December 2019-January 2020 Central Connection

December 4, 2019

Jakubowski receives NCCA alumni award

Tracy Jakubowski

Tracy Jakubowski of Wood River has received a 2019 Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA) Distinguished Alumni Award.

She was one of five individuals to receive the alumni award Nov. 3 at the NCCA annual conference in Lincoln. The other four recipients graduated from Mid-Plains, Northeast, Southeast and Western Nebraska community colleges.

Following her graduation from Central Community College-Grand Island in 2007, she 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 completed 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.

Jakubowski’s dedication to bettering history education led to her being selected to attend the 2018 Belfer National Conference at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She has also attended conferences in Nashville and Anaheim to help with the transition of GISH into a career academy school as a teacher leader.

In 2018, she was named the Nebraska History Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Department of Education and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Next year, she will attend a National Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar in American History.

In 2019, she received the CCC-Grand Island Outstanding Alumni Award and was named Grand Island High School Teacher of the Year.

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

Aspen Institute, Princeton Review recognize CCC

Central Community College’s sustainability efforts have earned recognition.

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute has name CCC as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The $1 million prize recognizes high achievement and performance based on strong and improving student outcomes.

The selected community colleges came from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.

The top ten finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.

The Princeton Review

CCC is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company features the college in its just-published free resource, The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition.

The schools profiled were chosen based on Green Rating scores the company tallied from a 2018-19 survey of administrators at 689 colleges about their institutions’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were analyzed for the Green Rating score. Colleges with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide.

The profiles featured in the guide provide information about admission requirements, cost, financial aid and student body demographics as well as “Green Facts” on such things as the availability of transportation alternatives and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local and organic food.

Outstanding students

New members of the Alpha Tau Tau chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society included (above, left to right), Chanel Osburn; Ramona Bontrager, vice president of service; Alicia Hernandez; John Molina, chapter president (and records technician in the CCC human resources department); Ngozi Osazuwa John; Satie Engelhardt; and Carmen Rossi. The Alpha Tau Tau chapter at Central Community College includes students from the Grand Island Campus and the Holdrege, Kearney and Lexington centers.

Hall of Fame gains new inductees

By Scott Miller
Public Relations and Marketing Director

One individual, one team and one business were inducted into the Central Community College Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 15 at its ninth annual induction ceremony at the Freidhof Building in Columbus. The inductees were:

Monica Chamberlain

Monica (Caspar) Chamberlain of Sioux City, Iowa, was a standout on the CCC volleyball team in 1997 and 1998, leading the Raiders to a third-place finish in the NJCAA Division I region tournament in the latter year. The Grand Island native was an All-Region IX selection in 1998 and made the Region IX All-Tournament team as a freshman and sophomore. She logged 793 kills, 874 digs, 109 blocks and sported a .327 hitting efficiency during her CCC career. She was also named All-NCCAC in 1997 and 1998.

1972 Cross Country Team

The 1972 cross country team members were the Nebraska Junior College Conference champions, claimed the Region IX title and finished 20th at nationals.

Ron Suggs of Lawrence, Kan., was the head coach. “It was wonderful to work with each one of them and have them on the team,” he said at the induction ceremony. “They developed into a good team. I was lucky enough to have these guys on the team.”

The team included David Aden, Bill Bryant, Fred Carnahan, Bill Doney, LeRoy Korus, Greg Morgensen and Dave Petro.

Columbus Screen Printing

Columbus Screen Printing (CSP) has been a major contributor and supporter of CCC athletics for more than 35 years.

According to one nominator, owners Tom and Jenny Schwank go above and beyond to make sure the CCC teams look the best in Raider apparel with quality designs on team gear. CSP has been a tremendous partner with generous support to Raider fundraisers to assist the needy or special causes such as cancer screenings and awareness.

At the induction ceremony, Jenny Schwank spoke of the great relationships that have been made over the years with the CCC community. “I’ve learned about their personal lives, their families, what they like to do,” she said. “Without these types of relationships, we wouldn’t have been able to serve the Columbus community for over 30 years.”

CCC ranks at top

The Veterans and Military Resource Center (VMRC) at Central Community College is once again No. 1 on Military Times Best: Colleges 2020 rankings.

This is the seventh consecutive year the VMRC has taken the top spot. CCC is the only Nebraska community college to make the list.

According to Military Times, the process to make the list begins with schools filling out a 150-question survey about operations involving current and former service members and their families. They’re evaluated in university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes and quality, cost and financial aid.

Regarding CCC, the Military Times website said “… this school differentiates itself by going well above and beyond what those rules require, providing in-state tuition to vets who left the military many years ago, to vets who are unable to maintain continuous enrollment, and even to vets who are out of GI Bill benefits.”

CCC established the VMRC in 2011 at the Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings campuses. The Kearney Center VMRC opened in 2017.

Staff members begin their retirements

Diane Bombeck

Joan Wilkins

Linda Wiltrout

The following Central Community College employees have retired:

Diane Bombeck

Diane Bombeck of Shelton worked for 20 years as a nursing admissions technician at the Grand Island Campus.

Her association with CCC began in 1972 after she graduated from Shelton High School and enrolled as a student at the Hastings Campus. She also was a work-study in the Administration Building. After earning a diploma in office technology in 1973, she was hired to work full-time for the vice president of administrative services at CCC in Grand Island. 

Between her two stints at CCC, she worked in Shelton for the John Deere dealership, Landell Thelen and for 20 years at Fairbanks International.

Bombeck is an active member of St Paul Lutheran Church.

She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Donnell, for more than 46 years. They have three sons, Nathan Bombeck of Kearney, Brandon Bombeck of Shelton and Derek Bombeck of Lincoln. They also have five grandchildren.

Joan Wilkins

Joan Wilkins of Columbus began working at the Columbus Campus in 1999 as a switchboard operator. From there, she served as the admissions and athletics secretary and later as the assistant to the associate dean of students before assuming the role of administrative assistant over the Student Center in 2010.

Prior to CCC, she worked at Walmart for 13 years and prior to that, she and her husband, Alan, owned and operated a grocery store and bakery in Murray.

Originally from New Jersey, Wilkins moved with her parents to Nebraska and graduated from Millard High School. While working at CCC, she earned her associate’s degree in business administration.

She and her husband, Alan, who is a retired police officer, have two daughters: Jenny Gallogly and Anna Nelson, both of Columbus. They also have a granddaughter, Charlotte.

Prior to their retirements, Wilkins was involved in the Thin Blue Line, a group for spouses of police officers. Her activities these days, however, revolve around scrapbooking, reading, wood burning, bird watching and spending time with her family.

Linda Wiltrout

Linda Wiltrout of Juniata joined the Hastings Campus staff in 2001 as a full-time administrative assistant who split her time between the grants and admissions departments and then between the admissions and academic transfer departments.

When Dr. Deb Brennan was hired as dean of health sciences, she became the administrative assistant for admissions and health services, the position from which she has retired.

Wiltrout had previously worked in the admissions office and as a campus visit coordinator and administrative assistant for the vice president at Hastings College. She later worked in the human resources office at Mary Lanning Healthcare.

She graduated from Juniata High School and earned a diploma in microcomputers from CCC. She also has taken classes through Hastings College.

She is an active member of First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings. Her past community involvement included serving as president of the Adams County Extension Club, coordinator of the Extension Club Food Booth at the Adams County Fair and as a Sunday school teacher. She was a member the Goodwill Extension Club until it dissolved.

At the Hastings Campus, she has enjoyed interacting with students at the candlelight dinners, working with the Student Ambassadors and helping with various activities. Since she’s currently working part-time for the admissions office, she may still get to participate in some of these same activities.

Wiltrout has two daughters, Kimberly Girling of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Johanna Burr of Kenesaw. She also has seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

In tribute

Ann Marie Nowak, 59, of Greeley died Nov. 17 at her home.

Services were Nov. 21 Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Greeley with burial in the Sacred Heart Cemetery.

She was born March 7, 1960, in Spalding to John “Jack” and Delores (Jurzenski) Nowak. She graduated from Greeley High School in 1978 and earned an associate’s degree from Central Community College in Grand Island.

While living in Grand Island, she worked at various jobs, including CCC as a purchasing agent for 20 years. She returned to Greeley to care for her parents and was working at Shelz’s Daycare at the time of her death.

She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Altar Society and Greeley American Legion Auxiliary; Spalding Pharmacy bowling team and softball leagues. She was proud of her 26 years of sobriety.

Survivors include three brothers, Bill Nowak of Lincoln, Mike Nowak of Grand Island and Tom Nowak of Greeley; three sisters, Mary Stepanek of St. Paul, Patty Paxton of Superior and Karen Kuta of St. Libory; 19 nieces and nephews; and 27 great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, John Nowak.

Memorials are suggested to the family’s choice. T.J. Finn and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Employee news

Columbus Campus

Craig Potthast has joined the staff as a plastic injection molding trainer and coordinator.

Grand Island Campus

A new employee is Darrin Wilcox, criminal justice instructor.

Janice Hill has resigned as a human services instructor.

Jody Luce

Jody Luce, academic education administrative assistant, has completed 25 years of service.

She joined the staff on a part-time basis in December 1992 and also worked with former CCC employees Peg Piel in the print shop and Sharon Oakeson in the campus president’s office. She was promoted to her full-time position on Sept. 19, 1994.

She previously had worked at Wortman Motors in Aurora and Floodman Irrigation in Grand Island.

Luce is a 1977 graduate of Pleasanton Public School and CCC where she has earned associate of applied science degrees in accounting, data processing, general office and paralegal studies and diplomas in microcomputers and word processing.

She has a son, Eric Luce, of Horton, Kan.

Hastings Campus

Alexander “Alex” Toney has joined the staff as a residence life coordinator.

Kearney Center

The new nursing assistant and medication aide trainer is Debbie Schaaf.