Iowa Lakes Community College President Valerie Newhouse has received the 2017 Distinguished Higher Education Leadership award from Iowa Women in Higher Education.
Newhouse was selected based on her outstanding leadership.
Maria Bohorquez, Iowa Women in Higher Education President as well as Professor of Chemistry and Chair at Drake University, presented the award at the seventh annual conference of the group.
LEADERSHIP AWARD -- Valerie Newhouse (right) the President of Iowa Lakes Community College, receives the Distinguished Higher Education Leadership Award from Maria Bohorquez, Iowa Women in Higher Education President.
"She became the first female college president at Iowa Lakes," said Bohorquez. "The college continues to thrive under her guidance and collaborative approach in leadership."
When she received the award, Newhouse thanked the organization for the recognition.
"This is quite an honor," Newhouse said. "The Iowa Women in Higher Education Network is such a great organization. Follow your pathway; enjoy your journey; and along the way have some laughs. I am very humbled by this. Thank you."
President Newhouse was nominated by Jolene Rogers, executive director of community and business relations for the college.
"Focusing on quality and her commitment to communication, President Newhouse draws on the administrative team, faculty and community leaders to accomplish college goals," Rogers said. "Valerie's service to our community is equally impressive. She is respected at local, county and state levels serving on multiple boards promoting the value of education, training and economic development."
Newhouse recently chaired the statewide Iowa Community College Presidents group for two years and is currently serving as the chair of the Iowa Energy Center.
The award was created to recognize and honor those individuals who have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding leadership to women in their institutions, in their profession, and in society-at-large. The award is designed to recognize work on behalf of women in higher education that is beyond the scope of the nominee's normal job responsibilities.
Newhouse has successfully served Iowa Lakes Community College for more than 25 years and as president for the last eight years. Under her leadership, Iowa Lakes was able to leverage positive community relationships and pass the first-ever capitol bond referendum with 64 percent approval. This has allowed Iowa Lakes to move critical building projects forward at each of the five campuses.
"As a leader, she recognizes the benefits of putting the right individuals and teams together to advance the college mission as a result of her past roles in human resources and staff development," said Rogers in the nomination form. "She led the effort for Iowa Lakes to be named the Northwest Iowa Regional STEM Hub."
She is a native Iowan and a product of the community college system as an Iowa Lakes alum.