February 20, 2024

National champion volleyball team honored at Board meeting


Honored for its unbeaten season, members of the 2023 Cowley College volleyball team were on hand to be celebrated during the Monday Board of Trustees meeting in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

Cowley captured the 2023 national championship with a record of 41-0. Lady Tiger sophomore libero Rossana Papa and Cowley head coach Steven Gream received top honors from the NJCAA as Papa was named the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Player of the Year, and Gream was named the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Dropping only five sets the entire season, Gream coached one of the most dominant programs in NJCAA Division II history.

Lana Milner was named the 2023 AVCA Two-Year National Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Cowley College volleyball team saw three players recognized by the NJCAA as All-Americans. Papa and freshman Laura Bonomi were selected as first-team All-Americans, and sophomore Anna Kiss was selected as a second-team All-American.

“These ladies committed themselves to be the very best they could be, and that is the Cowley Way,” Cowley athletic director Jeff Fluty said.

In other matters:

  1. Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon updated the Board on recent happenings. She mentioned the Open Arms Award that the Ark City Chamber presented to James Fry and the ACES organization; she also said the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet that recently honored four successful individuals and one team. She also shared information from her recent listening sessions for the community, employees, and students' feedback. The College also held a successful Math & Science Day event where close to 80 area high school students attended. Dr. Schoon also mentioned the recent theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest, held February 15-17 in the Robert Brown Theatre. Dr. Schoon also spoke of the Data Walk ACT initiative, the KJCCC presidents/athletic directors meeting she attended. She also spent two days visiting a college in Illinois as part of a Peer review team with the Higher Learning Commission. Lastly, she informed the Board that spring enrollment is up .6 percent from this time last spring.
  2. Saw Dr. Schoon present a gift to January Student of the Month Aigiza Nasyrova from Russia and February Student of the Month Bruno Nhavene from Mozambique. “I want to thank everyone at Cowley who made this possible,” Nhavene said. “Cowley is very special to me and will always be close to my heart.” Nasyrova echoed those sentiments. “I thank Cowley for all of the opportunities that have been presented to me,” Nasyrova said. “I have used these opportunities to develop my leadership skills.”
  3. Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update where she discussed the Governor’s budget.
  4. Cowley College Foundation President and CEO Kori Gregg provided the Board with a year-to-date update. “It has been an extremely busy and productive year for us,” Dr. Gregg said. The Foundation continues to thrive under Dr. Gregg’s leadership.
  5. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. She informed the Board that sheetrock is installed in the new CTE building, millwork is onsite, and it is set to be installed.
  6. Dr. Rachel Bates, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board of ongoing academic affairs and administrative daily operations.
  7. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
  8. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the current, publicly-shared fact sheet, Student Success at Cowley College, was included in their packet and provided important information about first to second fall retention rates, completion rates, transfer out GPA, and employment in the region for graduates of CTE programs.
  9. Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, provided an enrollment update.
  10. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided a housing and student life update.
  11. Jeff Fluty, athletic director, provided the Board with updates from the winter and spring sports and mentioned that the college is tied for first place with Salt Lake Community College in the 2023-2024 NATYCAA Daktronics Cup following the completion of the fall sports season.
  12. Dr. Scott Layton, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. He also shared information on the recent Math & Science Day event that attracted nearly 80 high school students to campus.
  13. Trustee Joe Shriver provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
  14. Trustee Phil White provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
  15. Trustee Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
  16. Held first readings on the following policies: (255.00) Withdrawal from a Class; (257.00) Attendance and Coursework; (258.00) Official Class Rosters.
  17. Approved the proposal to leave tuition flat except for concurrent students, which will increase to the in-district rate or by $5 per credit hour. Also approved is the proposal to remove the online fees of $30 per credit hour and replace that with an increase to the technology fee of $15 per hour.
  18. Housing rates will increase based on a proposed 5.2% increase from the dining services provider, Fresh Ideas.
  19. Approved the Consent Agenda:
    1. Board Minutes of the January 16 meeting.
    2. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
    3. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
    4. Personnel Transactions. The Board was informed of the resignation of Brittnie Burris as Business and Social Sciences department specialist, effective January 26.
    5. The Board was informed of the employment of Julian White as custodian, effective January 25; Brent Hanna as groundskeeper, effective February 5; Jesse Stephens as maintenance technician, effective February 12; and Austin Legg as assistant wrestling coach, effective February 15; and Zachariah Cooper as director of the Sumner Campus, effective June 3.
  20. Approved the purchase of welding equipment for the new CTE building from Lampton Welding for $436,786.74.
  21. Approved the purchase of Iron Worker equipment from Lampton Welding for $51,805.25.
  22. Approved the purchase of an alignment system and scissor lift from Hunter Tools for $79,949.22.
  23. The Board tabled the discussion to publish the notice of a Trustee vacancy. The vacancy exists by reason of the resignation of Marla Sexson, a former resident of Cowley County, and any such applicant must also be a Cowley County resident.
  24. The meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005