Outstanding Alumni Honored at Best of TCC Event

DISTINGUISHED SPONSORS: From left, Tulsa Community College President and CEO Tom McKeon, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Southern Nazarene University President Donald Billings honored 21 distinguished alumni as the “Best of TCC.??? Askins was the event’s speaker. SNU was a presenting sponsor at the event and partners with TCC to help adult students transition from community college to a university setting.

GTR Newspapers photo

Tulsa Community College (TCC) Alumni and Friends Association recently celebrated the achievements of the college’s most distinguished alumni at the ninth annual Best of TCC event. Twenty-one honorees were recognized for their accomplishments in their careers and the community.

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins was this year’s keynote speaker. An advocate for education, she spoke about a culture that values student learning and achievements, noting that many people don’t understand how important community colleges are to the higher education pipeline.

“TCC gives high school students a chance, especially those who face challenges,” says Askins. “But there is also the opportunity in community colleges to attract non-traditional students. TCC provides a setting that makes college more comfortable for everyone.”

Southern Nazarene University (SNU) was the Best of TCC presenting sponsor. SNU partners with TCC in providing seamless transitions that benefit adult students. Corporate table sponsors included City of Tulsa, Cox Communications, Deirdre Dexter, Girl Scouts of the Magic Empire Council, J.D. Young Company, Mill Creek Lumber, Tulsa Community College, Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Technology Center and Young Law Office.

This year’s Best of TCC honorees include: Kyle Brewer, Mill Creek Lumber information technology specialist; Kathy Bach, Tulsa Senior Nutrition Managed by Sodexho, assistant project director; Gloria Buehring, Girl Scouts of Magic Empire Council chief operating officer; Paula Crawford, Tulsa Fire Department office administrator II; David Dayringer, Tulsa Fire Department deputy chief; Dr. Pam DiVito-Thomas, Langston University – Tulsa, school of nursing associate professor; Terry Dexter, City of Tulsa building inspector; Diana Greene, Tulsa Technology Center office administration supervisor; Lynne England, Mill Creek Lumber financial accountant; Jeff Hammans, QuikTrip software deployment specialist; Dawn Harig, Gatesway Foundation adult companion; Kathy Henry, Tulsa Community College administrative Assistant II; Sheryl LaCroix, Wells Middle School, Catoosa Public Schools, 7th grade teacher; Jamie Morris, Citgo contract specialist; Rachel Simpson, J.D. Young Company human resource coordinator; Melinda Smith, Tulsa Community College assistant professor; Kristi Spaethe, QuikTrip benefits representative; Louis Stackler, Tulsa Technology Center practical nursing instructor; Matt Stiner, Oklahoma State University student and Truman Scholar; Gayle VanTrease Villarreal, North Lake College teacher; and John Mark Young, Young Law Office owner/manager.

TCC’s Alumni and Friends association also presented three $1000 scholarships to Majd Kabbani, Rosie Lynch and Kimberly Montgomery. SNU awarded student/staff scholarships to Shane Lee, Katherine Mitchell, Mary Ann Hand, Marsha Smith and Cara Thomas.

Public officials and educational leaders at the event included: Representative Pam Peterson, Representative Sue Tibbs, Representative John Wright, Representative Dan Sullivan, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa President Dr. Gary Trennepohl, Tulsa Technology Center Superintendent Dr. Gene Callahan, Langston University Dean of Nursing and Health Professions Dr. Carolyn Kornegay, TCC President Emeritus Dr. Dean VanTrease and the TCC Administrative Cabinet including Dr. John Kontogianes, Dr. Gary Crooms, Lauren Brookey and Dr. Carol Messer.

TCC Board of Regents members present included Ron Looney, Dyanne Jones and her husband Clifford, and Bill McKamey and his wife Pat. Also attending was TCC Foundation Chair Jim Dunn.
Chris Brown, Luke Hinson, Whitney Jenkins, Stephanie Pitman and Ben Titus attended the event to represent a small portion of the Tulsa Achieves scholars who will be attending TCC in the fall. Cox Communications sponsored their attendance.

TCC President and CEO Tom McKeon said 1,620 students have applied to TCC for the Fall 2007, which is a 67 percent increase over freshman enrollment last year.

“By providing full scholarships, financial support for textbooks and access to four campus locations through our Tulsa Achieves program, we are striving to remove many barriers that keep motivated students from pursing an advanced degree,” says McKeon.

Corporate table sponsors included: City of Tulsa, Cox Communications, Deirdre Dexter, Girl Scouts of America, J.D. Young Company, Mill Creek Lumber, Tulsa Community College, Tulsa Technology Center and Young Law Office.

Updated 08-21-2007

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