Excellence in Community College Education Celebrated at League's Innovations Conference


Outstanding technology students; emerging programming in public health; and significant contributions to teaching, learning, and leadership were recognized at the League for Innovation in the Community College’s Innovations Conference, February 24-27, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

John E. Roueche and Terry O’Banion International Leadership Award

Jerry Sue Thornton, President and CEO, Dream Catcher Educational Consulting, and

President Emeritus, Cuyahoga Community College, received the 2018 John E. Roueche and Terry O’Banion International Leadership Award at Sunday’s opening general session. This award is presented to outstanding individuals whose accomplishments and professional contributions to higher education and the community college field are recognized as motivational, inspirational, and transformational.

Dr. Thornton is a breakthrough leader with a long and distinguished career in higher education. After serving in the field for nearly 40 years, Thornton continues to support the community college community as CEO of Dream Catcher Educational Consulting, a firm focused on coaching and professional development for newly selected college and university presidents.  

ETS O’Banion Prize

Jon Alexiou, President, EduVizion Consulting, LLC, was presented with the ETS O’Banion Prize for his contributions to higher education during his 40+ year career. Alexiou’s primary areas of expertise, building on his distinguished career in higher education and in the private sector, include the use of technology and distance learning in education, workforce development, international education, and the role of community colleges.

Dr. Rufus Glasper, President and CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College, accepted the award on behalf of Alexiou at the plenary session on Monday.

Terry O’Banion Student Technology Awards

Three community college technology students were presented with Terry O’Banion Student Technology Awards, sponsored by Innovative Educators, at the general session on Monday. Each student received a plaque and a $2,500 scholarship in acknowledgement of their achievements.

The Student Developer Champion award, presented annually to a student preparing for a career in software development, went to Matthew Hartmann, who is enrolled in the information management systems program at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois. Student Technology Champion awards were presented to two students seeking careers in other areas of technology: KOH Ze Kai (Leo), Institute of Technical Education, Singapore, and Randy Felser, Valencia College, Orlando, Florida.

Innovation of the Year Awards

Award-winning innovations from 48 institutions were recognized with onsite signage and an exclusive League Awards Reception on Monday. Established over 30 years ago, Innovation of the Year Awards are designed to recognize innovative programs, practices, partnerships, and activities at League member colleges that improve the ability of institutions to serve students and the community, and to honor the faculty, staff, and administrators who have created and implemented them. Visit www.league.org/node/18684 to learn more about 2018 award winners.

Riegelman Award for Guided Learning Pathways to the Health Professions

At the plenary session on Tuesday, College of Western Idaho received the Riegelman Award for Guided Learning Pathways to the Health Professions, sponsored by Richard and Linda Riegelman and Jones and Bartlett Learning. The Riegelman Award is bestowed upon colleges that have demonstrated excellence in programming in public health education.

The College of Western Idaho was honored for a curricular framework and plan for the implementation and evaluation of guided learning pathways that lead to two or more health professions. Rhonna Krouse, Associate Professor, Health Science, received the award on behalf of her institution.

John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards

Recipients of John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards were celebrated throughout the Innovations Conference. The awards are presented annually for excellence in teaching and leadership, and 391 community college faculty, staff, and administrators from 101 colleges received the awards for 2018. Award winners were honored with onsite signage; a League Awards Reception on Monday evening; and a medallion donning ceremony during the closing session on Wednesday, which was keynoted by John Roueche, Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair Emeritus and Director of the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin.