IALL Awards 2013
Story by Tom Haskell
The Iowa Association for Lifelong Learning held its Awards Banquet July 11, 2013. Past President Julie Thomas presented the 2013 award winners selected by the awards committee headed by Steve Allison. Tom Haskell served as Master of Ceremonies for the after dinner presentation of the six awards.
Lisa Walker, IWCC Continuing Education Center, Rookie of the Year:
Julie Thomas presents Award to Lisa Walker
Lisa Walker joined Iowa Western (IWCC) in January 2012 and quickly became an integral part of the Continuing Education Team. First she was hired as the Coordinator for the IWCC Continuing Education Center but was quickly propelled into the role of Program Coordinator for General Interest Classes. Her experience with social media and her active involvement with campus organizations bolstered her success.
Some of her organizations included sponsorship for Campus Lights, membership in the Employee Wellness Committee, coordination of Health Fairs and Weight Loss Challenges, and she quickly joined IALL and immediately took on the Secretary Elect position. As an IALL board member she was actively involved in making suggestions and sharing ideas. Pam Southworth accurately summed up Lisa’s worthiness in her nomination, “All of her accomplishments during her first year with Continuing Education make her highly eligible for this award… Lisa has been energetic and eager to help.P”
Paul Jameson, SWCC and sometimes IWCC instructor, Outstanding Adult Educator Award:
Kim Oaks, SWCC (nominator), Julie Thomas, and Paul Jameson
Kim Oaks, Southwest Community College (SWCC), in her nomination of Paul James wanted his years of service, his relationship with his students, and his dedication to be recognized. Paul has been a math instructor with the Creston School district for many years and an instructor for the Driver Improvement Program (DIP) at SWCC for many years. Currently he teaches DIP classes on a monthly basis, moped safety three times a year, and OWI classes every month in Creston and quarterly in Osceola, Red Oak, and IWCC’s Clarinda campus. Recently he has also added OWI classes for IWCC’s Atlantic site. These classes are in addition to the classes he teaches as an adjunct evening instructor in math for the credit programs at SWCC as well as the dual credit classes -- for community college credit and high school credit -- in the mornings at Creston High School. If that were not enough, he also teaches Drivers’ Education classes in Creston and Lenox, Iowa.
The “true reason” Kim nominated Paul, is that he is a great cook. Kim wrote, “When I was taking evening classes and only had about an hour between work and class, he would deliver supper to my office so I could eat before class.” She also acknowledged that, “The number of people whose lives Paul has touched is endless… He helps them feel at ease and they come away from class learning something whether they planned to or not.”
Judy Losing, Iowa Valley Continuing Education (IVCE), Outstanding Support Personnel Award
Julie Thomas and Judy Losing
Two years ago Judy Losing’s position changed drastically due to Iowa Valley Continuing Education’s reorganization. Judy turned an unwelcomed change into a positive experience due to her patience, knowledge, and helpful demeanor.
In this coordinated IVCE nomination by Sandy Supianoski, Julie Thomas, and Jackie Goodman, these were some of the comments: “Every office needs that one person described as the ‘glue’ that holds the rest of the office together – this individual is similar to a brick foundation that if removed would cause major structural damage.” From the beginning Judy was eager to learn and do things correctly. She was helpful and fixed computer problems created by her co-workers and supervisors who were less familiar with technology than she. “She has always remained calm, pleasant, helpful, and has garnered the respect of all who have the opportunity to work with her – she is a great asset to our team.”
In summing up this person’s contributions to the team, it was only natural that she earned the position of Executive Assistant this past year for Iowa Valley Continuing Education. The nomination concluded with, “I could go on and on with other adjectives to describe her ability to make continuing education look good but I’ll end with, ‘when the ship starts to sink I want Judy in my life boat!”
Emerson Process Management (FISHER Controls), Marshalltown, IA, Citation of Merit:
Pictured at the award ceremony are, from left, Jacque Goodman, IVCE Vice Chancellor; Steve Martin, Emerson Human Resources Director, Machine Operations; Jean Brownlie, IVCE Business Solutions Consultant; Jill Lutes, Emerson Human Resources Director, North America; Julie Thomas, IALL Past President and IVCE Conference Center Coordinator; Paul Gregorie, Emerson Vice President, Global Human Resources; and Dr. Chris Duree, IVCCD Chancellor.
One great example of a community working together is the Machine Operator Training Program (MOTP) through Fisher-Emerson in cooperation with Iowa Valley Community College District and Iowa Works. The program has been in operation more than 10 years and for those who wish to continue their community college education it counts as 8.5 semester hours in the machine trades program at Marshalltown.
Iowa Valley was pleased to nominate Emerson Process Management (Fisher Controls) for this award based upon the fact that the company has shown “leadership, hard work, innovative thinking, and partnership” to make the skilled workforce in Central Iowa a priority.” In response to retirements, the educational partnership has allowed potential employees to train in an “Earn while you Learn” program which consists of an intensive 10-week course meant to remedy severe gaps in math and soft skills. In addition they learn fundamentals of blue-print reading, machining fundamentals, and measuring tools. 12 individuals are selected for each class, and upon successful completion they can land a quality job. 100% attendance is required without any tardies for these students.
The nomination included a quote from Duane Diershow who completed the program: “I have recommended the program to several friends and have a friend who just passed the math test. It’s the best program I’ve gone through, with great instructors. It has given me a career versus just a job.” The Human Resources manager shared that since 2007, of the 110 students that successfully completed the program 70 remain employed with the company.
Following the presentation of the award, Paul Gregorie, Emerson’s Vice President, took a moment to laud the program and the role of Iowa Valley and the community in creating a lasting partnership. Without the program the company would have been unable to keep up with replacing the retired workers.
Peggy Thie, Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) Distinguished Service Award:
Julie Thomas and Peggy Thie
Steve Allison’s nomination included the following biographical information about Peggy. She began her career in education working part-time as an ABE/GED teacher for IHCC. In the fall of 1998, Peggy moved to Marshalltown and began working for the Continuing Education Division at IVCCD in the ESL, GED, AND ABE areas. She was instrumental in developing the “Creative Retirement” program at IVCCD and cultivating the program into a huge success. She was also responsible for Kids College at IVCCD Continuing Education. In 2005 Peggy landed back at IHCC as a Continuing Education Coordinator and currently is responsible for Training and Industry programming along with Economic Development in the newly formed College Division, Regional Economic Advancement.
Peggy enjoys her family, husband Brent, sons Marcus and Cody, and daughter Steffi. She has a green thumb and loves to work in the dirt planting and caring for her flowers.
Lois M. Keister, Retiring Continuation Coordinator from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Distinguished Service Award Emeritus:
Julie Thomas and Lois M. Keister
She was hired to work at DMACC for her abilities in Family and Consumer Sciences programming, but has also taken the lead in the DUI program state-wide. She has also served in many facets within the Family and Consumer Science State Association and continues to be a member of that organization. She was President of that organization from June, 1999 to May, 2000. Those responsibilities included work with issues ranging from child development to parenting courses. She served DMACC over a 25 year time span and in 2003 earned the Distinguished Service Award from IALL. Further evidence of community and state involvement concerns her work with Iowa Public Television and development of a Bouncer Training Program.
Dale notes that the transition to Emeritus status reflects an emerging status in Lois’s life. Ask about pictures of her grandchildren and it is clear that “proud grandparent” is too reserved a term for this phase in her life. It is apparent that she will do her best to be near them and will spoil them enthusiastically.
Lois’s dedication is further reflected in two testimonials that accompanied the nominations. Judy Bundy noted, “Lois was extremely helpful to me when I joined DMACC’s Continuing Education team. She was always glad to answer my questions and brainstorm ideas. She invited me to my first IALL conference and was great at communicating member benefits. Her experience and calm demeanor will be missed!”
Kim Oaks wrote, “Lois has been a great friend and mentor to me from the very first time I met her. I have enjoyed the time we spent together working on IALL conferences and traveling to OWI or DIP meetings. Her dedication to IALL is just one of the reasons why Lois is so deserving of this award. I wish her the best in her retirement.”