MCC presented with a number of MCCA awards

MCC students, employees and community partners were recognized last week at Missouri Community College Association’s forty-eighth annual convention in Kansas City.

Senior Service Awards

Anne Mahoney is a speech and theatre instructor at Blue River.  She was integral in the development of learning communities at the campus.  Blue River dean Dr. Cheryl Carpenter-Davis describes Mahoney as displaying a tireless commitment to her students’ development and a valued colleague and mentor to everyone on campus.




Karen McKenzie has worked for MCC since 1990.  She got her start at Longview, where she was an office clerk for the continuing education business and industry agency.  She eventually moved to the Business & Technology Campus, where she served first as an administrative assistant for the BTC’s continuing education program and eventually as a business office specialist.

In all her roles at MCC, McKenzie has demonstrated strong commitment to serving the needs of the college’s students and business clients.


Diana Grahn began her career at Longview in 1990, when she was hired as the college’s first full-time writing-across-the-curriculum coordinator.  She joined the English Department in 1992, and she embraced the challenges of improving teaching and learning on an institutional scale.  She has held numerous leadership positions for the college and the district and served as the Longview Faculty Association President from 2001 to 2003.  In 2007, she was elected chair of Longview’s Humanities Division, which is the largest academic division in the district.

Grahn has received numerous awards for her teaching and leadership skills, including the Missouri Vocational Special Needs Association’s “Outstanding First-Year Teacher” award, Longview’s “Outstanding Contribution to the College” award, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Lisa Minis joined the Penn Valley community in 1989 as the first director of Project Success.  She has served as dean of student services since 1997.

Campus leaders describe Dr. Minis as a consistent and tireless advocate for students who is committed to ensuring that students have access to educational opportunities while stressing student responsibility.  She has been active in community organizations that create successful partnerships to improve service to students.  One example of such a partnership is the recently developed GEARS project.  Penn Valley students with low literacy skills are identified, counseled, and served by a partnership with the college, Literacy Kansas City, and a group of committed community volunteers.  These students, many of whom do not have the skills they would need to benefits from the college’s developmental education programs, are provided with an alternative learning option that does not involve tuition or financial aid.

One of Dr. Minis’ most enduring tangible legacies will be the Malcolm T. Wilson Student Enrollment Center.  Dr. Minis led the planning and implementation of the new center, which provides a holistic and integrated approach to student services.

Jeff Allen started his career at MCC’s Maple Woods campus in 1989 as the physical facilities superintendent.  He is responsible for the maintenance and care of the campus’ buildings and grounds, and for the mail service.  During Mr. Allen’s tenure, he has overseen significant growth at the campus, including the construction of six new buildings and several major remodeling and campus beautification projects.  He has also worked with his campus and vendors to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint and he leads the district’s energy and utility management savings program.  In 2011, he managed a $1.8 million energy project retrofit, which improved energy consumption throughout the district and is projected to save about $300,000 a year.


Classified Staff Achievement Award

Debbie Shaffer was presented in recognition of Shaffer’s service to MCC-Business & Technology and to the mission of community colleges throughout the state.

Shaffer joined the Business & Technology Campus in 2003.  She was promoted to lead custodian two years later and is now the campus’ custodial shift coordinator.  She has significant responsibility coordinating the work of four full-time custodians and that of various part-time staff.  Debbie Goodall, the campus president, describes Shaffer as a conscientious employee who is always ready to take the necessary steps to make sure operations in her department run smoothly.


Student Leadership Awards

Lewis Caradonna is the president of Longview’s student government association and the captain of the Longview Lakers baseball team.  He is active in the honors program and represents students on campus and district committees.





Marcus Walker is a recipient of MCC’s Board of Trustees scholarship, which is the highest scholarship the college offers, as well as the CBIZ business scholarship.  He is the marketing manager for the Student Activities Council and a member of his campus Phi Theta Kappa chapter.  He was recognized as Blue River’s Outstanding Student in Social Sciences and he volunteers for community service projects like highway cleanups and the angel tree.

Walker plans to work toward a degree in marketing and global innovation at the University of Missouri-Kansas City when he completes his studies at Blue River.


Job Howen is an exceptional student in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration program at MCC’s Business & Technology Campus.  He carries a heavy course load and plans to graduate in three semesters.  He is active with his campus’ Phi Theta Kappa chapter and is the parliamentarian of MCC’s SkillsUSA chapter.  Howen has competed in the HVAC portion of the state SkillsUSA event and was on the Quiz Bowl team that took sixth at the national SkillsUSA competition.

Howen is an engaged community member off campus as well.  He volunteers as an intern for a congressional candidate and was a top 100 finisher at the national Bible Bee.  Finally, Howen interned last summer with Trane Building Systems.  He plans to work in the HVAC industry when he graduates this December.

Darion Gatson-McDaniel came to Penn Valley in spring 2011, and he has quickly emerged as a leader.  He is a student ambassador and is currently serving as the ambassadors’ vice president.  He was voted the top ambassador at a statewide conference this summer.  He has also earned Penn Valley’s Platinum Service Award, which means that he has contributed over 50 hours of volunteer time to his campus and the community.



Christopher McCarthy is a graduate of Park Hill South High School.  He is the president of MCC-Maple Woods’ Collegiate Activities Board.




Community Awards

Tony Wrisinger has received the Missouri Community College Association’s News Media Award.  The award was presented in recognition of Wrisinger’s outstanding work with the MCC-Blue River campus in Sideliner Sports’ “Sonic Locker Room” and “Positively Blue Springs” programs.  The programs have featured Blue River’s performing arts and athletics programs and have included interviews with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.



The Cerner Corporation has received the Missouri Community College Association’s Distinguished Business/Industry Award. Cerner and MCC have worked together to create a pipeline of associate-degreed and certificated IT employees who have the competencies needed to succeed at a company like Cerner.  Another outcome of the partnership is the inclusion of IT in MoHealthWINs, a $20 million U.S. Department of Labor grant that is enabling community colleges to provide innovative workforce training in health services/health sciences occupations, collaboration on the design of a new lab at MCC’s Business & Technology Campus, and internships for students.


Full Employment Council and MCC Receive Inaugural Award From MCCA

A partnership between the Full Employment Council and Metropolitan Community College is not only helping Missourians find gainful employment in the healthcare industry, but has also inspired the Missouri Community College Association’s (MCCA) MOHealthWINs Partnership Award.

“The award reflects the excellent work the organizations have done to lead the way on this grant,” said Zora Mulligan, executive director, Missouri Community College Association. The Full Employment Council and Metropolitan Community College were presented with the MOHelathWINs Partnership Award during the MCCA’s 48th Annual Convention.

MOHealthWINs is a three-year, $20 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The purpose of the program is to decrease the number of unemployed individuals and address the demand for qualified workers in the healthcare industry in collaboration with Missouri’s 12 Community Colleges including Linn State Technical College.

The Full Employment Council and Metropolitan Community College have experienced success while working together to implement the program locally. “There’s a huge demand for qualified healthcare professionals,” says Clyde McQueen, Full Employment Council President/CEO. “The top three employer job postings in the State of Missouri have come from healthcare facilities… consistently. I’m glad we’re able to work with MCC to fill that niche.”

The MOHealthWINs program goal is to retrain nearly 3,200 Missourians through classroom and certificate programs through the community colleges and On-the-Job training through employer partnerships.

Distinguished Legislators

State Senator Kiki Curls and State Representative J.J. Rizzo.