OTTUMWA – Indian Hills Community College began the new academic year by doing something it has done every year since 1979 – presenting Outstanding Service Awards. At a college-wide ceremony, IHCC recognized an alumnus, a retiree, a lay citizen, a person in the 10-county area who has been a tremendous leader, and two current employees.
The Outstanding Lay Citizen Award was given to Randy Woodard and his son, Andrew, who have been strong supporters of Indian Hills for many years. Within the last year, the Woodards have been instrumental in assisting the college in developing an Advanced Tanker Training program that Indian Hills is preparing to launch. Their efforts have brought business representatives and insurance providers together to discuss ways to prepare safe truck and tanker drivers to meet workforce needs.
Recently, Randy and Andrew made their commitment to Indian Hills even more visible by designating one of their Elliott Oil BP gas pumps (at the intersection of Jefferson and Pennsylvania in Ottumwa) an “Indian Hills pump” where three-cents of every gallon purchased at that pump is donated to the IHCC Foundation to be used for student scholarships. The donations from this gas pump are a great example of the generosity of the Woodards, who have also been loyal sponsors of numerous events at the college over the years.
The Outstanding Retiree Award was received by Lottie Wilson of Centerville. Wilson was raised in Appanoose County and, after many years away, she returned and attended the Indian Hills Centerville campus. After graduating from IHCC, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from what was then known as Northeast Missouri State, where she studied World History. Then, for 29 years, Wilson worked at the Centerville campus as a GED instructor, student advisor, Adult Education Coordinator and campus coordinator. She also spent many, many hours beautifying the campus.
She retired in 2009 and has been incredibly active in the Centerville community. Wilson says there are three things she wants to be remembered for: working to build Kid’s World Day Care; working on the library board through the renovation of the Drake Public Library; and serving on the Park Board during the renovation of Centerville’s three parks, notably the new playground equipment and city pool at Morgan E. Cline Park.
Dr. Kathy (Jewett) Lange of Centerville was presented the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Lange returned to her hometown after a semester of college and enrolled in an EMT class her father, Dr. Steve Jewett, was teaching at the IHCC Centerville campus. He then encouraged Kathy to take nursing classes. She took the Licensed Practical Nursing program in Centerville followed by the Associate Degree Nursing program in Ottumwa while working as an EMT and LPN at the Ottumwa hospital. She later continued her studies at Northeast Missouri State and the University of Iowa, all the while working as a nurse and EMT to help pay for college.
Not only did Dr. Lange’s father teach at Indian Hills, but her mother was a nursing instructor at the college. Kathy has been a great advocate for the college and an unofficial advisor to all things IHCC Centerville, especially in the Health Sciences area.
Outstanding Employee Award winners were Barb Jones and Susan Wilson.
Jones molds the future of potential Indian Hills students as an Early Childhood Teacher in the on-campus Child Development Center. Her nomination form said she is “not only loved and respected by the children that cross the threshold of her room, but also by parents who entrust their children with her every day. She is a soothing voice when you’ve had a tough morning, has a warm hug when things just can’t get worse and is always a welcoming smile.” Another form said, “We would be hard-pressed to find another person on campus who touches more lives of future and current students as well as faculty and staff members and even complete strangers. It is true that all of the teachers and aides at the Child Development Center impact many lives, but none is more loved and more revered that the famed Barb Jones.”
Susan Wilson is a professor in the Computer Software Development program and a person who nominated Wilson described her as a “caring, compassionate and skilled faculty (member)” and said she “goes above and beyond every day to assist students in finding their right path, accomplishing their goals and finding life-changing careers.” Another nomination form said, “When (Wilson) recruits students she talks to them in a way to make sure they truly understand what they need to do to be successful. She holds students accountable, and they respect her. She is a fantastic team member and her colleagues, both within the Computer Software Development program and throughout the division, enjoy working with her. She is passionate and will work for what is in the best interests of her students and her program. She is also an IHCC alum, and is able to speak from her own experience to benefit students and her profession.”
Keosauqua resident George Manning was presented with the Lindenmayer Leadership Award given annually to a business or community leader in the Indian Hills ten-county region who leads with compassion, integrity, service and vision.
It was noted that Manning and his family are Keosauqua and Van Buren County and that “his name and leadership are synonymous with small-town southern Iowa banking.” In his community, Manning is a Rotary member, and has served as a city council member and as mayor. He has been a member of the Villages of Van Buren Board and the Keosauqua Chamber Board. He has also served on the boards for the Van Buren County Hospital, the Van Buren Telephone Company, Keosauqua Light and Power, the Bruce Rex Vale Foundation and the Van Buren Foundation. Manning also had direct ties to Indian Hills, having represented the county on both the IHCC Foundation Board and the college’s Board of Trustees.