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Advisory Council

Advisory Council Minutes February 20, 2020

The regular meeting of the NJC Advisory Council was held Thursday, February 20, 2020 in E.S. French room 126.

The regular meeting of the NJC Advisory Council was held Thursday, February 20, 2020 in ES French# 126.

Members Present:           Kendra Anderson

                                        Jamie Jo Axtell

                                        Fred Jackson

                                        Karen Ramey-Torres

                                        Karla Rosas

                                        Sergio Sanchez

                                        Wade Tyrrell                                                                                

Others Present:  Jay Lee, Shawn Rose, Jeri Estrada, Lisa LeFevre, Kent Ross, Dave Webb, Marci Henry, Ken McAlpine, Keith Buderus, Mackenzie Chrisman, Doug Werner, Lyle Rose, Melissa Bornhoft, Maret Felzien, Madeleine Ruble, Celeste Delgado-Pelton, Shelby Winchell, Mike Anderson, Clint Rothell, Leslie Weinsheim, Jody McKean, Jada Gettman, Brenda Zink, Ryan Reh, Gabriel Wiest, Vanessa Soliz, Jamie Giacomini, Linda Merkl, Julia Guiterrez Mas, Taylor Burns, MacKenzie Wells, Christina Pettigrew, Quentin Hornung, Paul Caliari, Slayer Andolsek, Wissem Obeid, Scott Woods, Lukas Lougon, Juan Macias, Emali Ortega, Yadira Ramos and Callie Jones from the Journal Advocate.

I.        Fred Jackson, the 2019-2020 Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:25 p.m. 

II.       The group participated in the Pledge of Allegiance.

III.      The agenda for the February 20, 2020 Advisory Council Meeting was approved as presented with one modification. The Star    Performer recognition was moved up after the approval of the November 7, 2019 minutes as Shelby Winchell had to be leave by 2:00 pm to catch a flight. Karen Ramey-Torres made the motion to approve the modified agenda and Jamie Jo Axtell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

IV.      The minutes of the November 7, 2019 Advisory Council Meeting were approved as presented. Sergio Sanchez made the motion to approve the minutes and Jamie Jo Axtell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  • Star Performer of the Year – Mike Anderson
    • Shelby Winchell joined Northeastern in August 2017 as an Equine Instructor and Assistant Rodeo Coach. Shelby works long hours, late nights and spends a lot of time on the road.  She has excelled as a new faculty and the positivity with which she has met those challenges are deserving of the distinction. She has impressed her colleagues in the few years she has been at Northeastern.

V.       NEW FACULTY/STAFF INTRODUCTIONS – Jeri Estrada, HR Director

  • Brenda Zink, Math/Science Department Chair, introduced Jada Gettman as the new Administrative Assistant in the math/science department.
  • Maret Felzien, Director of Academic Support Services, introduced Jody McKean as a new Library Tech II.
  • Dave Webb, Director of Communications & Public Relations, introduced Vivian Hadley (not present) as the new Executive Director of the Foundation.
  • Marci Henry, Athletic Director, introduced Ryan Reh as the new Athletic Trainer.
  • Marci Henry, also introduced Gabriel Wiest as the new Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach.
  • Jamie Giacomini, Director of Adult & Community Ed, introduced Vanessa Soliz as the new Assistant Director of Adult & Community Ed.
  • Andrew Kachel’s title has changed from Interim Head Baseball Coach to Head Baseball Coach.
  • Andrew Kachel, Head Baseball Coach, introduced Dennis Bair as the new Assistant Baseball Coach. Dennis Bair spoke to the group about his non-profit organization called BairFind.
  • Jeri Estrada, HR Director, introduced Dennis Flesch (not present) as a new Custodian.
  • President Jay Lee introduced Linda Merkl as the new Vice President of Academic Affairs. Linda was the Department Chair for Business & Cosmetology.
  • Jeri Estrada introduced Mackenzie Chrisman as the Interim Head Volleyball Coach.



  • Student Athlete Honors – Coaches/Marci Henry
    • 2019 Volleyball Honors – Mackenzie Chrisman, Interim Head Volleyball Coach
      • All-Region IX South – Julia Guiterrez Mas, Taylor Burns, MacKenzie Wells
      • Region IX All-Tournament Team – Kinley Coe (not present), Christina Pettigrew, Julia Guiterrez Mas
  • 2019 Men’s Soccer Honors – Keith Buderus, Head Men’s Soccer Coach
    • All-Region First Team and Region IX MVP – Quentin Hornung
    • Region IX Tournament Team – Quentin Hornung and Jason McCormick
    • All-Region Second Team – Paul Caliari, Slayter Andolsek
    • Honorable Mention – Wissem Obeid, Scott Woods, Lukas Lougon and Juan Macias
  • 2019 Women’s Soccer Honors – Ken McAlpine, Head Women’s Soccer Coach
    • Honorable Mention – Jodi Shea (not present), Emali Ortega, Yadira Ramos


  • Mackenzie Chrisman – VB Assistant Coach of the Year – Jay Lee
    • Mackenzie Chrisman, Northeastern Assistant Volleyball Coach was selected as the Two-Year American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Assistant Coach of the Year for 2019.
    • Mackenzie received her award at the AVCA Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania held December 18-21, 2019.
    • Chrisman is the first-ever Northeastern assistant coach to receive the award.
    • Mackenzie is a 2015 graduate of Sterling High School. She then played volleyball at Chadron State in Nebraska and then on to the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
    • Mackenzie served as the temporary head coach this season while head coach, Jessica Squier, was on maternity leave. Northeastern went on to claim the Region IX Tournament title for the second straight year to advance to the NJCAA Nationals in Hutchinson, Kansas where the Plainsman ended the season there with a 1-3 record.
    • Jessica Squier recently resigned to be the head coach at a college in Iowa, Mackenzie has accepted the position as interim head coach.


  • Classified Employee of the Year – Lyle Rose
    • Doug Werner is the epitome of good nature, and goes about his business as if it’s not work at all. He has been with Northeastern since 2007 as a Structural Trades II employee. He universally comes across as one of the most cheerful employees on the campus. Due to the nature of his position, there probably isn’t a single employee who hasn’t had the pleasure of working with or meeting him. He is always willing to help, and always has a kind word and a story to share. He will tackle any project with a smile and probably save us money in the end. He is an exceptional craftsman and with his knowledge, experience and expertise he is an undeniable asset to the college. Doug is the kind of person and the kind of employee all of us at Northeastern are proud to work with and proud to call a friend.


  • Professional Technical Employee of the Year – Maret Felzien
    • Melissa Bornhoft began her career at Northeastern in 1996, and has been the Assistant Director of the college’s Monahan Learning Center since 2005. Her primary role is to keep the MLC functioning smoothly, and does it all with energy and enthusiasm. She manages tutoring schedules, coordinates appointments for testing accommodations, and trains new staff. She oversees data collection for the TRIO Program and manages the report for this grant. She is a “fixer” (both literally and figuratively), and as if that weren’t enough, she is known as the “go-to” master of all things Banner-related. Anyone involved in Banner knows how invaluable her knowledge. Most important of all, Melissa truly personifies the concept of putting our students first. She is there on the front line supporting them on all levels no matter the circumstances.


  • Adjunct Faculty of the Year – Celeste Delgado-Pelton
    • Madeleine Ruble began teaching at Northeastern in the fall of 2017. Colleagues say Madeleine is an excellent instructor in both ESL (English as a second language) and geography. She puts in countless hours as a volunteer to various international student service projects year-in and year-out. She is an integral member of the popular Food and Culture Fair, helping book entertainers and hosting students in her kitchen to prepare food for the event. She also organizes enriching cultural activities for Northeastern’s international students such bowling parties, corn maze trips, and even a trip to a Denver Nuggets basketball game. She is an extremely dedicated adjunct professor, and the type of person that often flies under the radar with all the wonderful things she does for the college.


  • Faculty of the Year – Celeste Delgado-Pelton
    • Clint Rothell has taught philosophy at Northeastern since the fall semester of 2014. His liberal arts colleagues praise Clint for his overt and infectious passion about his subject, and are impressed with how he so easily engages and inspires his students. He works hard to keep his teaching creative, accessible and engaging while employing novel, effective strategies to help students succeed. He will go beyond course content at times to teach soft skills such as relationship building, and offer students a safe environment that fosters inspiration and new perspectives within and beyond the classroom. Students also shared laudatory comments about Clint’s teaching methods, often describing his classes as fun yet highly informative learning experiences. Clint clearly loves teaching, his field of study and genuinely cares about his students.


  • The Employee of the Year Award winners will be recognized at a CCCS Commitment to Excellence Award ceremony on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 1pm-4pm. The event will be held in Denver at the Governor’s Mansion.



  1. Academic Profile – Leslie Weinsheim
  • Leslie handed out the Fall 2019 Academic Profile and went over the highlights.
    • Seventy-three percent (73%) of students were between the ages of 14 and 21, also known as Generation Z.
  • Fifty percent (50%) of Northeastern students are working toward an Associate of Arts or Science degree, enabling them to transfer into a four-year college or university.
  • Fifty-three percent of students identified themselves as first generation and 60% of this group are female.
  • In 2018-19, Northeastern serviced 360 high school students coming from 22 school districts. These students attempted 3,271 credits.


  1. ATC Capital Campaign – Lisa LeFevre
    • The ATC Capital Campaign is going strong. To date the campaign has raised $2,111,106.71.
    • A proposal has been submitted to Cargill Animal Nutrena for submission to their main headquarters.
    • Trying to secure a grant through Noble Energy and also with CHS in Yuma, Colorado.
    • Next Era Energy will be donating a solar array for the ATC Project.
    • Lisa will be contacting Smithfield Farms in Yuma to try and partner with them in their scholarship program they provide to their employees.
    • Lisa will be receiving the project construction documents soon. One change in the construction plan is that the new building will be separate from the old metal building (Lebsack-Schmidt Hall) as this would cause a snow load issue with the roof.
    • Groundbreaking is planned for December. This later date will be better as most companies do not award their grants until late spring or summer.  


  1. Yuma Campus Update – Lisa LeFevre
    • Our Yuma campus is now staffed and operating. Marylu Smith-Dischner is our Yuma Facility Coordinator. Marylu has ties to the community as she was a former teacher at Yuma High School.
    • We are currently offering Community Ed Classes right now. We are not offering any credit-bearing classes as of yet. We are meeting with the community and getting a feel for what the community needs are. We will begin to advertise for adjunct faculty to teach in Yuma.
    • Lisa encouraged the Advisory Council, if they are in the Yuma area, to stop by and see the building.
    • Sergio believes there is a need for ESL classes currently in that area. He stated if we can get students “off the dirt road and onto a paved road” we are pushing them towards the right path.
    • NJC purchased nine welders that were placed in the high school. There is a need for career and tech programs in the area.
    • Lisa indicated we are in the planning stages of starting an Ag Mechanics Program.
    • Karla indicated the Rural Community Resource Center in Yuma would be a great connection to make.
    • Lisa attended the Linking Yuma County meeting on February 18.



  • Fall Semester Honor Roll
    • Northeastern had 214 full-time students on the honor roll for fall semester. President Lee commented that what is particularly notable about this fall’s group was the large number of Northeastern athletes and performers that made the list. Sixty-three Northeastern athletes made the list. If you count music and theater students into that group, there were 73 students. President Lee believes students have more success when they are tied into a group such as an athletic team or club. One particular troubling point of data, is that only 17% of our students of color population made the honor roll list. Our student of color population only makes up 27.5% of our enrollment.


  • Investment Committee
    • Jay complimented Lisa LeFevre and the Investment Committee.
    • With NJC’s enrollment trending down over 20% in the last ten years, we have to be innovative in ways to increase enrollment. Enrollment in the schools in our service areas are not growing. We get 60-65% of enrollment from these schools. We have to do a better job of recruiting outside of our service area.
    • The group set forth a list of recommendations to the Leadership Team on Wednesday and the Leadership Team gave their approval:
        • Robust offerings at the Yuma Campus.
        • Many summer class offerings. Will open GRB Hall and then Williams Hall if needed. The Cafeteria may be open and offer meal plans to students.
        • Extensive evening offerings in the fall semester.
        • Add Trap Shooting Team. Include $15,000 in scholarship funds.
        • Add Horse Judging – could be around 12-15 students. NJC used to have Horse Judging.
        • Add Beach Volleyball. Include $20,000 in scholarship funds.
  • The committee is planning a Taste of Education event on a Saturday for the community to experience 45-minute short class offerings. Refreshments would be served. There will be drawing for scholarships. The date has not been set yet.


  • iPad Initiative
    • The President’s Cabinet visited about iPads on Monday. The college has invested a lot of money into iPads for faculty and staff and also into classroom technology.
    • Jay feels we have been dishonest with students saying that NJC is an iPad College, as several classes are not taught using the iPad, and numerous students have complained about being required to have an iPad when it is not being utilized in their classes.
    • Many students, including ASG Officers and ASG Presidents, have not purchased an iPad for classes. They have used other devices such as iPhones or a MacBook and have been successful. This means we have faculty that do not utilize the iPads in their classrooms. Jay recommends we get away from the language that we are an iPad College and we do so immediately. He is hesitant to say we are a BYOD College however.
    • With the budget the way it is with declining enrollment, the college cannot purchase other devices for faculty and staff. The college will only support IOS devices.
    • Dave Webb, our Director of Communications & Public Relations, is currently identifying what type of technology each program utilizes and building a matrix from that information.
    • Jay does not want to stifle the use of technology in our classrooms. We need to adjust and accommodate as best we can. Our faculty have done a great job of doing that already.
    • Dave Webb will put together language that we can start marketing to students and the general public.



  • Associated Student Government (ASG) Report
    •  No report


  • Faculty Senate Report Kent Ross, Faculty Senate President  
  • The Faculty Senate will be giving out two $500 scholarships this spring.



  • Fred asked about the status of a Hemp Program. Jay indicated that is still in the works. NJC is planning to build two new greenhouses that will be part of this Ag program.
  • Fred complimented President Lee on the weekly “The Week That Will Be” videos he sends out every Monday morning.



  • The meeting was adjourned at 3:03 p.m.


XII.     “The Exchange” Tour & Demonstration – Knowles Hall Second Floor – Maret Felzien & Dante Penington




Respectfully Submitted,


Shawn Rose

 Recording Secretary


cc:  Advisory Council Members, Jay Lee