebraska Air National Guard; and Senior Airman Christopher Hartley, U.S. Air Force.


Vietnam Veterans Legacy Veterans Motorcycle ClubA local motorcycle club awarded the $4,000 Vietnam Veterans Legacy Veterans Motorcycle club Emergency Scholarship to CCC student veterans in emergencies or financial crisis. The generous award has allowed six students to focus on their classwork and ultimately remain enrolled without the burden of financial strains. The scholarship has been available through the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Veterans Motorcycle Club (pictured) for four years, with over $20,000 total awarded to student veterans to date.Three deserving student Veterans was awarded the CCC Women Veterans Scholarship in honor of Wilma Kellogg 1st Lt, U.S. Army Veteran. Regina Forbes, Kellie Lonnemann and Malena Wire were this year’s award recipients. In this highly competitive scholarship, awardees are scored on academic grow, campus leadership/participation, and community service.   

1st Lt. Wilma, the scholarship’s name sake, served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a Nurse III, from September 1944 to March 1946, achieving the rank of 1st Lt. Wilma traveled to England serving in the General Hospital Unit, which followed their soldiers to France, Belgium, and Germany. She is decorated with 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 Women Warrior.

The VMRC created the “Veterans & Military Appreciation Scholarship” to express gratitude to the men and women who have served their country honorably. The opportunity offers multiple scholarships up to $500 awarded to students to help offset the costs of higher education and make college accessible for hardworking, talented students who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and is open to their family members. This scholarship is setup not to affect any GI Bill funding and is a great addition to resumes. Steve Eckstrom, Darin Haight and Philip Whitfeil are this year’s awardees. 

Veterans Farming Conference

The VMRC in Hastings hosted a Veterans Farming Conference sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs and Legal Aid of Nebraska. A free conference for military veteran farmers who are currently farming or want to begin farming was an excellent opportunity for veterans to connect with fellow former service members who are engaged or interested in farming. The conference covered programs available to veterans interested in farming, mentorships, diversified agriculture, conservation and agritourism.

Veterans Day at the Nebraska State Fair

Service map at the Nebraska State FairThe VMRC hosted the Veterans Day ceremony that honored all veterans, service members and their families with over 800 attendees at the Nebraska State Fair. During the event, members from CCC’s Student Veterans Associations (SVA) from all campuses came together. They displayed maps from around the world and connected with veterans as they pinned locations where they had served. Additionally, SVA members created a photo display of Nebraska’s fallen service members to honor their sacrifices. The SVA also represented CCC in the Veterans Day parade.

Nebraska State Senator Tom Brewer served as the keynote speaker and Justine Kane, U.S. Navy veteran, provided musical entrainment for the ceremony. This event was created to provide learning opportunities for the community and recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans living in communities throughout Nebraska.

Student Veterans Association

Memorial Day Salute

Traveling Vietnam Memorial WallFor Memorial Day, all campuses of the CCC Student Veteran Association collaborated with the Hall County Veteran Service Office and the VFW to construct the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall. The traveling monument stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War and allows people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their hometown who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington D.C. The Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall has 58,272 names etched in at 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. It stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end. 

The SVA also assisted during the Memorial Day ceremony by greeting attendees and adding in their own tradition memorial balloon release. They released over 500 balloons with names of fallen service members from Nebraska. The ceremony was a great success, allowing CCC students to provide a very meaningful memorial event to the community. 

Other SVA Happenings

  • SVA collaborated with Nebraska Army recruiters and Nebraska’s Workforce Development to host a career head-start presentation and fair with guest of honor CSM Jerry Jacobitz, 32D AAMDC. The event allowed local high school students the opportunity to discover military career pathways that also work well with educational degree obtainment.
  • The SVA held its leadership luncheon in March. Attendees learned about some of the events and endeavors that the SVA has been involved with and the accomplishments of three SVA members were also recognized.
  • The Business Collation for Veterans, a non-profit group focused on raising funds for specific veterans groups, collaborated with the SVA and created the “Husker Party in the Park.” The event was open to the community and provided music, food and entertainment along with recognizing veterans for their service in the military and throughout our communities. Over $500 was raised for the SVA.
  • SVA members attended the 11th annual Student Veterans of American National Conference in Orlando, Fla., accompanied by over 2,500 student veterans from across the nation. They learned new ways of enhancing their personal leadership skills as well as ways to improve the SVA on their campus.
CCC Foundation

Anonymous $1 Million Donation Funds Health Care Needs

Kearney Center Nursing LabIn October, a $1 million anonymous donation was given to Central Community College to meet the growing workforce demand for certified nursing assistants (CNA) and nurses in Kearney and the surrounding areas. One of the main reasons the benefactor made the donation was to assist Kearney and surrounding communities in caring for an increasing elderly population in long-term and assisted-living facilities.

The $1 million is being allocated over five years with one year already in the books. Half of the money goes to pay for a full-time instructor and $250,000 dollars is to be used for scholarships in the long-term care area. The other $250,000 has been put into an endowment fund for future scholarships and financial assistance for students in all nursing fields. Additionally, the funds could be used for continuing education, professional education and workshops.

The Kearney Center began in 1958 as a practical nursing education program sponsored by Kearney Public Schools and later became part of Central Community College.

Hastings Major Gifts Campaign Reaches Goal

Hamilton Building Remodel GroundbreakingIn September, the CCC Foundation announced it had met the $5 million funding goal set for the CCC-Hastings Campus Major Gifts Campaign. The achievement came six months ahead of schedule, which allowed groundbreaking (pictured) for a 32,000-square-foot renovation of the Hamilton Building to take place six months ahead of schedule.

The Hamilton Building is home to CCC’s advanced manufacturing design technology program (AMDT) and welding technology program. A 17,000-square-foot addition is being constructed on the south side of the existing facility to house the AMDT program. A 15,000-square-foot remodeling of the existing building will follow and will house the welding technology program. The total cost of the project is $10.3 million, of which $5.3 million will come from college reserves, with the intention of no long-term debt.

With the campaign goal met, the CCC Foundation commenced a second initiative to raise $500,000 in an endowed scholarship for students in the AMDT and welding technology programs.

CCC Foundation Looks Ahead to Next Campaign

The Central Community College Foundation and the College has identified the Center for Science and Technology in Columbus as the next top priority project. The project will focus on the health sciences, nursing, nurse aid and med aid programs along with a virtual innovation lab. The $13.1 million dollar project will be supported by the College putting in $10.1 million dollars from reserves over the next few years with the CCC Foundation to fill the gap with a new “Major Gift Campaign” with details to follow. The CCC Foundation will also include a $500,000 endowed fund for scholarships and technology.

The State of the CCC Foundation

The CCC Foundation continues to grow with assets in the $40 million dollar range. Successful fundraising events, such as the community appreciation event in November at the Hastings Campus and the annual pro-am golf event at Columbus' Elks Country Club in September, play a big role. Proceeds from the golf outing went toward scholarships for the Columbus campus. In addition, the CCC Foundation awarded over $900,000 in scholarships for the 2019-20 school year. Planned giving remains the focus throughout the year with seven new endowment funds opened in fiscal 2019. 

Leading for Success

2019 Board of Governors Officers

Roger Davis

In January, Roger Davis of Kearney was elected by the college Board of Governors to serve as board chair for 2019.


Sam Cowan Sandra Borden John A. Novotny
Also elected as board officers for 2019 were Sam Cowan (left) of Stromsburg, vice chairman; Sandra Borden (center) of Gibbon, secretary; and John A. Novotny (right) of Columbus, treasurer.

Diane Keller Austin Miller  
Diane Keller (left) of Harvard and Austin Miller (right) of Grand Island were elected as representatives of the college on the board of the Nebraska Community College Association.

CCC-Hastings President Announced

Dr. Jerry WallaceIn May, Dr. Jerry Wallace joined CCC as president of the Hastings Campus. Wallace succeeded Bill Hitesman, who retired after 17 years of leading the campus. 

Wallace previously served as the dean of workforce, technical and community education at New River Community and Technical College in Beckley, W.Va. In this capacity, he oversaw all functions of the Advance Technology Center campus, including creating customized workforce training for area companies and employers. In less than two years, Wallace secured more than $1 million in grants for technical program development, paid internship experiences and workforce training. 

Wallace earned a doctorate of education in leadership and management from St. Thomas University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in behavior science from Grand Valley State University. He is currently pursuing a master of business administration from Maryville University.

Budget and Finances

Budget Report

The college operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year was $57,524,948. Funding sources were:

  • State aid in support of the operating budget decreased from $9,576,908 in 2017-18 to $9,264,576 in 2018-19, which provided 16.11 percent of the total.
  • Local property tax for 2018-19 contributed $37,871,510 to the operating budget, compared with $37,174,119 in 2017-18, which provided 64.42 percent of the total.
  • Tuition provided $9,988,862 in 2018-19, which amounted to 17.46 percent of the total.

Operating budget breakdown:

  • 60.86 percent went toward instruction and academic support.
  • 21.88 percent went to institutional support.
  • 8.88 percent went to physical plant support.
  • 6.88 percent went to student services.
  • 1.50 percent went to student aid.

The capital improvement budget for 2018-19 was $10,954,882 and the budget for the hazardous materials/ADA fund was $4,108,081.

Operating Budget Charts


During 2018-19, there were a number of facilities project completed at various CCC campuses and centers. Here is a pictorial sample of some of the projects:

Facilities Gallery

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