The American Association for Women in Community Colleges is the leading national organization that champions women and maximizes their potential.


The AAWCC 2011 Mildred Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award

Dr. Sandra L. Kurtinitis

 President, Community College of Baltimore County

 The woman for whom this award is named, Mildred Bulpitt, is not only a woman of the year, but has been named a woman of the decade, and it could easily be said that she is a woman of the half century.  Therefore, the award is bestowed upon a woman who has an outstanding record of service to women in the two-year college setting.  Additionally, she must be a woman whose service to women in two-year colleges deserves national recognition as a role model for two year college women throughout the country.  Dr. Sandra L. Kurtinitis, President of the Community College of Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland, is such a woman, and is the recipient of the AAWCC Mildred Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award for 2011.  


Dr. Kurtinitis serves on local boards and commissions, as well as regional and national educational Boards and Commissions.  She is the Chair of the Commission for Lifelong Learning for the American Council on Education (ACE), has served on the Commission on Economic and Workforce Development for AACC, and chaired eight accrediting teams for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  Most recently she was appointed to White House Summit on Community Colleges,  U.S. Department of Education.


Her exemplary leadership, vision and commitment to community college education have garnered regional and national recognition.  She has been named one of the 125 most influential Women in Massachusetts, been recognized by the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Central Maryland, received numerous legislative Commendations, and been the recipient of a Bellwether Award.  Who here among you has an official day named in your honor?  Sandra Kurtinitis has one.  A Proclamation by the Baltimore County Executive declared that November 1, 2006 was Sandra Kurtinitis Day!

An experienced and respected educator, administrator and author, she has been a community college professional for more than 40 years. Dr. Kurtinitis is resolutely committed to inclusive leadership and open communication, affirming her belief that the classroom is a far more important place on campus than the executive office.  

Her support of the classroom and learning has extended nationally to support the continuation of the nationally recognized LEADERS Institute and to host the program at the Community College of Baltimore County.  In the two years that the LEADERS Institute has been hosted by CCBC in Baltimore, she has identified ten leaders at CCBC, mentored them, and supported their attendance at LEADERS.    It is just one example of her commitment to women in leadership!

Dr. Kurtinitis is the consummate higher education leader and has garnered an outstanding record of service to women in the two-year college setting.  When she was told she was going to be honored by being named AAWCC Woman of the Year, she wrote:  “Although I have served the community college world for 44 years in various capacities at four different community colleges, I cannot recall receiving an honor that I value as highly as this one – given its namesake – short of being able to call myself the President of the Community College of Baltimore County”. 



The 2011 Carolyn Desjardins CEO Award to Outstanding Service and Support to AAWCC

Nan Poppe Ed.D.


Nan currently serves as the Executive Director of the Completion by Design Assistance Team.  Completion by Design is a new 5-year community college reform initiative to help community colleges substantially increase the number of certificates and degrees earned by their students.  It is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 Nan recently retired as the Campus President for the Extended Learning Campus at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon.  The campus serves over 53,000 credit and non-credit students each year.  During her 30-year community college career, Nan served in various other positions, including Director of Workforce Development, Dean for Adult and Continuing Education, Dean of Instruction, District Vice-President for Academic and Student Affairs and President of the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College. 

 Nan’s entire career has been dedicated to enhancing program offerings specifically related to workforce education, and expanding academic opportunities for underserved students.  She has been involved in the design and implementation of several model programs over the years, which have enriched the lives of thousands of students. 

 In addition to serving on a number of community boards, Nan has served on several national boards of directors where the focus has been on advancing the status of continuing education, workforce development, sectoral programs and working with community-based intermediaries.  She is highly regarded for her expertise in understanding and influencing local, state and federal public policy.  As a well-known policy expert, she has made several presentations on a wide range of subjects from increasing literacy skills for low-income adults, to creating pre-college courses for students not ready for post-secondary coursework.  She has authored several articles, co-authored several publications/research papers, and is a contributing author as well. 

 Perhaps one of her greatest contributions is her unwavering commitment and passion for providing post-secondary access and success for those most in need in our communities.

 Nan has been a strong supporter of AAWCC at the campus, state, and national level her entire career.  Her leadership, commitment, passion, and support for women in community college have been an inspiration and role model for others.  She is able to continue this important work in her new career. 


2011 AAWCC Chapter Award

 Georgia Highlands College Chapter of AAWCC

Georgia Highlands College

Rome, Georgia 

The Georgia Highlands College Chapter of AAWCC is proud of what they have accomplished since chartering in October 2009. With more than 40 active members representing all five Georgia Highlands campuses, they have initiated and participated in many programs that have benefited their members, the college, and the local communities. Their focus is on a varied, yet balanced approach to programming.  Mind, body, heart, and soul provided the umbrella and core focus for program development:


·         Mind – programs focused on education, critical thinking and skills development

·         Body – programs focused on healthier living and image management

·         Heart– programs focused on reaching out to our local communities

·         Soul – programs focused on connecting our members, having fun, and recharging our batteries


The Georgia Highland College chapter has had a tremendous impact on women at both the campus and community level. They have educated the campus population about women’s issues, ranging from women’s history to famous women and women authors. Better, brighter futures have been supported for young girls who have benefited from seeing strong, professional women in their very own communities. Nurturing of AAWCC Chapter members also strengthened bonds among the faculty and staff; and reinforced a shared sense of purpose. 


Contact information:  Meredith Ginn & Laura Beth Daws;;



2011 AAWCC Program Award



Palm Beach AAWCC Chapter

Palm Beach State College


Lake Worth, Florida


The Crossroads Program at Palm Beach Stater College assists displaced homemakers in discovering their transferable skills and helps build their self confidence to pursue a career and educational goals. Crossroads is grant-funded and focuses on developing and assisting displaced homemakers in their efforts to move forward in their lives from a position of economic dependency to one of financial self-sufficiency through esteem-building, empowerment, education and employment. The AAWCC membership at Palm Beach Community College encourages and invites Crossroad participants to attend  AAWCC meetings, workshops, and events such as the Women in Leadership Luncheon Series. 


Over 4,000 women have been through the Crossroads Program which has increasingly empowered the women to be self-reliant, to learn and know their self-worth, and to attain employable skills.  Many Crossroads graduates have become leaders within the higher education and in the community.  Alumni of the Crossroads Program are now educators, vice-presidents of banks, and CEO’s of national organizations such as the Alzheimer’s National Association.


Contact information:  Olivia Morris-Ford;




2011 Awards Breakfast Photos:


Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis



Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis




(from left) Dr. Barbara Tower, Dr, Sandra Kurtinitis, Dr. Cynthia Bioteau




 Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis and Dr. Cynthia Bioteau



Dr. Nan Poppe



Dr. Nan Poppe,

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