SCC Trustee, Staff Honored at Annual Community Colleges for Iowa Conference

Southeastern Community College (SCC) trustee Janet Fife-LaFrenz, along with employees Amber Ruskell-Lamer and Angela Mickelson, received awards from the Community Colleges for Iowa organization, formerly known as the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees. These awards honor 2-year college trustees and employees who have demonstrated outstanding efforts toward promoting the values of the Community Colleges of Iowa.

Long-time trustee Fife-LaFrenz received the John P. Kibbie Outstanding Trustee Award. She has served on SCC’s board for over 26 years, acting as the Chair and the Vice Chair five times each. Additionally, she serves on the Career and Technical Education Advisory Board for Keokuk K-12 school district, where she shares information about concurrent enrollment and business and industry needs.

“Janet is very passionate about offering our students the resources they need to succeed,” SCC President Michael Ash said. “We’re honored to have her as a trustee. She is certainly very deserving of this award.”

Ruskell-Lamer, recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award, has been a professor of biology at SCC since August 2009.  Ruskell-Lamer was honored for her significant impact at the college. She stands out for her efforts to increase enrollment and retention, her role as Chair of the math and science department, and leading efforts to realign and update SCC’s science courses. 

Ash adds that he is proud of Ruskell-Lamer’s dedication to students and the college at-large.

“Her hard work demonstrates the college values to focus on excellence, integrity, and continuous improvement. Amber is a fantastic example of what SCC stands for.”

Mickelson, recipient of the Outstanding Staff Award, is SCC’s dedicated accessibilities services coordinator who ensures that the college offers the services necessary for students with physical and learning disabilities to excel. She is a passionate advocate on behalf of students in need of accessibility services and leads the college’s ADA and Accessibility Committee. Mickelson works directly with faculty and staff to communicate the support needed for each student in an effort to offer the best assistance possible.

“Angela works very hard to promote our vision to transform lives, embrace diversity, and help students strive to do their absolute best. We are honored to have her on our team to help our students excel.”

Nominees are selected based in part on their contribution to developing programs and advancing the causes of two-year colleges in Iowa and the nation.

Ash is proud of the trio for their dedication to promote student success.

“Janet, Amber, and Angela are wonderful examples of leaders who promote the values of both SCC and the Community Colleges for Iowa,” he said. “Our internal motto is, ‘It’s all about the students,’ and it is clear that everything they do is with the students’ best interests in mind.”

Based in Des Moines, IA, the Community Colleges for Iowa is comprised of administrators and trustees from Iowa’s 15 community colleges and advocates for higher education and workforce-related issues in the state of Iowa.

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