By CCWeek Staff  /  
2017 May 11 - 04:57 pm

Honors & Awards

A Summary Listing of Honors and Awards at Colleges Around the Nation

The American Association of Women in Community Colleges presented the 2017 Mildred Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award to Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. Stout received the award after her keynote address during the AAWCC breakfast at the American Association of Community Colleges annual convention in New Orleans. The Woman of the Year award was given to Stout for her outstanding leadership and mentorship to women in community colleges. The award is named in honor of AAWCC founder Mildred Bulpitt, as a symbol of her “tenacious, innovative, and selfless spirit in helping women attain leadership positions in community colleges.” Stout has been a community college leader for more than 30 years, most recently heading ATD, a comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success. She currently shares her knowledge and experience as an accomplished leader as a mentor in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence program, a national effort to develop exceptional leaders who can transform community colleges to achieve higher levels of student success while maintaining broad access. She has been an active participant in AAWCC programs over the years, presenting on data-savvy decision making and on decisions about leadership transitions, and participating in the organization’s CEO Network. Prior to joining Achieving the Dream in 2015, Stout was president of Montgomery County Community College (Pa.) for more than 14 years, where she created a leadership program with a strong mentoring focus. In October 2016, she was named by Washington Monthly as one of the country’s 16 most innovative higher education leaders.

Charlene Newkirk, president of Community College of Allegheny County’s (Pa.) South Campus, received a 2017 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at the 99th annual Phi Theta Kappa “Catalyst” Convention, held in Nashville, Tennessee. Newkirk was among 19 college presidents and campus CEOs who were selected for this award based on their outstanding efforts toward promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. To be selected, nominees should have served as president for at least five years at their current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure. PTK is the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs, particularly community colleges and junior colleges, with more than 1,250 chapters throughout the United States and abroad. It’s mission is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. The award is named for the late Shirley B. Gordon, PTK’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair and president emeritus of Highline Community College (Wash.) Newkirk has served at CCAC since March of 2009. Her experience of 30 years in progressively responsible roles as a college administrator at large public research institutions as well as small public and private colleges, combined with her experience in a community college, has made her a well-respected and seasoned professional in highereducation administration.

Steve Smith, vice president of instruction and workforce education at El Paso Community College (Texas) has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the country. Smith joins 39 others in the the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to dramatically change student outcomes in four areas: learning, completion while in community college; bachelor’s degrees transfer; employment and earnings after graduation; and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students. Smith has been vice president of instruction and workforce education since 2012, where he leads the daily instructional, workforce and continuing education operations of El Paso Community College’s five campuses, two centers and nine Early College High Schools. He has worked at the college for 27 years.

Community College Week welcomes e-mailed listings for the “Honors & Awards” section. Please send submissions to Community College Week at with “Honors & Awards” as the subject line.

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