Commitment to Excellence Awards 2022

April 12, 2022 (Denver, CO) – The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) held its fourth annual Commitment Excellence Awards ceremony today, celebrating 54 employees from across the System for their contributions to the overall success of their college, students, and communities.

“Our community colleges are true engines of opportunity. Each day, our employees power the programs, support services, and learning environments that transform lives for the better—and our mission is more important than ever,” said CCCS chancellor Joe Garcia. “By working together, CCCS faculty, instructors, and staff deliver high-quality education and training to students and top-notch talent to our state. I am proud to recognize all employees across the system and especially those selected as this year’s honorees.”

By working together, CCCS faculty, instructors, and staff deliver high-quality education and training to students and top-notch talent to our state.
- Joe Garcia, CCCS Chancellor
The event, hosted at Cableland Mansion, the official residence of the Denver mayor, was made possible through sponsorship from the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (Colorado PERA). Colorado PERA has partnered with CCCS to highlight the vital role Colorado’s community colleges and their employees play in the state and continues its support for the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges for the sixth year in a row.

“At Colorado PERA, we believe in the power of affordable, accessible education,” said Patrick von Keyserling, Colorado PERA senior director of communications. “From the many stories we heard today, it’s clear that CCCS employees make a lasting impact on their colleges and in their communities. We are honored to take part in this celebration as the event sponsor this year.”

The 2022 Excellence Awards cohort consists of staff members from across Colorado’s 13 community colleges who demonstrate a wide range of skills and passions. The awardees mentor and coach students, foster safe and productive learning environments for students, and model professionalism, strong work ethic, and commitment to community service.

“The last two years of teaching at the Community College of Denver have been the toughest of my career,” said Kelly Lynn-Ford Zepp, an assistant professor of English. “What keeps me going are my incredible colleagues who bust their tails alongside me to serve our students and community each day. I am humbled that my peers have selected me as this year’s Faculty of the Year.”

Many of the honorees are also leaders in equitable teaching, advising, and student support practices. Mike Roderique, CCCS assistant director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), won the System Office’s first DEI Champion Award for his work to facilitate cultural learning opportunities and guide colleges on best practices.

“Our students and their successes are the center of our work, and I am honored to be recognized alongside colleagues with such strong commitments to excellence and education,” he said.

2022 CCCS Commitment Excellence Award Honorees: 

Arapahoe Community College
Administrator Javon Brame Dean of Students
Classified Tia Le Information Technology Analyst
Faculty Richard Corbetta Paralegal Program Chair and Faculty
Instructor Jackson Culpepper English Instructor
Colorado Community College System Office
Administrator Caleb Pellouchoud Project Manager and Business Analyst
Classified David Delitz Structural Trades II Professional
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Award Mike Roderique Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Colorado Northwestern Community College
Administrator Annette Burrow Director of Adult Basic Education and Coordinator of the Gateway Center
Classified Nic LeFevre Director of Facilities
Faculty Amanda Ott Arts and Sciences Faculty
Instructor Brittany LeBleu Dental Hygiene Clinical Instructor
Community College of Aurora
Administrator Adriana Cordova Director of Center for Recruitment & Outreach
Classified Elda Bunyan Materials Handler
Faculty Robley Welliver English Faculty
Instructor Patrick Munnelly English Instructor
Community College of Denver
Administrator Michelle Marin-Cox Senior Operations and Data Manager
Classified Christine Vongphackdy Administrative Assistant III
Faculty Kelly Zepp English Faculty
Instructor Joann McCarthy English Instructor
Front Range Community College
Administrator Alexandra Lepert Financial Aid Service Coordinator
Classified Lori Lough Administrative Assistant
Faculty Cory Reinking History Faculty
Instructor Glori Gesell Art History Instructor
Lamar Community College
Administrator Robert Vazquez Information Technology Director
Classified Tammra Repshire Custodian
Faculty Mittie Helm Business Faculty
Instructor Micah Middleton Assistant Barber Instructor
Morgan Community College
Administrator Gwen Steffen Student Success Advisor
Classified Jessica Trusty Accounting Technician II
Faculty Jeffrey Coon Director of Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Instructor Kevin Hemphill Math Instructor
Northeastern Junior College
Administrator Snow Staples Student Success Specialist
Classified Lauren Montoya Administrative Assistant II
Faculty Nathan Robinson Theater Instructor
Instructor Allen Heggen English Instructor
Otero Community College
Administrator Alexa Cihura TRiO Career and Financial Coach
Classified Irma Freidenberger Custodian I
Faculty Cassidy Litle English, Communication and Theater Faculty
Instructor Darlene Blackford Nutrition Instructor
Pikes Peak Community College
Administrator Michael Madson Associate Dean of Natural & Physical Sciences
Classified Jess Martinez Accounting Technician III
Faculty Kristy Callihan Communications Assistant Professor
Instructor Lori Salgado Political Science Instructor
Pueblo Community College
Administrator Maria de la Cruz Academic Excellence Instructor
Classified Jake Renner   Police Officer
Faculty Brad Bowers History Faculty
Instructor Brandi Halvorson Health Profession Instructor
Red Rocks Community College
Administrator Jen Broadwater Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and Registrar
Classified Jason Larez, Jr. Structural Trades Professional
Faculty Martha Stevens Mathematics Faculty
Trinidad State Junior College
Administrator Linda Perry Executive Assistant to the President
Classified Mathilda Westerman Student Services Specialist II
Faculty Ryan Newport Division Chair and Professor of Gunsmithing
Instructor Marc Wilson English Instructor

 

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About the Colorado Community College System 

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 121,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 40 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college.

About Colorado PERA

Colorado PERA provides retirement and other benefits to more than 620,000 current and former teachers, State Troopers, corrections officers, snow plow drivers, and other public employees who provide valuable service to all of Colorado. PERA is a vital and stable contributor to Colorado’s economy, distributing more than $4.2 billion in 2020 to more than 105,000 retirees who live in Colorado.