EICC honors long-time faculty and staff for contributions

Emeritus Awards EICC
These Eastern Iowa Community College staff members received 2024 Emeritus Awards. From left are: Lisa Wiegel, Suteesh Tandon, Tina Solheim, Julie Aye, Honey Bedell. CREDIT EICC

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) recently honored six current and former staff and faculty members with 2024 Emeritus Awards.

Launched in 2015, the annual award recognizes retired and retiring employees for dedicated service. To be considered, an employee must have worked for EICC for at least 15 years and made significant contributions to the college and their profession.

Nominations are made by peers. They are and supported with letters from colleagues, supervisors, students and community members. Nominations are reviewed by a selection committee. It recommends recipients to the chancellor. The award is bestowed by the EICC Board of Trustees. 

“We celebrate this year’s Emeritus recipients who have not only excelled in their respective roles, but have truly embodied the professional standards and core values of our college,” Robert H. Gallagher, Board of Trustees president, said in a news release. “Their dedication and contributions have significantly enhanced our identity as ‘The Community’s College,’ and we are grateful for their service.”  

Those recognized in 2024 were employed at EICC’s Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community College campuses. They include:

Six staffers honored

  • Staff Emeritus Julie Aye – made exceptional contributions and impact during her 30-year tenure at EICC. She previously serving as the district office building manager. As EICC’s current Community Education accounting coordinator, she provides outstanding service and professionalism. 
  • Staff Emeritus Honey Bedell – retired in 2023 as EICC’s chief of staff and Board of Trustees secretary. During her 32-year career, she played a pivotal role in mobilizing voters to pass critical levies and bonds. She served as a legislative liaison, created the Leaders for Engagement, Advocacy, and Development Institute, and enhanced the college’s professional development activities.   
  • Staff Emeritus Ellen Bluth – retired in 2023 as a vice-chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development. In her 30-year career at EICC, she created the Advanced Technology Environment and Education Center (ATEEC), secured millions in grant funds to enhance programs, and established countless community and industry partnerships.  
  • Faculty Emeritus Tina Solheim – held various roles during her 33-year career at EICC. They included department coordinator and professor in the Administrative Office Professional (AOP) program. She was recognized twice with the Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2022, she was recognized with the Community Colleges for Iowa Faculty Award.
  • Staff Emeritus Suteesh Tandon – will retire in June as the EICC’s vice chancellor of administration/CFO. In addition to his financial services roles, he oversees facilities, technology, and human resources. During his tenure, he managed financial operations for the SCC Urban Campus, successfully navigated complex bond sales, invested $12 million in IT infrastructure updates, and supported large expenditures.
  • Staff Emeritus Lisa Wiegel – was serving as executive assistant to the Muscatine Community College (MCC) president, the dean of instruction, and the MCC Foundation.  She also served as the campus liaison for the MCC Alumni Association when she retired last year. Her EICC career spanned 43 years.  

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