Retirees of 2020 North Iowa Area Community College

This year, 2020, will begin a new chapter for our retirees. Each in their own way, they have been an integral part of the NIACC family and their contributions will be valued and remembered. Their hard work, commitment, and dedication to NIACC and our students will be greatly missed. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the friendships we have shared. Each retiree has helped to change the lives of our students, directly or indirectly, and their good work will echo throughout the College for years to come. We wish them the very best in everything the future has to offer!

Jean Evenson

Jean Evenson was the first instructor in Iowa to initiate a preceptorship experience for nursing students to work directly with staff nurses during the final clinical rotation in the Practical Nursing Program. The preceptorship provides a better clinical experience for students to transition to nursing practice. This practice was quickly adopted in our Associate Degree Nursing Program and in every nursing program around the state. Thankfully, this was already an established program when the COVID-19 restrictions occurred to maintain a strong clinical experience for our nursing students.

Jean loves her role as a nursing educator and is committed to producing quality students. She is an advocate for students and finding resources to help them succeed all while maintaining high standards for nursing education and nursing practice. Many have benefited from her patience with teaching processes and techniques time and again along with her natural curiosity to learn more.

George O’Donnell

A story teller supreme, George has the ability to develop relationships with students as well as staff. He is able to motivate and engage his students with his depth of knowledge and real world examples showing his passion toward policing. George is quick to acknowledge strengths in each person he works with, and he is always generous in sharing his many community contacts. Most folks were quick to comment that your great sense of humor, dedication to students, and your political cartoon texts will be missed (although Joe said you can keep sending the texts!)

Wayne Allison

Wayne is known for his sly sense of humor – and it serves him well both in and out of the classroom. Wayne always expands the discussion with vivid examples, amusing anecdotes, and relevant facts. Always a lifelong learner, Wayne is always open to new ideas and takes great joy in his students with an awareness that learners have individual needs and abilities. Wayne’s passion for the arts is infectious, he is always learning new artistic techniques and sharing them with students. Wayne was not afraid to participate in policy discussions, and we appreciated his dedication to make NIACC a better place to work and learn!

Ken Webber

Since beginning in 2004 Ken has taken the food service department to unmatched levels. Ken approaches everything he does with the passion we expect from a New Yorker, bringing with him the energy to promote and carry out his ideas. Sharing his culinary arts talents with staff, students, and the community has now created a new level of expectation of food quality for all. Everything dish is prepared and presented with the upmost quality. Ken is ever on top of all things in his area. He is well prepared for the next planned event and handles the many, many unplanned occurrences which spring up almost daily. One of Ken’s best qualities isn’t demonstrated in the kitchen. He cares deeply for students, not just about their food experience but their well-being. There are countless times over his 15 year career here that he has shown genuine concern for students and others. He has spent many a Thanksgiving preparing meals for homeless and food deprived. He creates an engaging atmosphere for employees too with special offerings like decorating cookies or cupcakes, greeting all in the food lines at employee gatherings. During his time at the College he has made deep meaningful connections. His vibrant and gregarious personality will surely be missed.

Charlie Schroeder

I don’t think anyone would argue that Charlie has had quite a semester! Following his injury, his first thoughts were of his upcoming students beginning spring term – and he was determined to be there at the beginning and help them succeed, and he did just that! Now having to end the semester all on-line – it was quite a ride! Thank you for sticking through it all with us and being such an advocate for student success.

Charlie is indeed a lifelong learner, great story teller, and a great friend to many. He has a variety of interests from biking, sustainable living, and disc golf. We do appreciate his devotion and leadership with the Disc Golf Club over the many years. I do believe that he and Kathy anticipate spending as much time as possible in their retirement with their grandchildren as well as continuing to expand their travel adventures. We sincerely thank you for the knowledge and comradery over the years, and we look forward to hearing about your travels!

Terri Beland

Terri started off her time at NIACC as a non-traditional student graduating with a diploma and a degree with highest honors all while working in the Records Office as a Student Assistant! Terri is known for her kindness and compassion in dealing both with internal and external customers. Her quick wit and caring smile were always present no matter what the project she was taking on from processing transcript requests to the daunting task of graduation. We appreciate all the work she has done to insure graduation happens every year, especially this year with all of the adjustments to be made due to COVID-19. Thank you, Terri, for your dedication and compassion to the NIACC family.

Brian Charlton

Brian combines customer service with his passion and skill for technology. He has patiently and professionally provided technology support to NIACC students and staff over the years. He is eager to share his knowledge, and it is common to hear about the extra effort Brian takes to assure those he is assisting will understand what he is doing and why he is doing it. Those that worked with him, beside him, and those he assisted know that Brian sought to build relationships and understanding with others. Thanks for your knowledge, patience, persistence Brian!

Arlo Stoltenberg

Arlo challenged us every time he was up for a longevity award – how could we possibly adequately recognize someone who has served as long as he had? His lasting legacy at NIACC will forever be Beem Center, Room 200 – now Stoltenberg Forum. Arlo with always a smile and a wave (along with a twinkle in his eye), remembering birthdays when you may have forgotten your own, and his commitment to his students.

It is often said that the best teachers are often the ones that care the most deeply, not only about their jobs, but about every student they serve. This is Arlo. He aspired his students to reach out, do better, communicate more, ask, learn, refine, and improve. Arlo always had the best interest of the College at heart, and we could always count on him to question and debate to make sure the best decisions were being made on behalf of the College. Arlo, your years at NIACC along with your consistent dedication are an inspiration to many – and we thank you for sharing them with us.

Beckie Minear

Beckie approaches every project with the outcome in mind – often asking the hard questions that sometimes are being avoided. She leverages experience and brings thoughtful insight throughout the process. Every project she has worked on was an effort to make the new process better than the one it was replacing. She listens then leads. Beckie is collaborative in her approach, detailed in her analysis, and thorough in her design. Beckie is a friend with an open ear, and she will take time to listen, really listen, with a warm heart taking the time to care and share often with a laugh and yes, sometimes a tear. Thank you, Beckie, for the care and knowledge you put into our processes, our staff, and our students.

David Pope

When the College hired Dave as a mechanic in 2008, we really had no idea the level of mechanical aptitude we were actually getting. His expansive knowledge base allows him to fix anything! Dave is always willing to help with any repairs needed and goes the extra mile to figure out a problem when a special project outside of normal job duties arises. Even when he doesn’t know exactly the solution he figures it out. There has never been a project given to him that he didn't repair good as new, sometimes even better than new. His dedication to always getting the job done extended into never missing a day or being late for a 3 a.m. snow removal. Dave’s meticulous attention to detail and ability to work well with everyone will be greatly missed as he cruises off on retirement to spend time on his motorcycle, boating, and taking time to vacation.

Deb Smith

Often referred to as “Dorm Mom” by many of our students, Deb is known for her compassionate, outgoing, helpful, and caring personality. It is often hard when students are leaving home for the first time, but Deb steps right in without being prompted, and she is always willing to help (whether it was a caring ear with a homesick student, someone not feeling well and not sure what to do, or just old-fashioned advice). Time and again we hear of Deb’s organization skills from those she worked with (and keeping folks on task!). Deb always put students first no matter what the conversation or decision being made. Thanks for being a caring, nurturing place for students and staff to turn to!

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North Iowa Area Community College Estlund