Four Metropolitan Community College employees — Victorie Edwards, Lyle Gibson, Gieselle Taylor and Terrell Tigner — have been selected to join the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City.
The group, founded by U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver in 1974 (five years before he was first elected a Kansas City councilman), honors local African-American leaders in business and industry. The society has inducted more than 450 members over the last four decades.
The 2017 Black Achievers were honored at a dinner Jan. 19 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. They’ll take part in an induction ceremony Jan. 26.
Victorie Edwards is lead counselor at MCC-Blue River and coordinator of the Counseling Center, which houses the Counseling, Disability Support Services and Career Services offices and the Single Parent Book Loan program. At Blue River she is also the College 100 coordinator, chair of the President’s Commission on Equity and Inclusion, chair of the Behavior Intervention Team and advisor of the Single Parent Club. She’s a member of the Chancellor’s Commission for Inclusion and Engagement. She has worked in education for 25 years, 19 of those in various roles at MCC.
Lyle Gibson is a social sciences instructor at MCC-Penn Valley. He has served in several leadership roles including Faculty Senate, African American Faculty Staff Association and the diversity and technology committees. With a military and corporate background, he works to instill in students and colleagues a desire to succeed as learners and leaders. He has been honored as a Fulbright Scholar, George Washington Fellow and Pi Alpha Theta Historical Honor Society member. A documentary based on Gibson’s book about his multiracial family, “Black Tie White Tie,” debuted last year on the Penn Valley campus.
Gieselle Taylor is an academic advisor for Project Success (TRIO) at MCC-Penn Valley, where she has served since 2006. She specializes in providing students with academic advising, personal coaching and transfer assistance. She developed and launched the Student Success Plan, which tripled student engagement and retention within Project Success, and has represented MCC at state and local conferences. She has served as an officer of MCC-Penn Valley’s Staff Association and currently co-chairs the All-Staff Professional Development Day Committee. She is also a College 100 instructor.
Terrell Tigner is associate dean of student development at MCC-Penn Valley. He joined MCC in August 2005 at the Maple Woods campus. While at Maple Woods, he served as a college relations coordinator, academic and athlete advisor, and enrollment manager. Tigner began his higher education professional career at his alma mater, Avila University, where he served as a resident director, coordinator of intramurals and assistant women’s basketball coach. While at Avila, he received numerous athletic awards for basketball, won homecoming king, and was presented the prestigious Avila Medal of Honor.
Ten students were awarded scholarships from the Black Achievers Society, including MCC-Penn Valley early college students Chebet Buckner and Rapulu Okolo. Buckner attends Lincoln College Prep Academy; Okolo attends Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. Both will graduate from high school and MCC this spring.
Also at the event, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Kansas City honored Metropolitan Community College for its commitment to diversity.
Black Achievers are nominated by their employers. Previous inductees from MCC: Chris Kelly, supplier diversity program coordinator, in 2005 (before she came to MCC); Joe Seabrooks, former MCC-Penn Valley president, in 2010; Kirk Nooks, MCC-Longview president, in 2014; and Tarana Chapple and Karen Curls at MCC-Penn Valley and Crystal Johnson at MCC-Maple Woods in 2016.
The mission of the Black Achievers Society is “to actively respond to the educational, social and economic needs of the community by providing role models for blacks and minority youth, and sharing knowledge gained through academic and corporate experience.” The society also awards college scholarships to Kansas City students.