Five Eastern Iowa Community Colleges faculty and staff members have been recognized with the college’s esteemed Emeritus Award. The awards, presented yesterday evening in a ceremony at Scott Community College’s Urban Campus, were given to retiring individuals who exemplified notable service to students and the community during their years with EICC.

Emeritus nominations are made by peers and supported by letters from colleagues, supervisors, students and community members. The nominations were reviewed by a selection committee that recommended recipients to the Chancellor with the final award bestowed by the EICC Board of Trustees, a news release says.

Those recognized this year served the college’s Scott and Clinton Community College campuses. The recipients include:

Jill Brodersen, Scott Community College Mathematics Instructor

Over the course of her 22 year tenure, Brodersen has worked tirelessly to build Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ mathematics course offerings into what they are today—accessible and achievable for all. Executing a Math Emporium module for the district and creating the curriculum for brand-new courses like Accelerated Algebra and Math Literacy, her advancements have impacted the lives of many students.

Brodersen is described as being a “knowledgeable, patient and kind” instructor, often seen helping students outside of classroom and training peers on innovative teaching methods. In addition to her teaching duties, Brodersen served on the Math Task Force, SCC Honors Program, United Way Foundation, Data Collections Committee, and Time Schedule Matrices Committee, among others.

Tim Cottle, Clinton Community College Continuing Education Business Solutions Consultant

For the past 15 years, Cottle exemplified EICC’s commitment to a culture of ‘High Aspirations, High Expectations’ by providing exceptional customer service and high-quality training opportunities to the eastern Iowa region. His diligence to build strong relationships with local agencies, boards, committees and legislative groups, allowed the college to meet workforce needs and increase employee skill and performance. 

Cottle’s “incredibly hardworking, dedicated and passionate” nature set the standard of professional development classes at EICC. In his retirement, he will leave behind a long list of successes including the district’s High School Career Academies, ‘Venture School’ entrepreneurial training, the Manufacturing Awareness Program, and the Citizen Police Academy, just to name a few.

Ruth Ann Gallagher, Scott Community College English Instructor

Gallagher made quite the impact during her 40-year teaching career as a fierce advocate for higher education, the community and EICC. She made sure that students knew they were capable of achieving their career goals, regardless of barriers. This passion bled into her efforts with the Iowa Organization for Student Success (IOSS) and the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), where she served as an Executive Board Member for both organizations. Much of this work contributed to her discipline in developmental education.

Beyond the classroom, she held positions on numerous college committees, and served as a Department Coordinator and the SCC Volunteer Club Advisor. It was through Volunteer Club that she was able to expand the scope of students’ lives through volunteer work and trips to cultural institutions across the Midwest. A past student said this of Gallagher, “She has shown her students the importance of empathy, giving, and being humble. She has encouraged us to follow our dreams, accept our faults, and to know we can change the world around us by helping others.”

Susan Hess, Scott Community College Associate Dean for Instruction and Student Services

Wearing many hats in her 36-year career, Hess wholly embodied the vision of THE Community’s College by fostering an inclusive campus environment with equitable resources and opportunities for all. She began her career with SCC as the Central American Scholarship Program (CASP) Coordinator, selecting, welcoming, and training over 250 students from 20 countries as international students of the college. She later became the CASS (Cooperative Association of States Scholarship) Program Coordinator, and finally co-serving as the SEED (Scholarships for Education and Economic Development) Program Coordinator and Assistant Dean for Instruction and Student Services.

Beside her managerial work, Hess was actively involved in the Diversity Club, planning speakers and events for the Diversity Academy; served as the unofficial “Engagement Officer,” planning activities on campus for students; a member of the Volunteer Club, helping with projects on campus; and organizing the campus’ Food Pantry, which helped students overcome food security.

Jan Weis, Scott Community College Special Needs Coordinator

Devoting 41 years of service to the college, Weis helped hundreds of students overcome challenges and reach their full potential as a Lab Assistant, Disability Services Provider, Special Needs Coordinator, and Instructor. Regarded as one of Iowa’s top experts in higher education disabilities, she provided abundant training to the EICC community and beyond, concerning disability laws, diversity issues for students diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and autism, classroom teaching methods, adaptive technology usage, and more. Nevertheless, Weis never saw limitations—she saw students who needed to understand their disability and find the strategies needed to be successful.

Her decades-long career also is marked by her commitment to provide students with resources for academic success. Since its inception in 1996, Weis built the SCC Honors Program from the ground up and held almost every leadership position for the past 26 years. In addition, Weis has served as the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honors Society Advisor since 1997, retaining a five-star status several years in a row. Most notably, her support helped bring therapy dogs to campus every month for mental health reprieve and the Urban Quick Foods Closet, providing free, ready to ‘eat or heat’ snacks for students.

In addition to this year’s Emeritus Award recipients, EICC also recognized recipients of this award from 2020 and 2021, whom we were unable to celebrate in person in those years.

More information, including past Emeritus recipient profiles, can be found here.