Clark State Community College hosted its 54th annual Charter Night on Tuesday, February 16, at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield. The event was emceed by Clark State students Jacob Glover and Sunja Richardson.
“Charter Night was a true celebration of student success,” said Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin. “From the emcees' capable hosting, the awards for Staff and Faculty Excellence, Trustee Emeriti and the Diversity awards – Clark State focused on student impact.”
Area legislators attended the event including Representative Bob Hackett, Representative Kyle Koehler and Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes.
For the first time, Clark State presented Diversity and Inclusion Awards which were created to represent the College’s dedication to diversity. The Diversity Awards Selection Committee sought nominations of students, faculty and staff from any division, campus or department – as well as community leaders – who have implemented innovative strategies to promote the development of the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of a multicultural society. Sharon Evans, vice chairperson of the Board of Trustees and Associate Professor Carin Burr were honored for their efforts in diversity.
Faculty Professional Excellence Awards were presented to Jim Anderson, Mark Schmidt, Dan Heighton and Scott Dawson.
Natalie Johnson, Catie Stipe, Peggy Marshall and Dan Ayars were awarded Staff Professional Excellence Awards.
The College recognized Laura Myers, Sarah Jankowski and William Stanley with Adjunct Faculty Professional Excellence Awards.
Four newly designated Trustee Emeriti were honored at Charter Night. The Clark State Board of Trustees granted Trustee Emeritus status to Cathy Balas, Alicia Sweet Hupp, Than Johnson and Fred Leventhal; all who served as agents of change and growth for the College during their tenures on the Board.
Paulette Grodner was honored as Professor Emeritus. Grodner retired in the spring of 2014 after providing more than 20 years of exemplary service to the College and the students.
Clark State also recognized more than 30 members of faculty and staff for their dedicated years of service to the College.
Board Chairperson Peggy Noonan gave the closing remarks at Charter Night, “At Clark State, success moves us forward,” she said. “We believe diversity is the driver of that success. Each of us brings a unique perspective rooted deep in our own individuality. When we encourage and embrace different ways of thinking, we create an environment without the boundaries or the limits of the status quo. We open our minds and unlock our full potential, and we see that potential in others – mainly in our students. And, you are all making a difference.”
Service Award recipients include:
Dr. Cort Schneider
Dr. Edward Busher