By CCWeek Staff  /  
2017 May 26 - 03:31 pm

Honors & Awards

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

About 240 graduates were recognized at North Platte Community College (Neb.) to the cheers of family and friends. During the ceremony Robert “Bob” and Bonnie Buckland were presented with the President’s Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize people who have had a positive impact on the college and who reflect exemplary community service. Bob was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he attended elementary school through sixth grade. His family moved to Omaha in 1956. Bonnie was raised on a farm in northeast Nebraska. She graduated from Pierce High School in 1963 then attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where she received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology on June 3, 1967. She married Bob the fol lowing day. After leaving the military in 1974, Bob entered the surgery residency program at UNMC.

He completed his residency in 1978 and moved to North Platte, joining the staff of Great Plains Regional Medical Center, now Great Plains Health, as a general surgeon. He retired from his surgery practice in 2006. Bonnie worked as a computer programmer for Mutual of Omaha while Bob was in medical school and again during Bob’s surgery residency. She earned her MBA degree from what was then Kearney State College in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1995. Bonnie served as the director of Information Technology at GPRMC from 1996-99 and then launched Buckland Consulting, LLC. It was in that consulting capacity that Bonnie enjoyed a number of successful engagements with Mid-Plains Community College, including writing successful Higher Learning Commission Accreditation reports for MPCC in 2004 and 2012. She also wrote a successful $1.9 million U.S. Department of Labor Community- Based Job Training Grant application in 2005, a joint project that also benefitted Central Community College, and provided leadership and consultation for a computer information project during the 2004-05 school year.


College of DuPage (Ill.) President Ann Rondeau recently received the 2017 Outstanding College Alumni Award for the College of Education from the Northern Illinois University Alumni Association. The Outstanding College Alumni Awards are given annually to graduates from each of NIU’s seven colleges of study. Recipients are selected based on their outstanding professional accomplishments and civic, cultural and charitable involvement. Reflecting on Rondeau, who earned her Ed.D in Adult and Higher Education at NIU in 2010, Lemuel W. Watson, former NIU dean of the College of Education, offered his admiration for her tenacity and leadership. She retired from the U.S. Navy as a three-star admiral in 2012 and is the second woman to achieve this rank. She then served as a partner and an independent consultant with the IBM Watson Group. Her extensive leadership experience includes serving as deputy combatant commander of the U.S. Transportation Command in Illinois, Pentagon director and chief of staff for the U.S. Navy, commander of the Navy Personnel Development Command in Virginia, commander of the Naval Service Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, Pacific Fleet assistant staff chief in Hawaii and commanding officer of Naval Support Activity in Tennessee.


Ashli Wilkins of Wallace Community College-Dothan has been awarded a 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 U.S. The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., announced that Wilkins will join the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows. Wilkins is WCCD’s dean of institutional services and community development.

Wilkins was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access. A native of New Brockton, Ala., Wilkins holds a bachelor of science and master of science in biology and English Education from Troy University. She holds a doctor of philosophy in curriculum and teaching-language arts from Auburn University. With over 24 years of experience in education, Wilkins possesses a sharp focus on the future needs of community college students and their role in tomorrow’s workforce.

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