Crane receives KCKCC outstanding staff employee of year award

Rob Crane (Photo from KCKCC)

by Kelly Rogge

Rob Crane was surprised when his name was announced as the Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Outstanding Staff Employee of the Year Award winner.

“I didn’t know that I was even nominated,” said the director of the KCKCC Wellness and Fitness Center. I really appreciate it. This is a fantastic gesture.”

Crane received the award during the annual KCKCC “Employee Recognition and Retirement Dinner” May 2.

The award is given to one staff employee each year based on several criteria. These include consistently demonstrating excellence in the performance of job duties; exhibiting a high level of leadership and successful interpersonal relationships with students, other employees and the public; making significant contributions toward reaching the college’s goals and objectives; positively reflecting credit on KCKCC whether or not the employee’s performance and achievements fall entirely within the scope of normal duties; demonstrating outstanding service provided to the college community; demonstrating an ongoing desire for professional improvement and exhibiting creativity and innovation in professional endeavors.
The nomination pointed to Crane’s contributions while at KCKCC and his “positive performance, creativity and innovations.” It specifically mentioned his research into creating healthy communities, moving forward a request for KCKCC to move toward a “Smoke Free Campus.” This research includes collaboration with several outside agencies including the Wyandotte County Health Department, the KCKCC Wellness Committee and A Tobacco Free Kansas, among others.
“Rob exhibits exceptional determination in supporting the colleges’ health initiatives by collaborating with local health agencies and non-profit organizations to assist the college and staff Senate’s goals, of becoming a healthier institution for our employees, students and the community at large,” said a colleague in the nomination form. “Rob continues to engage in endless hours of research and attending educational forums, meetings and other events that enhances his knowledge of healthy communities and shares his materials.”

Crane has been at KCKCC for almost 19 years – four years as a part-time employee and almost 15 years in a full-time capacity. He completed his University of Kansas internship for a bachelor’s degree at KCKCC in the fall of 1995 and was then hired on as a part-time staff member.

“I do my best by leading by example, and I would never ask anyone to do something that I wouldn’t do myself,” he said. “It is really easy to get over extended in trying to do too much, so I have been fortunate enough to have a great staff to delegate some responsibilities to and for them to take the initiative several of the things we do from our newsletter and incentive programs to the events we sponsor.”

Crane said to receive the award is a “remarkable feeling and truly an honor.”

“It is very satisfying to receive recognition from fellow colleagues for the things that I have been doing on campus,” he said. “A few years ago, my co-worker Ron Wollenhaupt was in the process of nominating me for this same award.  However the computer system timed him out by the time he submitted the nomination, therefore it didn’t go through by the deadline. I came close before so winning this award now makes it even better.”

Alcott to present improv comedy for Second Saturday performance

“Propaganda: Presented by BenCorp International,” an evening of sketch and improvisational comedy, will be performed at The Alcott Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10.

“Propaganda” is an original piece written and performed by Rellitray Studios, a Kansas City collective of actors, writers and filmmakers.  It will be the first live performance for Rellitray Studios, and the group wants to translate its irreverent style from YouTube to the stage, in hope that it will provide a new voice in the Kansas City comedy scene.

It is a fundraiser for Alcott Center.  The Alcott Arts Center is at 180 S. 18th, Kansas City, Kan. It is not yet ADA-accessible.

Tickets are $5 at the door. The sketch is recommended for mature audiences, 17 and older. For more information, visit

Mayor secures $1 million from Wyandotte Health Foundation to support downtown community center construction

Mayor Mark Holland announced his Healthy Campus initiative will receive a  $1 million contribution from the Wyandotte Health Foundation. The announcement of the donation was made during Thursday’s Town Hall meeting where community members gathered to give input on the project.

The site being reviewed for development is near Big 11 Lake at the intersection of State Avenue and 10th Street, where planning has begun for a new grocery store and community center. Those two anchor projects not only offer $30 million of economic development in a location that has a strong need for investment and growth, but offer residents additional access to healthy food and fitness options.

“I can’t thank the Wyandotte Health Foundation enough for supporting the vision of a Healthy Campus in Downtown KCK.” Mayor Holland said. “My hope is that this development will serve as a national model for healthy living in an urban area. The Foundation’s partnership will be pivotal to helping us realize this exciting vision.”

William Epperheimer, president and CEO of the Wyandotte Health Foundation, presented Mayor Holland with the $1 million donation, along with Board Chairman Leon Logan, and Immediate Past Chairman Ray Daniels. The Board of the Foundation expressed its hope that the campus would include a primary care clinic and/or an urgent care clinic to serve the uninsured and medically underserved residents of the area.

“The foundation is pleased and honored to play a significant role in the development of a Healthy Campus that will improve the physical environment of our older downtown area,” Epperheimer said. “Our mission is to promote and improve the health of Wyandotte County citizens, particularly the indigent, through grants and collaborative efforts and we believe the Healthy Campus advances that mission.”