Three MCC employees named to KC Black Achievers Society

MCC’s Christal Waters (from left), Jackie Gill and Ayanna Bridges were named 2018 Black Achievers. (Photos by Chris Kelly/MCC)

Three Metropolitan Community College employees — Ayanna Bridges, Jackie Gill and Christal Waters — 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 the former Kansas City mayor was first elected to the City Council), honors local African-American leaders in business and industry. The society has inducted more than 450 members over the last four decades.

The 13 new inductees of the Black Achievers Society were honored at a dinner Jan. 17 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. On Jan. 25 they’ll take part in an induction ceremony.

More about MCC’s 2018 honorees:

Dr. Ayanna Bridges is the communication program coordinator and Echo Success Trainer at MCC-Maple Woods, where she has worked since 2004.  She is a Blackboard Mentor and is known for innovative educational techniques, including working with Echo, teaching a flipped class and inviting outside speakers.  She co-chairs the Learning Community Committee and has represented MCC at state and local conferences.  She teaches classes such as speech, film and human communication as well as several sections of College 100.  She previously worked on the school newspaper and co-created the COMM 100 online speech course. She currently serves as a Phi Theta Kappa advisor on campus.

Dr. Jackie Gill joined Metropolitan Community College as president of the MCC-Business & Technology campus in February 2016. Starting in January 2018, she also leads the MCC-Blue River campus. Gill came to MCC from Tarrant County College in Hurst, Texas, where she served as interim vice president for academic affairs for the Northeast campus and vice president of community and industry education services. She also taught social work and sociology courses at TCC and at Western Wyoming Community College.


Christal Waters is coordinator of advising at MCC-Blue River. She has supervised and mentored academic advisors, helped facilitate the work of the federal Title III grant (FOCUS) at Blue River, and led the college in implementation of a new advising model and approach to case management.  In addition to her role as advising coordinator, she has also served as College 100 instructor, new student enrollment group coordinator and testing coordinator, and as an academic resource to Blue River’s police and fire academies. She created and implemented a prescriptive pathway for the associate in arts degree that allowed incoming students to map their two-year educational plan to graduation.

Metropolitan Community College was also honored for supporting the Black Achievers Society through nomination of new achievers and sponsorship dollars. Chancellor Kimberly Beatty accepted the award on behalf of the College.

MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty (third from left) with Black Achievers Society president Tony Brown (from left), Black Achiever Grant Lewis and Black Achievers vice president Satara Brown-Glasco.

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; Tarana Chapple and Karen Curls at MCC-Penn Valley and Crystal Johnson at MCC-Maple Woods in 2016; and Victorie Edwards at MCC-Blue River and Lyle Gibson, Gieselle Taylor and Terrell Tigner at MCC-Penn Valley in 2017.

MCC’s delegation at the 2018 dinner included several Black Achievers alumni. From left: Michael Banks, Crystal Johnson, Lyle Gibson, McClain Bryant Macklin, Chris Kelly, Chancellor Kimberly Beatty, Tyjaun Lee, Utpal Goswami, Karen Curls, Victorie Edwards and Kirk Nooks.

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.

Lyle Gibson (from left), Ayanna Bridges, Crystal Johnson, Christal Waters and Jackie Gill. Gibson and Johnson are previous inductees.
Chancellor Kimberly Beatty (center) with honoree Jackie Gill and Vice Chancellor Michael Banks

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