April 2019 Central Connection

April 2, 2019

Phi Theta Kappa chapters earn honors

The Central Community College Phi Theta Kappa chapters at the Columbus and Hastings campuses have received a national Reach Award in recognition of their achieving an increase in membership by at least 15 percent.

All three chapters won awards at the PTK Kansas-Nebraska Regional Conference March 1-3 in Wichita, Kan.

The Hastings Campus chapter received a Five-Star Chapter Award in recognition of its engagement at the campus, regional and international Phi Theta Kappa levels. The Columbus and Grand Island chapters each received a Four-Star Chapter Award.

Following are the other awards the chapters won.

Chi Sigma Chapter, Columbus Campus

The Chi Sigma chapter received an honorable mention in the College Project category, reflecting its placement in the top 25 percent of projects submitted in the category.

Chi Sigma president Cassie Seckel of Columbus received a fourth place in the Distinguished Chapter Officer category.

Conference attendees were adviser Nick Whitney and students Maria Juarez and Cassie Seckel of Columbus, Jayden Hagg of Mead and Audie Earnest of Wood River. 


Alpha Tau Tau Chapter, Grand Island Campus

The Alpha Tau Tau chapter received a third-place Yearbook Award and an honorable mention for its Honors in Action project.

Adviser Amy Osburn and students Malena Wire of Aurora and Kaela Evans and Joe Heun of Kearney received a Five-Star Competitive Edge Award.

Osburn, Evans and Heun attended the conference along with fellow Alpha Tau Tau members Allan Osburn of Cairo, Esbeidy Chavez and Regina Forbes of Grand Island and Anna Graverholt of Norfolk.


Beta Alpha Delta Chapter, Hastings Campus

The Beta Alpha Delta chapter received an honorable mention in the College Project category, reflecting its placement in the top 25 percent of projects submitted in the category; and a fifth-place Service Award.

Student Alexis Moss of Hastings received a Five-Star Competitive Edge Award and an honorable mention in the Distinguished Officer Award category.

Adviser Lydia Lough received a Five-Star Adviser Award as well as a Horizon Award for making significant contributions to the chapter, including serving as its advocate on campus and encouraging members to be involved at all levels of Phi Theta Kappa.

She attended the conference along with students Jenna Tiemeyer of Fairfield, Hannah Hettle of Hampton, Jazmin Esquivel of Lexington and Taryn Patterson of Loomis.

PTK is an international honor society for students in two-year colleges.

Program director receives recognition for excellence

Dr. Wanda Cloet, dental hygiene program director at Central Community College-Hastings, has been 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.

The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1968 to cultivate innovation in the community college environment.

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.

John E. and Suanne D. Roueche are leaders in the community college field and early proponents of the idea that teachers have major responsibility for how well students perform in the classroom. They have been partners and friends of the League for Innovation in the Community College for more than 35 years.

Moss named academic team scholar

Alexis Moss of Hastings, a student at Central Community College-Hastings, has been named a 2019 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.


The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars with nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion.

Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for students in two-year colleges, is a partner in the program. Moss is a member of the Beta Alpha Delta chapter at CCC-Hastings.

Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service. Team members will be recognized in local and state ceremonies as well as at Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention April 4-6 in Orlando, Fla.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”

“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for recognizing these student leaders and for investing in their futures,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “Scholarships like these are integral to the success of these students in reaching their educational and career goals.”

Open houses set for student house

The 2019 house was built by students in the Central
Community College-Hastings construction techology;
electrical technology; and heating, air conditioning
and refrigeration programs. Photo by Kelsey Keep)

Central Community College-Hastings has scheduled two open houses for a student-built house that will be sold by auction in May. They will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. April 7 and April 28 at the college.

The 1,918-square-foot house was built by students in the construction technology; electrical technology; and heating, air conditioning and refrigeration programs.

The auction will be conducted at 6 p.m. on May 1 by Olson Auction Company. The terms of the sale are cash or certified check, with 25 percent due the day of the sale and the balance due within 15 days and prior to moving the house. The sales price is subject to sales tax. The owner must insure the house immediately upon purchase and must move the house from the premises by Aug. 2.

For more information or to arrange a tour, contact CCC construction instructors Keith Dubas at (402) 461-2515 or keithdubas@cccneb.edu or Caleb Kuhfahl at (402) 460-2127 or calebkuhfahl@cccneb.edu.

Lurk retires

Rae Ann Lurk of Hastings has retired as an administrative assistant for the extended learning services office at Central Community College-Hastings.


She joined the CCC staff in 1992 as a part-time administrative assistant in 1992 working on the accreditation process for the dietary management program. She later added grants to her administrative assistant responsibilities and worked on such efforts as displaced homemakers and nontraditional jobs for women.

In 1998, she was promoted to the full-time position she held at her retirement. For ELS, she handled payroll and requisitions, planned traffic safety classes and worked with the propane program, conferences and workshops, IP classes and Pearson VUE testing.

Prior to joining the CCC staff, she was a homemaker in San Diego where her husband, Richard, was stationed. While there, she worked at Freese Elementary School, first as a part-time library aide and then as a full-time office clerk.

After Richard’s retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1988, the couple moved back to Harvard, Neb., where they both had grown up.

They have three children: Michelle Asher of Lincoln; Richard Lurk II of Bradenton, Fla.; and Stephanie Lurk of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In tribute

Don Richards

Don Ray Richards of Red Cloud died March 8 in Hastings with family at his side.

Services were March 14, at the First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud with interment with military honors in the Red Cloud Cemetery.

He was born Nov. 6, 1947, in Osceola to Earl R and Nettie M (Wolfe) Richards.

He attended District 16 rural school in Webster County until fourth grade when he became a student at Red Cloud Public Schools, graduating in 1966. In 1967, he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

He married Christina McManis on Oct. 16, 1968. They were married for 10 years, during which time they adopted their daughter, Celine Marie.

He attended Kearney State College where he graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in business administration.

He worked as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor in Lexington before moving to Grand Island and beginning a 25-year career at Central Community College. He taught social science and then worked as registrar until his retirement in 2011.

He moved back to Red Cloud in 2015 and worked part-time for the Willa Cather Foundation.

Survivors include his daughter, Celine Zlomke; a brother, Jim Richards of Red Cloud; and three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Leonard and Bill.

Williams Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Art Stark

Hastings resident Arthur C. “Art” Stark, 87, died March 13 at his home.

Services with military rites were held March 18 at Faith Lutheran Church in Hastings. His ashes will be spread at his favorite fishing spot.

He was born Aug. 8, 1931, in Bach, Mich., to Carl and Mary (Rehr) Stark.

He was stationed in Texas as a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1958.

On Aug. 21, 1955, he married Jeanne Ellis at First Christian Church in Kearney.They lived in Detroit, Mich., where he worked with Teamsters Union 229. In 1960 they moved to Hastings where he worked for Naval Ammunition Depot until it closed. He then worked for Central Community College until his retirement.

After his retirement, to keep busy, he worked as a loader driver at Consolidated Concrete in Hastings. He finally retired in 2017.

He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans, where he was past commander.

Survivors include his wife; three daughters, Jane Werner of Omaha and Jackie Waite and Janice Melander of Hastings; three sons, Randy Stark of Omaha and Bradley Stark and Mitch Stark of Hastings; a brother, Herbert Stark of Pigeon, Mich.; 19 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, William, Ed, and John; and eight sisters, Lillian Irion, Betty Stark, Martha Schenk, Alma Boitos, Ruth Kastraba, Lydia Stark, Elsie Stark, and Dorothy Stark.

Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home and Cremation Center was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.lbvfh.com. Memorials may be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Registration opens for Leadercast

Registration for Leadercast Live is now open for people who want to attend at Central Community College in Hastings, Kearney or Ord.

Leadercast Live is a one-day leadership event that will be broadcast from Atlanta to hundreds of host sites from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 10.

This year’s theme is “Leading Healthy Teams.” Participants will learn how master the art and science of developing and leading healthy teams.

Speakers will include Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning and editor-at-large of O, the Oprah magazine; Patrick Lencioni, founder of The Table Group; Dr. Caroline Leaf, communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist; Marcus Samuelsson, award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality; Juliet Funt, CEO of WhiteSpace at Work; and Andy Stanley, leadership author and communicator.

Also speaking will be Ginger Hardage, former senior vice president of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines; Craig Springer, executive director of AlphaUSA; and Carla Harris, vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley.

The registration fee of $75 includes breakfast, lunch and a journal. Students with a valid ID may attend for $55, and group pricing is available for more than 10 individuals.

Employee news

Administrative Office

Pennie Morgan’s title has changed from employee training specialist to employee relations director.

Tiffany Seybold, web content specialist, received a Paragon Award at the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) conference March 24-26 in San Antonio. She won the bronze in the E-card category for “Looking Back: 2017 CCC Holiday E-card.”

Columbus Campus

Dee Johnson of Columbus has completed 25 years of employment at the Columbus Campus.


She started work on Feb. 1, 1994, as a resource center assistant to Nell Burnham, who was associate dean of learning resources. When Burnham retired in 2000, Johnson became learning resource director, the position she still holds today.

Prior to joining the staff, she worked as a cosmetologist and barber in Columbus for 14 years.

Johnson is a graduate of Humphrey St. Francis High School. She earned an associate’s degree from CCC and a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Bellevue University.

She is president of the ONE Library Consortium and has served several times on the Three Rivers Library System board. She is an active member of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Columbus.

She and her husband, Ray, have three children: Ben Johnson of Columbus, Drew Johnson of Omaha and Pam Bartlett of Custer, S.D., and nine grandchildren.

Duane Matson has resigned as associate dean of business and skilled and technical sciences.

Grand Island Campus

Matt Grimes has been promoted from custodian to custodial supervisor.

Hastings Campus

Wanda Cloet, dental hygiene program director, and Hannah Randall, adjunct dental hygiene instructor, gave a Tech Expo presentation, “Utilizing the Collaborative Spirit for Electronic Chart Audits,” at the American Dental Education Association meeting March 18 in Chicago.

Hansen Stewart has resigned as associate dean of business.