Dr. Jody Tomanek, Mid-Plains Community College area vice president of academic affairs and NPCC, stands next to MPCC President Ryan Purdy after receiving the Nebraska Community College Association Administrator's Award. Tomanek was honored with the award during the NCCA's annual meeting in Norfolk on Sunday.
Dr. Jody Tomanek is the recipient of the Nebraska Community College Association Administrator's Award.
Tomanek is Mid-Plains Community College's area vice president of academic affairs and is also the vice president of North Platte Community College. She was honored Sunday night during the NCCA's annual meeting in Norfolk.
"It was such an honor to receive this award from the NCCA, and I am grateful to the college for nominating me," said Tomanek. "I wouldn't be able to achieve any of this without the wonderful faculty and staff at MPCC. It was extra special because Ryan [Purdy, MPCC president] arranged for my parents to be there without me knowing. I am truly lucky to get to work at such a great institution."
Contributions to growth at MPCC
Tomanek has helped to initiate and develop numerous innovative programs during her tenure at MPCC, one of which was the creation of an Associate of Fine Arts degree. Mid-Plains is the only college in Nebraska to offer the degree, which allows students to select an emphasis in art, theater or music.
Tomanek's collaboration with faculty and division chairs also led to the establishment of a Sunday College program at Mid-Plains, which allows students to complete their associate degree in two years by attending classes on Sunday afternoons and evenings. The program is geared primarily toward students who work full-time.
MPCC's Academic Master Plan resulted from the efforts of Tomanek and faculty. The document paves the way for the development of innovative programs and provides a guide for supporting the needs of employees, students and communities within MPCC's 18-county service area.
Tomanek also worked with statewide partners to launch the Nebraska Math Readiness Project this fall. The program provides a bridge to success for high school seniors who need to improve their math skills before entering a college-level math course.
Additionally, Tomanek worked with the MPCC Board of Governors to establish a three-year Instructional Equipment Plan - ensuring that the college's programs are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. As a result, Mid-Plains has invested $2 million into its instructional programs over the last six years.
Tomanek is a member of Partnerships for Innovation, a collaboration of Nebraska secondary and postsecondary partners focused on building a better statewide system for Career and Technical Education to improve student learning and better meet economic development priorities.
Tomanek also sits on the National Council of Instructional Administrators, which supports the needs of community college academic administrators through professional development and serves as a national voice in policy planning and decision-making. She represents a region that includes Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Tomanek has been part of a statewide chief academic officer group for the past decade, which has allowed her to play a strong role in the Nebraska Transfer Initiative. That determines how college credit transfers across the state.
Additionally, Tomanek is a reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, an organization tasked with the regional accreditation responsibilities for postsecondary education institutions in the central U.S. In that role, Tomanek is responsible for reviewing system portfolios and conducting site reviews for other schools.
As for community involvement, Tomanek is a member of the Great Plains Health board of directors and the North Platte Noon Rotary Club.
She has been a featured speaker at National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and Higher Learning Commission conferences and was recently invited to speak about the community college system for a statewide leadership group.
"Jody provides outstanding leadership in her role of academic affairs," said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. "She is frequently contacted by her peers and Greg Adams, NCCA executive director, for advice and guidance on issues related to academic affairs. She is continuously seeking ways to improve processes within her areas of responsibility and has high standards of her direct reports. She provides feedback to them on their performance, provides needed resources and works collaboratively with them to improve their teaching methods to meet and exceed student expectations."