2020 Outstanding Alumni

A tradition for many years at CCC, the Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor that Central Community College bestows upon an outstanding alum. The award salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements and community service exemplify the mission statement, “Central Community College Maximizes Student and Community Success.” 

Jake Dilsaver, Columbus Campus

Jake Dilsaver earned an associate of applied science degree from CCC-Columbus in 2005, graduating with honors. He then transferred to Wayne State College to study criminal justice.

Dilsaver is captain of the Lincoln Police Department (LPD). He previously had worked as a uniformed street patrol officer, a criminal investigations unit investigator and a sergeant before being promoted to his current position.

Other ways he served the LPD was as a field training officer, Recruit Academy instructor, internal resource officer chairperson, chaplain liaison, and as a member of the Field Force Team, Policy Review Committee, Labor-Management Committee, Hiring Panel, Wellness Committee and Awards Committee.

His law enforcement career began with an LPD Recruit Academy Top Scholar Award in the fall of 2007. Since then, he has received numerous commendations.

Throughout his career, Dilsaver has been involved in a variety of community activities, including the Friendship Home Board of Directors, Special Olympics, Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors and Teammates Mentoring Program. He also has coached Lincoln Youth Football, volunteered for the Santa Cop Auction and served as a high school and collegiate basketball official. He was selected by coaches as an official for the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Basketball Game in 2016 and 2019 and as an official in multiple Nebraska School Activities Association state basketball tournaments. Through his referee activities, he said he works to maintain standards of sportsmanship and fair competition in interscholastic athletics.

He and his wife, Carrie Mullendore-Dilsaver, are donors and supporters of the True Potential Scholarship program, which focuses on creating opportunities for young immigrants to attend community colleges in Nebraska.

Nia Karmann, Grand Island Campus

Nia Karmann is the owner of Nye Street Studio in Omaha and is an award-winning, professional photographer who specializes in fine art and portrait photography. She’s been featured on NET’s Nebraska Stories, Nebraska Public Radio and NTV’s The Good Life, and her work has been showcased in art galleries, magazines, online publications, books and calendars.

Karmann started taking pictures on film cameras when she was 9 years old in Hall County 4-H. She had her first professional photography show as a senior in high school and then went on to polish her business skills at CCC’s Grand Island and Hastings campuses.

As a student with a disability, she had to overcome adversity and convince naysayers to pursue her passion for photography, but she continues to build her career by submitting her work in a variety of venues throughout the Midwest. She also continues traveling throughout the country and overseas capturing moments in her unique style to build her portfolio.

Her photography has received local and national awards and been published in an international magazine. Her 2019 recognitions include winning second place at the Grand Island Art in the Park for a banyan tree photo from Hawaii; being selected as the featured artist at the Sump Memorial Library in Papillion from June 1 through July 31, and getting published in the Summer 2019 Fine Lines Book as an honorable mention winner. She received that last award as a part of the Omaha Artists Inc.’s Chillin Winter Art Show, and it was her photo featured on the wraparound cover of the Fine Lines Autumn 2018 issue.

Karmann is the current president and adult representative of the Nebraska Spina Bifida Organization. In 2019 she was the 4-H photography judge for the Nebraska State Fair.

Carol Welke, Hastings Campus

Carol Welke earned a two-year diploma in dental assisting in 1976, becoming the first member of her family to graduate from a postsecondary school.

When she started classes at CCC-Hastings in 1974, she walked onto the Rams volleyball team and was selected in 1975 as the team’s co-captain. She also was on the drill team her first year and a cheerleader in her second year.

Welke has been employed by Landgren Family Dental for more than 35 years. She worked for many years as a chairside assistant to Dr. George Landgren before being promoted to running the front desk and training incoming dental assistants. When Dr. David Landgren joined his father in his practice, she was Carol was promoted to office manager. She had planned to retire in March, but COVID-19 led Landgren and Uden Family Dentistry to ask her to stay longer because of her experience and expertise in the office.

Her community activities have included serving as vice president and president of The Arc of Adams and Clay counties and as a member of the ESU #9 Parents Advisory Board and the Mid-State Dental Assistants Society. She also has been an asset to the CCC Dental Assisting Advisory Board and has helped dental assisting instructor Marie Desmarais place CCC students in clinicals. Desmarais was Welke’s instructor when she was attending CCC.

She has been active in the Methodist Church, including working with its youth group, Sunday school and children’s choir. Over the years, she has played on community sports teams and coached youth sports such as volleyball, softball and baseball. She also was a coach for Special Olympics bowling and the Special Olympics Alumni Group.