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Exemplary Community College Officials Honored

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Exemplary Community College Officials Honored 2016-12-20T17:44:13+00:00

Exemplary Community College Officials Honored

June 2, 2014

For Immediate Release


Exemplary Community College Alumnus, Officials and Trustees Honored


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Several community college trustees and others connected with Ohio’s community colleges statewide were honored during the recent 21st Annual Ohio Association of Community College Excellence Awards.

“These trustees and distinguished award winners exemplify the best in leadership for Ohio’s community colleges.  They come from all walks of life and from all areas of the state and they honor Ohio’s community colleges by their leadership and participation,” said Karen Rafinski, Interim President of the OACC.

Those honored were:

Kevin L. Rush, of Bloomington, Ind., Zane State College, winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award, The award is presented annually to a deserving alumnus of one of Ohio’s community colleges who has, throughout the course of their life, demonstrated a passionate level of commitment to the local community and higher education. Rush, who graduated from Zane State College, in 1992 with an A.A.S degree in  Radiologic Tech, is a member and past president of the Sciences, Fellow and Officer-elect of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Rush has completed a bachelor of science in Healthcare Services Administration and a Master’s in Health Administration and has advanced through positions of increasing responsibilities at the nation’s  most prestigious cancer hospitals including the Arthur James Cancer Hospital, Riverside Methodist Hospitals and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

J. William Straker,  of Zanesville, Ohio,winners of the Terry M. Thomas Friend of Community Colleges Award. The award recognizes the importance of building strong relationships with key community and business leaders for our colleges. Those nominated to receive this award have significantly advanced the cause of community college education in Ohio on a statewide basis. Nominated by Zane State College,

Barium & Chemicals, of Steubenville, Ohio; Materion Brush Inc., of Elmore, Ohio; Performance Training Solutions of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and The Daily Jeffersonian newspaper of Cambridge, Ohio, winners of the Outstanding  Business Award.  A new award category last year, the Outstanding Business Award honors businesses that have had a major positive impact on community colleges in Ohio. Nominated by Eastern Gateway Community College, Barium & Chemicals has worked with EGCC to offer dozens of non-credit employee training programs. Nominated by Terra State Community College, Materion Brush has partnered with the college to address two-year degrees that address technical skills for people to get them into the skilled trade areas. Nominated by Central Ohio Technical College, Performance Training Solutions has a partnership with COTC on a Heavy Equipment Operation One-Year Certificate. Nominated by Zane State College, The Daily Jeffersonian newspaper, before Zane State College launched its major gifts campaign, offered an in-kind media donation that included seven full-page, full-color advertorial, a four page color insert that was distributed to 13,100 households as well as weekly Web advertisements on the newspaper’s Web site.

Don A. Nalley, Terra State Community College Board of Trustees; Dr. Mehdi Ressallat, North Central State College Board of Trustees; Laurie Nippert Leonard; Cincinnati State Technical & Community College Board of Trustees, winners of the Richard N. Adams Educational Leadership Award. This award is named after Dr. Richard N. Adams, a past OACC chair and current elected state representative who served on the Edison Community College Board of Trustees for 18 years.

James N. Doyle, Clark State Community College Board of Trustees, winner of the Maureen C. Grady Award for Special Achievement. The award is named for Grady, a former trustee with Clark State Community College Board of Trustees, and recognizes the extraordinary leadership and contributions of the trustees who receive the award. For 16 years, Doyle has served on the Clark State Community College Board of Trustees through an impressive series of accomplishments including the construction of the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center; Construction of the Sara T. Landess Technology and Learning Center; Construction of the College’s Fire Tower and Flood House Training Facilities; Establishment of a permanent campus in Greene County and an extremely successful 2005-2006 Major Gifts Campaign that raised in excess of $11 million.

The Excellence Awards were presented at the OACC Excellence Awards Gala in Columbus on May 29. The Outstanding Business Awards were presented at a special dinner hosted by the OACC on May 28.

About the OACC

The Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) is a voluntary association of Ohio’s 23 community colleges. The Association was founded in 1993 as a single forum for advocacy, communication, recognition, trustee education and trustee-president cooperation. The OACC is the recognized voice of the community college movement in Ohio.




Media Contact:

Jeff Ortega

Director of Public Affairs

Ohio Association of Community Colleges

(614) 221-6222 (OACC)