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STLCC Alumni and supporters Honored by MCCA

September 03, 2009

The Missouri Community College Association plans to recognize two St. Louis Community College alumni and two STLCC supporters at the annual MCCA Convention to be held Nov. 4-6, 2009 in Lake Ozark, Mo.

The honorees, nominated by STLCC, are:

• Kenya Haney,  Distinguished Alumni Award
• Todd Newton, Distinguished Alumni Award
• Thomas R. Voss/AmerenUE, Distinguished Business/Industry Award
• James H. Buford, chair of STLCC Building Corp., Award of Distinction

Kenya Haney  
Kenya Haney
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to individuals who attended a community college and have achieved significant professional recognition and made noteworthy community contributions. Kenya Haney attended STLCC-Florissant Valley and is currently a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her selection was based on her outstanding leadership as a nursing student and her involvement in student nursing organizations. Haney most recently was elected as the the 2009-2010 president of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) and has served in numerous other capacities at the national, state and local levels of the organization. Past offices include treasurer of the STLCC Nurses Association, the Saint Louis Area district officer for the Missouri Student Nurses Association, and the chair of the NSNA’s Breakthrough to Nursing® Committee. 

Todd Newton  
Todd Newton

Todd Newton, a former STLCC-Meramec student, also will be recognized as a Distinguished Alumni. After studying communications at Meramec, Newton began a career in radio as announcer Rick Idol at the former WKBQ in St. Louis and in television at KPLR-TV before moving to Los Angeles and becoming one of the most successful game show hosts of the late 1990s. He has been associated with the E! Television Network and has hosted multiple programs on Game Show Network (GSN), such as “Hollywood Showdown” and “Instant Millionaire.” Newton also has gained recognition as a life coach and motivational speaker. He works closely with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease research, which receives a portion of the proceeds from his motivational DVD sales. Newton will be inducted in to STLCC-Meramec’s Alumni Walk of Fame on Sept. 25. 

Tom Voss  
Tom Voss

The Distinguished Business/Industry Award acknowledges an individual from a business or industry who partners with a local community college to stimulate additional worker training or retraining. Thomas R. Voss, president and CEO of AmerenUE, has championed the AmerenUE Lineworker Pre-apprenticeship program, a key workforce training initiative with STLCC to provide a pool of potential candidates for entry into the lineman apprenticeship program. This accelerated pre-employment program assesses and screens interested area residents and then provides approximately 200 hours of training to prepare the candidates to take Ameren’s pre-employment test. To date, 21 candidates have successfully completed the program. Additionally, Ameren has established a scholarship program for students interested in pursuing careers in engineering technologies at STLCC-Florissant Valley. The program will help provide a well-educated workforce to serve the needs of Ameren and other St. Louis area employers.

Jim Buford  
Jim Buford

The Award of Distinction recognizes individuals who demonstrate ongoing service and commitment to a community college. James Buford, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, has been an advocate and supporter of STLCC since graduating from STLCC-Forest Park in 1970. He has lead the development of multiple community programs and partnerships between STLCC and the Urban League designed to encourage youth leadership skills and postsecondary education among urban youth. Buford also has served on the St. Louis Community College Building Corp. since its inception in 1986, and has served as its president since 1991. In this role, he has been instrumental in securing the leasehold revenue bonds that have allowed STLCC to acquire land and construct much-needed college facilities.

The Missouri Community College Association was organized formally in 1963 as the Missouri Association of Community and Junior Colleges. It promotes the best possible conditions for professional service, encourages professional growth, works toward articulation with other colleges of education, and identifies the needs and challenges of Missouri’s public community colleges.