June 25, 2022

SWCC’s Higgins, Magneson win IACCT award

When Terri Higgins, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management for Southwestern Community College (SWCC) sat down to check her email on a random Thursday in May, she had no idea what she was about to read.

“I was absolutely blown away when I got the notification of the award,” Higgins said. “I was completely humbled and flattered.”

Higgins was nominated in March by Dr. Tony Cass, SWCC Board President, for the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) Staff Member of the Year Award.

In his nomination, Cass named Higgins as an integral part of the student services division. “No matter how much she has on her plate, she will make sure every department’s needs are taken care of and Southwestern Community College is being promoted in the best way possible,” he said.

He continues to say that Higgins has stepped up to help lead the college during several key changes in leadership, including the dean of student services, the vice president of instruction and the president. “Terri is able to maintain a positive attitude and provide consistent messaging,” Cass said.

Higgins wasn’t the only one to receive positive news that day as colleague, Jeff Magneson, Auto Collision Repair Instructor, received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award. Magneson was nominated by Lindsay Stoaks, Vice President of Instruction, who said in her nomination that he is always on the cutting-edge of identifying new technology to train and prepare students for the workforce.

“Perhaps the most incredible attribute is Mr. Magneson’s commitment to lifelong learning,” Stoaks said.

Magneson was deeply humbled by the nomination. He said he is blessed to instruct under some great administrators who support him and the program. “The students are the real reward for our efforts,” he said.

She continues to note that under Magneson’s mentorship, Southwestern’s auto collision repair/refinish program is one of two programs in Iowa to have the The National institute for Automotive Service Excellence/National Automotive Technicial Education foundation certification. It is the only program in the state to have the I-CAR PROLEVEL 1 and 2 certifications.

The awards will be presented at the Community College for Iowa annual conference on July 21 at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City.