Former WCC President Gunder Myran and current WCC President Rose Bellanca both shined brightly as they each accepted prestigious honors at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)Annual Convention, held April 5-7 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Myran, who served as WCC President from 1975 to 1998, was nominated for the 2014 AACC Leadership award by the organization’s CEO for his “outstanding and continuous accomplishments and professional contributions to the community college field.” The AACC specifically noted his work in establishing the Washtenaw Technical Middle College (WTMC) at Washtenaw Community College (WCC), as well as his community engagement and the expansion of partnerships on behalf of the college. Dr. Myran was joined by his children and grandson as he accepted the 2014 AACC Leadership award.
President Bellanca was honored to accept the AACC Emerging Leadership Award on behalf of WCC. The college was among four finalists in the nation nominated for the prestigious award, which highlights WCC’s work to support education and leadership development for college employees and the groundbreaking development of its “The Leadership Edge” Leadership Academy.
“It is truly a privilege for WCC to be recognized by the AACC for the Emerging Leadership Award,” said Dr. Bellanca. “We have so many great leaders here at the college and I am very proud of the institution’s ongoing work to ensure that we support the dedicated faculty, staff and administrators on our campus. An enriched community of educators and leaders is of great benefit to our students, and will help safeguard the long-term strength of WCC.”
Dr. Bellanca noted that the WCC Five Year Strategic Plan includes a strategic priority that focuses on professional development and organizational health, and was the impetus for the development of the program. Academy classes focus on vital areas such as development and enhancing a culture of leadership in the organization through staff innovation, creativity and accountability.
The AACC, which is headquartered in the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C. and has been in service since 1920, represents nearly 1200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 13 million students, as well as a growing number of international members in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. According to the organization, community colleges are the largest and fastest-growing sector of U. S. higher education, enrolling close to half (45 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates.