February 2023 Central Connection

February 1, 2023

Board of Governors gains new member

The Central Community College Board of Governors gained a brand-new member in January.

Dan Quick of Grand Island was elected in November 2022 to represent District 4. He replaces Austin Miller, who decided not to run for reelection.

Quick worked at the Grand Island Utilities Department’s Platte Generating Station until retiring in 2017 after being elected to the Nebraska Unicameral. He served as a state senator through 2020.

He is a member of the Heartland United Way Board of Directors and the Blessed Sacrament Parish Council. He previously served as president and business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1597 and president of the Central Nebraska Central Labor Council and the Nebraska State Utility Workers.

His honors include being named to the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Holland Children’s Movement Honor Roll and receiving the 2020 Farmer’s Union’s President’s Award, 2021 Tobacco Education Advocacy Midlands’ Advocate of the Year Award and 2021 Dan Lutz Passenger Rail Advocacy Award.

Quick also attended CCC for one year as a welding student.

CCC board members reelected in November were Linda Aerni of Columbus, Roger Davis of Kearney, Diane Keller of Harvard and Rita Skiles of Huntley.

McGimpsey receives top honor

Charles McGimpsey of Hastings has received the 39th Annual Outstanding Service Award at Central Community College-Hastings.

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

McGimpsey joined the CCC staff in 1974 as a custodian, the same position he holds today.

His nominators described him as a dedicated and hardworking employee with an exemplary work ethic and attention to detail.

One of them said he’s “always willing to assist with special event coverage and after-hours events.”

Another nominator said the “good enough” mantra isn’t sufficient for McGimpsey, who seems to require “practically perfect” as his goal when completing tasks.

“He brings true professional attributes to CCC and genuinely cares about delivering excellent quality work,” said yet another nominator, adding that he also “brings a personal touch only someone with experience can.”

McGimpsey graduated from Osceola High School and has taken several classes at CCC.

Alumni Weekend

Central Community College-Columbus will host the 2023 Alumni Weekend Feb. 24-26.

These events are open to the public free of charge: campus tours, Business After Hours at the Columbus Innovation Center, Family Fun Day and Burger Lunch, Raider men’s and women’s basketball games against Southeast Community College, band concert and fine arts showcase. The cost to attend the Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony is $20 per ticket.

The schedule and other information can be found at www.cccneb.edu/alumniweekend.

Riley Callan Smith (No. 7, second from the left) with her fellow teammates on the 2008 Raiders volleyball team.

Athletic Hall of Fame to induct new members

The Central Community College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct three individuals and one team during ceremonies set for Feb 25 at the Columbus Innovation Center, 1365 24th Ave. The evening will begin with a social hour at 6:30 p.m. followed by the induction at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by contacting Sara Rood at 402-562-1454 or sararood@cccneb.edu.

The 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are:

Jack Gutierrez

Jack Gutierrez joined the CCC staff on July 1, 1980, as men’s basketball and golf coach as well as financial aid director. In 1992, he accepted the position of athletic director while retaining 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.

Following the 2006-07 season, he stepped down as men’s basketball coach with a career mark of 418-386.

Gutierrez started the CCC softball program in 2008 and became its head coach. 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. During his service, the CCC Athletic Hall of Fame was established and the all-star games were implemented. He also was instrumental in facilities improvements, which included the remodel of the Raider Fieldhouse and the addition of the turf soccer field and softball complex.

He retired from CCC in 2019.

Riley Callan Smith

An outside hitter for the Raiders in 2008 and 2009, Riley Callan Smith was CCC’s first two-time NJCAA All-American. As a freshman, she led the Raiders to the NJCAA national volleyball tournament. She is a previous CCC volleyball record holder with 1,028 kills.

Smith was named NJCAA Second Team All-American as a freshman and NJCAA First Team All-American as a sophomore. She was twice named All-Region 9, All-Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference (NCCAC), Academic All-Region 9 and Academic All-NCCAC. She also was named the Sertoma Athlete of the Year.

After CCC, she transferred to Morningside College where she played volleyball for two more years.

Today, she is employed as a licensed mental health practitioner in Ord and as the head volleyball coach at Ord High School.

Lindsay Larson

An outfielder on the softball team, Lindsay Larson had a stellar career in 2013 and 2014.

As a freshman, she led the Raiders in stolen bases (35) and slugging percentage (.766). As a sophomore, she led CCC in runs (45), hits (48), stolen bases (46) and slugging percentage (.730). Her 81 career stolen bases stood as a CCC record until 2022.

Larson was twice named All-Region 9, All-NCCAC, Academic All-Region 9, Academic All-NCCAC, and Region 9 All-Tournament Team.

As an early childhood education major at CCC, she sported a 4.0 GPA. She had planned on transferring to Concordia University to earn a bachelor’s degree and play softball but she died in a car accident in July 2014. Funds given to the CCC Foundation in her memory are being used for book scholarships for CCC softball players.

Men’s Basketball Team

Under Coach Jack Gutierrez, the 1999-2000 men’s basketball squad posted a record of 21-13 and won the Region 9 and district championships. At the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, the Raiders took fourth place and finished fourth in the final rankings.

Team members were Beau Brown, Gayle Carey, Jeron Epting, Jesse Hart, Andy Johnson, Vernon Johnson, Jeff Kopecky, JJ Oberg, Bill Parker, Travis Ratzlaff, TJ Rickert, Ted Standing Soldier, and Justin Vogt. Brian Doke was the student manager and Saul Soltero served as assistant coach.

The 1999-2000 men’s basketball team: (left to right, back row) Student Manager Bryan Doke, Assistant Coach Saul Soltero, John Frost, JJ Oberg, Beau Brown, Travis Ratzlaff, Andy Johnson, Mike Woods, Bill Parker, Coach Jack Gutierrez and Student Manager Matt Armon and (front row) Justin Vogt, TJ Rickert, Jessie Heart, Ted Standing Soldier, Vernon Johnson, Jeff Kopecky,  Jeron Epting and Gayle Carey.

Employees mark special anniversaries

Congratulations to the full-time and part-time Central Community College employees who celebrated special anniversaries in 2022.

Administrative Office

Twenty-five years: Lynda Cohn, senior application database administrator, and Sheila Hansen, network and cabling specialist.

Twenty years: Mark Francis, application database administrator.

Ten years: Kevin Julesgard, post-awards grant director, and Gabe Trejo, information technology systems specialist.

Five years: Paige Gibreal, college accountant, and Nichole Olson, foundation administrative assistant.

Columbus Campus

Thirty-five years: Karin Rieger, associate dean of community and workforce education.

Twenty-five years: Kim Garretson, facilities management director; Doug Hann, information technology systems specialist; Lori Hodtwalker, business administration instructor; and Keith Manak, print equipment operator.

Twenty years: Steve Reiter, philosophy instructor.

Fifteen years: Jeff Kitson, vocal music instructor.

Ten years: Scott Hlavac, health instructor; Melissa Kosch, mathematics instructor; Kyle Lingenfelter, health instructor; Wade Hilker, agriculture sciences instructor; Jerry Ryan, custodian; and Nick Whitney, biological science instructor.

Five years: Robin Coan, Academic Success Center coordinator; Jerry Muller, industrial technology coordinator and trainer; Kimberly Noonan, academic education administrative assistant; Austin Patzel, residence life coordinator; Kim Saum, resource center assistant; Kim Scow, financial aid technician; and Marketh Senff, welding instructor.

Grand Island Campus

Thirty-five years: Dave Stewart, facilities management assistant director.

Twenty years: Kyle Sterner, associate dean of academic education.

Fifteen years: Kim Hurt, business administration instructor.

Ten years: Charles Carpenter, physical science instructor; Barb Glines, facilities management administrative assistant; Lydia Lough, psychology instructor; Misty Peterson, health programming director; and Rhett Psota, chemistry instructor.

Five years: Breanna Anderson, criminal justice instructor; Fredrick Benzel, paramedicine instructor; Matt Carlton, electrical maintenance technician; Marty Griess, Academic Success Center tutor; Venus King, business administration instructor; Robert Sorensen, adult education instructor; and Ashley Weets, associate dean of students.

Hastings Campus

Thirty-five years: Laura Bulas, business administration instructor, and Michele Schroer, financial aid director.

Twenty-five years: Lionel Johnson, motorcycle repair; Kathy Marble, sociology instructor; and Craig Shaw, information technology and systems instructor.

Twenty years: Michelle Lubken, disability services director.

Fifteen years: Renee DeWyke, drafting and design technology instructor.

Ten years: Mary Beaty, academic education administrative assistant; Laura Cline, registration and assessment technician; Linda Cooke, adult education instructor; James Eads, English instructor; Kyle Finecy, automotive technology instructor; Dona Haberer, adult education teachers aide; Kathy Hemberger, custodian; Tanner Jenkins, biological science instructor; Linda Johnson, nursing assistant and medication aide instructor; Linda Johnston, adult education instructor; Patty Kirkegaard, dental hygiene instructor; Michelle Konen, business administration instructor; Leaha Kothe, facilities management support specialist; Steven Kulek, groundskeeper; Josh Leth, diesel technology instructor; Chin Ng, mathematics instructor; Susan Oliver, health sciences instructor; Jenny Scott, accounting clerk; and Kelsey Seidler, print shop manager and designer.

Kearney Center

Five years: Karol Cavanaugh, nursing assistant and medication aide trainer; Monica Goodell, English instructor; Yunteng He, chemistry instructor; Katie Holmes, student services technician; Sarah Loudy, biological science instructor; Jaime Loza, evening learning center manager; Lauren Ramirez-Wenburg, community and workforce education coordinator; and Ed Taylor, facilities management assistant director.

Lexington Center

Ten years: Cheryl Bowers-Richardson, community and workforce education administrative assistant.

News Briefs

Concert dates set in Columbus

The Central Community College-Columbus music department is preparing for two concerts this spring.

A band concert will be held at 3 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Fine Arts Theater. Performing will be the CCC Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Krista Vazquez-Connelly. Student work from the art and design department will be featured during the performance.

A choral concert will be held at 7 p.m. on March 2 at the First United Methodist Church, 2710 14th St. in Columbus. It will feature the CCC choirs under the direction of Jeffrey Kitson. The Schuyler High School Choir will be a special guest.

Admission to the concerts is free, but freewill donations are welcome. Both events are best suited for ages 5 and older.

College receives cybersecurity grant

Central Community College is one of 14 community colleges across the nation chosen to participate in the Cyber Skills for All initiative, which was made possible by a partnership between the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Microsoft.

In addition to receiving a $20,000 grant, CCC and the other selected institutions will learn best practices so they can deliver high-quality, industry-relevant cyber skills education to their students.

“As technology evolves so do the skills needed to protect the nation’s technology infrastructure,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, AACC president and CEO.  “Working together with Microsoft, we will provide these community colleges with resources to ensure students learn the relevant skills needed in the workforce.”

CCC divisions merge into one

The Extended Learning Services and Training Development divisions at Central Community College have combined to become Community and Workforce Education (CWE).

CWE provides access to both credit and noncredit classes and workshops throughout CCC’s 25-county service area. Programming includes early college in partnership with area high schools through concurrent enrollment which provides students access to CCC courses.

Working with area partners and employers, CWE will continue to develop and deliver workshops and conferences, online learning, customized training and continuing education in leadership, health, CNA and CPR, environmental health and safety, plastics production, machining technology, quality, and industrial maintenance. CWE is also the source for avocational classes for personal enrichment and recreation.

25th anniversary

Barb Larson of Palmer has completed 25 years of employment at CCC.

She began work at the college on Jan. 18, 1998, as Tech Prep coordinator, then went on to serve as assistant to Dennis Tyson, then CCC’s vice president of educational services. In this position, she worked with financial aid, registration and admissions.

About 15 years ago, she accepted her current position as college registrar and special projects director.

She said she enjoys making processes more efficient and working with employees and students. She’s thankful for those she counts among her mentors: Tyson and Deb Brennan, who both retired as vice presidents of educational services, as well as Janel Walton, current dean of enrollment management.

Prior to joining the CCC staff, Larson was employed at Columbus Lakeview High School for eight years as a business instructor and for a year with school-to-work.

She graduated from Centennial High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education and business administration from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Doane University.

Larson is a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) volunteer and serves on the Regional Foster Care Review Board.

She and her husband, Dan, have a son and a foster son. Their daughter died in an ATV accident in 2010.

Recent organizational changes at Central Community College involve (from left to right) Kelly Christensen, Pennie Morgan, Lauren Slaughter and Beth Klitz.

Organizational changes take effect at CCC

Three Central Community College organizational changes took place on Jan. 1 and a fourth will go into effect on July 1. These changes involve the following employees:

Kelly Christensen

Because of the combination of Extended Learning Services and Training and Development into one division, Dr. Kelly Christensen’s title has changed to vice president of Community and Workforce Education. He is responsible for the Holdrege, Kearney and Lexington centers and Ord Learning Center.

During his 24 years of experience at CCC, he has served as an associate dean of instruction, associate dean of  extended learning services, dean of training and workforce development and most recently as Kearney Center administrator.

Christensen is a graduate of Leadership Nebraska, Leadership Hastings and Leadership Kearney. He serves on the Kearney Chamber of Commerce board, University of Nebraska-Kearney Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development Advisory Council and Nebraska Safety Center Advisory Board.

Pennie Morgan

Pennie Morgan has had “interim” removed from her title and is now the senior director of human resources.

She has been with CCC for 15 years, working as a customized leadership trainer, Project Help and Nebraska workforce grant director, and employee relations director.

She brought to the college more than 18 years of experience in human resources management, hiring, training and development, benefits administration, compliance, and employee development. Much of this experience came from leadership in the corporate offices of Chief Industries and Cabela’s.

She holds certifications from the Society of Human Resource Management and Human Resource Institute. She is a graduate of Grand Island Leadership Tomorrow and is on the board of Central Nebraska Human Resource Management Association.

Morgan’s previous position of employee relations director is not being filled at this time.

Lauren Slaughter

The responsibility of Title IX/504/ADA coordinator has been reassigned from Dr. Chris Waddle to Lauren Slaughter, making her the Title IX/504/ADA coordinator and director of equity and compliance.

She has moved from human resources to the student success division and reports directly to Dr. Beth Klitz, who has served as a deputy Title IX coordinator since 2018.

Slaughter has worked at CCC since 2015, joining the staff as a success coach. She also is an adjunct instructor.

Beth Klitz

On July 1, Dr. Beth Klitz’s title will change to vice president of student success and enrollment management. Her previous position of dean of student success will be combined with the dean of enrollment management position held by Dr. Janel Walton.

The spring semester will allow transition time for affected staff members and services.

Klitz’s service to CCC began 25 years ago and includes all aspects of student services, athletics and enrollment management in addition to six years in regional extended learning services. She has served as an associate dean of instruction, associate dean of students and dean of student success.

She is certified in multiple levels of civil rights, incident management systems, student conduct and higher education risk management.  She has served as a board member for Columbus Community Hospital, president of the Platte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and on numerous Chamber of Commerce committees and area fundraising campaigns.

In tribute: Wayne Huntley,  James Underwood

Wayne Huntley

Fredrick “Wayne” Huntley of Hastings, 78, died Nov. 29, 2022, at his home.

Services were Dec. 10 at Grace United Methodist Church in Hastings with burial in Parkview Cemetery in Hastings.

He was born July 12, 1944, in Hastings to Fredrick W. and Helen L. (Glanz) Huntley. He was a 1962 graduate of Hastings Senior High School and attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Central Community College.

While attending Hastings High School, he excelled in sports and earned a spot on the 1960 basketball state championship team and the Hastings American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.

He married Lois Tessendorf on Aug. 10, 1968, in Grand Island.

He began a racing career in 1964 as a go-kart driver and transitioned into stock cars in 1966. His success landed him the track championship at Kearney from 1969-1971. He was track champion from 1970-1971 at Hastings, point champion in 1972 at Mid-Continent, and picked up the track title at Speed Bowl in Red Cloud. He was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2019.

After retiring from driving in 1974, he began a 35-year career as a parts sales and management instructor at CCC-Hastings.

He was the founder and sponsor of the CCC drag racing team, co-founder of the CCC Ram Athletic Booster Club, and played an instrumental role in fundraising.

He also served as interim department chair and as an assistant men’s basketball coach. He was awarded the Hastings Campus Outstanding Service Award in 1989 and the Nebraska Community College Systems Faculty Member Award in 1997.

He also served on the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) parts test writing board and wrote articles for national trade journals.

Survivors include his wife, two children, brothers and grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home and Cremation Center was in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be given to the family and condolences may be left at www.lbvfh.com.

James Underwood

Dr. James Underwood, of Garfield, Ark., 78, died on Jan. 4.

Services were Jan. 10 at Benton County Funeral Home in Rogers, Ark., with interment at Fayetteville National Cemetery in Fayetteville, Ark.

His higher education career consisted of 45 years as a community college educator with the last 20 years as a college president. He served for 14 years as the chief financial officer at Central Community College in Grand Island, eight years as the chief financial officer at the University of Arkansas in Ft. Smith, three years as the chief financial officer and chief academic officer at Richland Community College in Decatur, Ill.; six years as president of Northeast Community College, and 14 years as president of Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Ill.

Throughout his career he taught leadership courses and created a leadership institute. Over the years he served in many community leadership roles and received honors from community and educational organizations.

Underwood was born in Fresno, Calif., where his father was stationed in the U.S. Army during World War II. The family later moved to southwest Iowa where he graduated from South Page High School near Clarinda.

He earned a diploma from the Grand Island School of Business; an associate degree from CCC-Columbus, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney; and a master’s degree in business administration and doctorate from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Underwood was a Vietnam veteran with active and reserve service who retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel.

Survivors include his wife, Roxie; two children; six siblings; and four grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Veterans Tribute at Kaskaskia College or the First United Methodist Church in Rogers.

Employee news

Columbus Campus

Mark Boatwright, chemistry instructor, and Alysha Linder, nursing instructor, have resigned from their positions.

Mike Dalton has joined the staff as an information technology services specialist.

Kathy Margheim has shifted positions from student services administrative assistant to recruiting and admissions technician.

Grand Island Campus

Mark Funkey has resigned as associate dean of health sciences. His replacement is Kerri Dey, who will continue to also serve as pharmacy technician program director.

Hastings Campus

Two employees have shifted into new positions: Amber Braun, from building control operator to student services administrative assistant, and Debra Russell, from registration and assessment technician to reverse transfer specialist.

New employees include Justin Curtis, diesel technology instructor, Brian Hansen, electrical technology instructor; and Holden Zubrod, custodian.

Susan Kuta has resigned as recruiting software coordinator.

Lexington Center

Sindy Fiene has been promoted from part-time community education coordinator to full-time learning center and Early College manager.