For the fourth time in 10 years, a Northeast Iowa Community College educator has been named professor of the year.
Following the NICC Board of Trustees meeting Monday, Peosta campus science instructor Paul Kimball was formally recognized as this year's Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Iowa Professor of the Year.
Throughout the year, NICC faculty members earn local, state and national honors for their work in education and contributions to students' learning.
Kimball has taught science courses at NICC since 1990. The instructor has received numerous honors for his academic work, including a Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society honor in 1994, a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence in Teaching Award in 1995 and a Phi Beta Kappa International honor in 1998. In 1998, NICC awarded Kimball with the Extra Effort and Outstanding Educator Awards.
In addition to Kimball's Iowa Professor of the Year recognition, CASE honored Cheryl Donlon, retired science instructor, in 2003; communications instructor James L. Brimeyer in 2005; and David Lawstuen, dairy science instructor, in 2011.
"This year, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education awarded the honor to 36 states, and Paul represented Iowa extremely well," said NICC President Liang Chee Wee.
"Paul represents the fourth Iowa Professor of the Year from Northeast Iowa Community College. This honor also represents our mission; we are here to teach and shape lives."
Also at the Board meeting, NICC Vice President of Business and Community Solutions Wendy Mihm-Herold updated the Trustees on presentations College officials will give this week for a bipartisan state legislative committee in Des Moines.
President Wee will speak to the Iowa Skilled Worker Job Creation Fund Study Committee about the Accelerated Career Education (ACE) infrastructure program, Work-based Learning Intermediary Network funding, and Adult Basic Education and Literacy funding.
Another presentation will explain how funding to support skilled worker training through NICC helps local businesses to hire and train new employees and expand their operations. Presenters include Jeff Bodine, executive vice president of Bodine Electric Company; Mike Billmeyer, Bodine employee and NICC non-credit program student; Randy Schofield, I-AM director of the Tri-State Center for Advanced Manufacturing and NICC computer numerical control instructor; Bob Steinhauser, NICC career coach; and Mihm-Herold.
In other training news, the Board approved a preliminary 260E Iowa New Jobs Training Program agreement with Commercial Vehicle Group of Monona and Edgewood. The manufacturer plans to hire 35 new employees for an estimated bond issuance of $160,000. Through more than $74 million in job training agreements, more than 14,000 new jobs have been created within the College's district since 1985, according to Mihm-Herold.
Kristin Dietzel, NICC executive director of institutional effectiveness, updated the Trustees on grant funding NICC received in fiscal year 2013.
"Overall, we had 34 proposals funded in FY13 for a little over $4.4 million - a 71-percent success rate," she said.
"In addition to federal funding through the statewide I-AM grant, another federal grant we received is a Rural Business Enterprise Grant to support small business development services for business owners in rural areas."
To continue the College's investments in student learning and advanced instructional technologies, the Board approved several equipment purchases for NICC students.
Purchases approved include a fiber optic fusion splicer for multi-mode and single-mode fiber optic cabling. The Fiber Optic Marketplace, of Breinigsville, Penn., was awarded the bid for $12,694.90. The Board also gave its approval for the purchase of an optical time domain reflectometer from the company for $11,462. Students in the Computer Technology program at the Calmar campus will use both of the devices as part of their learning. For Automotive Technology program students at the Calmar campus, the Board approved the purchases of five two-post surface mount lifts from Tom's Automotive Equipment of Oelwein for $17,317. The 9-cent instructional equipment levy for the College is funding the three purchases.
Other Board-approved bid awards included $71,553 to Rescue Safety Products of McKinney, Texas, for two stationary ambulance simulators for EMT and Paramedic program students at the Calmar and Peosta campuses. This will be funded through the College's Bridges2Healthcare grant, which is supported by the U.S Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCT) Grant Program.
Linda Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of student services, reported this year's Student Crisis Fundraisers at the Calmar and Peosta campuses generated $11,500 in financial support for students whose crisis situations may prompt their withdrawal from the College. Since 2007, the events have raised more than $73,000, and 92 percent of students assisted through the fund were retained at NICC to complete their term.
In other business, the Trustees approved a resolution setting the date for a public hearing for the waste lift station at the Calmar campus Monday, Dec. 16. The hearing will be held at the Keystone Area Education Agency in Elkader at 3 p.m.
The Trustees approved full-time employment assignments at the Calmar campus for Brian Erickson, cafeteria assistant manager, and Craig Meirick, interim computer information systems director.