Call for Nominations
The Lane Community College Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards.
At Lane Community College, we are proud of every student. The Distinguished Alumni Awards give us an opportunity to profile students who have gone on to make a difference in their communities, and who have remembered the college along the way.
Each year we recognize four alumni who completed 30 credit hours at Lane or earned an associate's degree. Nominees have demonstrated achievement in their chosen profession, service to the community, or outstanding contribution to the college.
The 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented at the Foundation's President's Circle Donor Reception May, 2013.
Nomination Form for the Distinguished Alumni Awards:
Nominations for consideration for 2014 are due by January 1, 2014
Congratulations to Lane's Distinguished Alumni for 2012!
These four, like thousands of other Lane alumni, have achieved their dreams and made contributions that better our community.
Distinguished Alumni — 2012 Awardees
As superintendent of Eugene's Bethel School District, Colt Gill is focused on making a difference in kids' lives, but the former math major didn't discover he had a passion for helping students until he enrolled in a cooperative work experience program at Lane Community College.
"I got to work directly with students in elementary school and I realized my passion was helping kids learn and helping kids who are having trouble," Colt recalls. "My experience at Lane led me to pursue a degree in education."
Colt transferred to the University of Oregon earning a bachelor's degree in education and a graduate degree in education policy management. He has been an educator for 22 years, serving as a teacher, principal, district technology director, curriculum and instruction director, and assistant superintendent, in addition to his current role as superintendent.
As a school district administrator, Colt is focused on improving school leadership and supporting instruction in the classroom so that all students can achieve at high levels and realize success in the community after graduating.
Colt was recently appointed by Governor Kitzhaber as a Commissioner on Oregon's Quality Education Commission, he has also served as an appointed advisor to the Oregon State Board of Education.
A strong believer in community service, Colt is President-Elect of United Way of Lane County, and has chaired the organization's Success By 6 and Promise Neighborhood initiatives.
Colt also works with the Education Partnership initiative meeting regularly with other leaders in education to expand the pipeline of area high school graduates who are entering college ready to learn. He is actively involved in achieving the state's 40/40/20 goal, which seeks to see 40 percent of Oregon high school students go on to earn four-year college degrees, 40 percent complete two-year programs and 20 percent earn high school degrees.
"Community college is the gateway to earning a degree," he says "And higher education is the pathway to Oregon becoming more economically stable"
Dan Dunnington says the ability to adapt to the changing needs of the community is one of the reasons Lane Community College is such a vital institution.
"Lane realizes that it has to always be evolving," says Dunnington, a retired stockbroker. "Whether it's changes in the lumber industry or the technology sector or the need for more nurses, Lane has been quicker to respond than many four-year colleges." While the most popular areas of study have shifted and changed since Dan was a student at Lane in the 1970's the spirit of Lane remains the same.
"When I came out of high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do," Dan recalls. "At Lane, I started getting interested in education and learning. I knew I wanted a college degree, I just didn't know where to start." For Dan, Lane offered smaller classrooms, personal instruction, affordable tuition and a sense of direction.
Getting a jump-start at Lane led Dan on a path to success in the financial services industry. He transferred to the University of Oregon where he studied social psychology and business and went on to spend 32 years as a stockbroker. At the time of his retirement, he was the first vice president of wealth management for Morgan Stanley.
A strong supporter of community causes, Dan served as a board member of the Children's Trust Fund of Oregon helping to foster healthy child development. He is a past president of the board for the Eugene Executives Association and served as an arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers. Dan continues to serve the Oregon FBI Citizens' Academy where he works as treasurer, and he is an active fundraiser and advisor for The Child Center, an organization he has been involved with for more than 20 years.
Dan has supported Lane by serving as a president of the LCC Foundation Board of Directors for two years and as a board member for 11 years. He served on the Foundation's scholarship review and award committee and, together with his wife, Chris, served as the Harvest Dinner Chair in 2005.
Jacque Betz, Florence City Manager, sees the Florence branch of Lane Community College as part of a community education continuum that carries students all the way from kindergarten to college.
"If you drive down Oak Street in Florence, you run into Siuslaw Elementary School, Middle School and High School and then you come to LCC," says Jacque, the city manager of Florence. "We're very fortunate to have this campus in Florence."
Jacque didn't grow up in Florence, but the Springfield High School graduate took full advantage of Lane's Florence branch and all that it offered – after hours classes, small classrooms and close interaction with instructors. She attended the college from 2002 to 2003 while working for the Florence Police Department and went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Oregon State University. She quickly rose through the ranks of Florence government to reach her current position, something that she says wouldn't have been possible without Lane.
"Lane brought me structure," Jacque says. "Even though I had a very stable job, going back to school required me to be disciplined and dedicated and made me understand how to manage my time, how to meet deadlines and how to prepare for projects, which is really applicable to what I'm doing now in working to shape the future of the community."
Jacque has given back to the community by serving on the boards of the League of Oregon Cities and the Oregon City/County Managers Association. She has given back to Lane by serving on the Florence Campus Advisory Committee and on the LCC Budget Committee. She has also supported scholarships for Lane students.
An avid marathon runner, Jacque believes in going the distance to make education a community priority. She says Florence is a special place filled with citizens who are eager to engage with their centrally located schools, and she sees part of her job being to encourage and foster those strong ties that exist between schools and colleges and the community.
Karen Bernheim Cardin, a corporate jet pilot for Les Schwab Tires, has always believed strongly in the value of a community college education.
Karen grew up in Pleasant Hill, but her first encounter with Lane was during high school when she was selected to play bass in a musical production on the campus. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in the Flight Technology program and got her first aviation job at the Creswell Airport.
She attended Lane and the University of Oregon simultaneously and earned her bachelor's degree in communications. Even though she graduated from the UO, she considers Lane her alma mater.
After finishing her flight training at Lane, Karen worked at the college as a flight instructor. She went on to serve as a pilot for the US Forest Service, Westair/United Express and Morris Air/Southwest Airlines.
Today, Karen is active in her community in Central Oregon, both on the ground and in the air. She volunteers with Air Search and Rescue and is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Safety Foundation. She serves on the worship team at her church and is the bass player for the Gospel Choir of the Cascades.
Karen also enjoys mentoring young aspiring pilots at Sisters High School through the ASPIRE program and guest lecturing at the Central Oregon Community College Aviation program. She says it gives her the chance to share real world experiences with students, which is something that community colleges like Lane do so well.
"Lane offers such a valuable education," she says. "You have really great instructors, it's affordable and it's a real life education - you can actually go out and get a job with the skills you learn."
A single mother who believes a Lane education can help empower other parents supporting children on one income; Karen has made financial contributions to the Aviation and Women's programs at Lane. And even though she no longer lives down the road from Lane, she still considers it an integral part of who she is today.