SHERIDAN — Northern Wyoming Community College District leaders recently announced the 2018 Excellence Award Winners. Each year, NWCCD, which includes Sheridan College, Gillette College and Sheridan College in Johnson County, recognizes staff, volunteers and students who have shown exemplary efforts in supporting the goals and overall mission of the District.
Individuals are selected based on nomination packets put together by their peers. One faculty member, classified employee, professional employee and student at both Sheridan College and Gillette College receives an award each year. In addition, the district recognizes one foundation member and one trustee.
Trustee Jerry Iekel received this year’s Trustee Leadership Award for his exemplary service on the NWCCD Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2018.
“Jerry has been involved in several large expansion projects on the NWCCD campuses; construction of the Pronghorn Center in Gillette; and the Whitney Center for the Arts in Sheridan. He has also served on countless advisory boards and committees and served two terms (2001 – 2008) in the Wyoming Legislature representing House District 29,” NWCCD President Paul Young said.
The Foundation Volunteer of the Year is Greg Blikre. According to his nomination packet, Blikre displayed outstanding leadership as the Gillette College Foundation Board president from 2005-2009 and again from 2015-2018.
“Gregg exhibits his passion for higher education in everything he does. He serves tirelessly on the Foundation board, and his passion for our students and NWCCD are truly inspiring. We are thankful for his leadership,” said Heidi Gross, executive director of the Gillette College Foundation.
This year’s Sheridan College Classified Employee of the Year is Dee Davis, office manager for the Sheridan College Foundation. According to Renee Wollenman, fellow foundation staff member, Davis always exceeds expectations.
“Dee has the office performing at an extremely high level, and her attention to detail is unmatched. She always goes above and beyond to make sure a job is done right. Dee knows most of the donors by name and is well-loved by all,” Wollenman said.
Custodial supervisor/event setup coordinator Lucia Garcia Miranda was selected as the Gillette College Classified Employee of the Year.
“Miranda is an outstanding professional who is highly deserving of this award. Her tireless efforts are highly valued by the campus community and recognized by the multitudes of community members who partake in the numerous events hosted on the Gillette College campus,” Director of Facilities Mark Andersen said.
Elaine Goodrich-Premo, a social science instructor, is the Sheridan College Faculty Member of the Year Award. According to her nomination packet, Goodrich-Premo sets a great example for her students.
“Elaine is an engaged instructor, lifelong learner and a great mentor. She provides students with real world experiences and practical advice. Elaine was vital in the curriculum changes requested by the administration prior to the Higher Learning Commission visit in fall of 2018,” fellow faculty member Ross Lynn said.
Doug McGee, political science and economics instructor, is the Gillette College Faculty Member of the Year. According to fellow faculty member Beau Corkins, McGee has a positive attitude and brings out the best in his students.
“After countless years as a teacher, Doug is constantly improving his courses to make the experience better for students,” his nomination packet said. “He is currently the founder and chair of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at Gillette College and has helped improve teaching techniques and learning methodologies across the District.”
Information Systems Developer Millie Serna is this year’s Sheridan College Professional Employee of the Year. According to Assistant Vice President for Information Technology Services and CIO Brady Fackrell, Serna demonstrates excellence every day.
“Millie always demonstrates outstanding professionalism, whether she is assisting students, staff, or faculty. Her patience, attention to detail and thoroughness are exemplary,” he said. “She seems to love the challenge of making our systems work better for our students.”
This year’s Gillette College Professional Employee of the Year is Cara Mittleider, director of administrative services.
According to her nomination packet, “Cara is always willing to help out with additional projects and responsibilities. In addition to her many Business Office duties, she has recently taken on the role of Deputy Title IX Coordinator and has helped extensively with Area 59.”
Sandra Coleman, a fine arts major and student veteran, is this year’s Sheridan College Student of the Year.
“Coleman inspires other students to achieve their goals despite obstacles they may face,” veterans advisor Tyler Jensen said. “With 20 years of active duty service, she continues her life of service by participating in campus activities and helping other students. She is committed to her academic goals and achieves at high level of success in everything she does.”
Samantha Power, a Pronghorn soccer player and Student Senate president, was selected as this year’s Gillette College Student of the Year.
According to her nomination packet, “Samantha is extremely involved in student activities at Gillette College. She is passionate about Gillette College and is a dedicated Gillette College athlete, student and employee. She represents Gillette College extremely well everywhere she goes.”
NWCCD Excellence Award winners Iekel, Blikre, McGee, Serna, Miranda and Coleman were also nominated for the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees 2018 leadership awards. One winner from each category is selected at the state level, and awards will be presented at the 2019 WACCT Awards and Legislative Reception on Feb. 7 at Laramie County Community College.