Clark State Community College celebrated its 53rd Annual Charter Night Tuesday, February 19 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield. The annual event serves to remind the college and community about the establishment of Clark State’s charter in 1966 to operate as a post-secondary institution in the region.
Clark State Board of Trustee member Sharon Evans was honored as the Champion of Clark State. Evans has served on the Clark State Board of Trustees for 13 years and served as vice chairperson for two years prior to her appointment as chairperson in 2017.
“Sharon has always been an exemplary board member, but she excelled as our chairperson,” said Andy Bell, member of the Clark State Board of Trustees. “She was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and attended most college events, particularly those involving our students. She also participated state and national meetings. While she considers all students to be important, she was particularly concerned about diversity in both our students and staff.”
Sharon graduated from Southeastern High School, attended Central State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business management, followed by a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. She then entered the United States Air Force War College.
Her community service involvement includes serving as vice chair of the Greater Grace Temple Board of Trustees, director of Greater Grace Christian Counseling Program, past president and current member of the Springfield Chapter of Links, past president of Central State Springfield Ohio Alumni Association, and a former Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor.
“Receiving the Champion of Clark State award was an absolute surprise,” said Evans. “The Clark State Board is a team and totally motivated to make things better for our students. Receiving the award just makes me want to do more to help Clark State become even better. It is an honor to serve!”
Clark State also presented its fourth annual Diversity and Inclusion Award, this year honoring Melinda Van Noord, counseling coordinator for Clark State.
“I work with many talented individuals, so it is quite an honor to be recognized with this award,” she said.
The award is a symbol of the success of the College’s mission to increase diversity and create a campus climate that welcomes and supports all individuals. The award recognizes individuals involved in higher education and 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.
Van Noord has been the counseling coordinator at Clark State since 2011. Her specializations include crisis mental health, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and trauma recovery. Melinda’s clinical strengths include her crisis intervention skills and her ability to establish therapeutic rapport with diverse populations. She believes that helping others feel accepted and empowered is just as important as treating their symptoms. She also works very collaboratively with support services on campus and community agencies.
Dr. Theresa Felder, senior vice president of student success at Clark State, said Van Noord is a champion for all students. “She provides one-on-one counseling services and facilitates training on critical topics that impact the health and well-being of our students,” she said. “Melinda is a valuable resource for faculty, staff and students.”
This year, 32 employees of Clark State were recognized for their years of service to the college. Faculty and Staff Professional Excellence Awards were also presented. Area legislators, retirees, members of the Clark State Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors were in attendance for the Charter Night festivities.
Additional awards at Charter Night included:
Faculty Professional Excellence Awards
Adjunct Faculty Professional Excellence Awards
Staff Professional Excellence Awards
Recognition for Years of Service
Dr. Jo Alice Blondin
Dr. Matt Franz
Dr. Melinda Mohler
Dr. Natalie Selover
M. Rick Sparks
Dr. Lawrence Everett
J. Dan Hunt
Dr. Robert Sweet