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.”

Seven Blue Devils earn all-district softball honors

KCKCC Blue Devils earning NJCAA All-District softball honors for 2014 included first teamers (front row, from left) outfielders Justice Scales and Mierra Morrisette, third baseman Lacey Santiago and pitcher Leslie Ford: and second teamers (second row) second baseman Amana Holroyd, shortstop Hanna Barnhart and catcher Megan Dike. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins
Seven Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils have earned recognition on the NJCAA All-District softball team for the 2014 season.
The selections are headed by outfielder Mierra Morrisette, who has been nominated for the NJCAA All-American team.
Morrisette is joined on the first team by third baseman Lacey Santiago, outfielder Justice Scales and pitcher Leslie Ford while second team selections include second baseman Amanda Holroyd, shortstop Hanna Barnhart and catcher Megan Dike. All are sophomores with the exception of Scales and Ford and all hit .388 or better except Ford, the ace of the pitching staff of a Blue Devil team that finished 32-15.
A sophomore from Olathe who played high school softball at Notre Dame de Sion, Morrisette led the Blue Devils in hitting (.494) and runs-batted-in (50). Her .494 average was 20th best in the nation. A two-year starter, she also led in hitting as a freshman with a .459 average. Equally impressive, Morrissette played two full seasons without an error in leftfield.
The one-two hitters in the KCKCC lineup, Santiago hit. 464 from the leadoff position while Scales hit .491 at No. 2. A two-time All-Region selection, Santiago finished 46th in the nation in hitting and led in stolen bases with 14 and drove in 23 runs. A freshman from SM South who was 21st nationally in batting, Scales was second in hitting (.491), first in extra base hits (29) and third in RBI (41).
A righthander from Garden City, Ford was the workhorse of the Blue Devil pitching staff with 186 innings, fourth  most in the nation. Completing all of her 30 starts, she finished with a 22-8 record and 1.71 earned run average that was No. 30 nationally. Her seven shutouts included three no-hitters, the most of any pitcher in the Jayhawk Conference. Seventh in the nation in strikeouts with 183, she also hit .276 with 12 RBI.
All three of the second team selections are from the immediate area. A Bishop Ward grad, Hanna Barnhart hit .400 with 26 RBI. Amanda Holyrod; a graduate of Tonganoxie, batted .391 and was second in RBI with 45; and Lansing native Megan Dike hit .388 with 21 RBI.

KCKCC’s Blue Devil 5K is a success

Kids participated in the 2014 Blue Devil 5K and Kids Trot recently. (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge
Exercise was the name of the game during the 2014 Blue Devil 5K and Kids Trot.
The event, which is in its 10th year, was May 3 on the Kansas City Kansas Community College campus.  Eighty participants crossed the finish line.
“This year’s Blue Devil 5k and Kids Trot went awesome,” said Joe Mundt, trainer at the KCKCC Wellness and Fitness Center. “It is great to see the community come out and support our event. Participants really enjoyed the great weather and watching the kids do their races after the 5k was done.”
The goal of the annual event is to get the community more active. The winners were the husband and wife pair of Matt Greer, 18 minutes and 8 second and Angela Greer, 22 minutes and 37 seconds. They both also won last year. Awards were also given to the top finishers in each category. Following the 5K race, children had the opportunity to participate in the Kids Trot. There was also a pancake breakfast in Lower Jewell.
“Our KCKCC Wellness Center staff does a great job every year putting this event on. From setting up the course to helping participants get their bib numbers and timing chips on before the race, our staff does it all,” Mundt said. “The participant’s excitement leading up to the event helps to motivate us to make this event even better each year.”
Donations for the Blue Devil 5K Run/Walk were received from the Midwest Regional Credit Union, Sam’s Club and the KCKCC Bookstore.
For more information about the Blue Devil 5K or the KCKCC Wellness and Fitness Center, call 913-288-7370.

The 2014 Blue Devil 5K and Kids Trot got the community involved in running events. (KCKCC photo)