Laughs, hugs, tears and memories were shared during a retirement reception held May 3 in Cowley College’s Wright Community Room inside the Brown Center as the college honored Larry Schwintz, Chris Vollweider, Cliff Roderick, and Wanda Shepherd for their many years of service. “We want to honor and recognize their accomplishments and contributions to our college,” Cowley College Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Sheree Utash said. “We also want to wish them the best on their journey as they go on to the next part of their life.” All totaled, the four retirees worked at the college for a combined 101 years. “I thank all of you for your service to the college for all these years,” Cowley College President Dr. Pat McAtee said. “I sincerely appreciate everything you gave to us, and hope your lives will be enriched when you leave here.” Library assistant Roxie Aguilar also recently announced her retirement after spending the past 11 years at the school.
Wanda Shepherd — Shepherd held a variety of jobs during her 31 years at Cowley. Prior to serving as the social science department secretary for the past 12 years, she worked in the business office for 17 years and in shipping and receiving for two years. Shepherd also coached the Cowley cheerleaders for 11 years. In 2002, she joined Schwintz as being named the Tiger Booster Club’s Booster of the Year. In 1979, she and some friends approached then Cowley men’s basketball coach Jerry Mullen about starting a foster parent program for the basketball players. They named it the One-On-One Club. The program eventually branched out and included all sports, and developed into what is now the Adopt-A-Player program, sponsored by Bruce Watson and Frank Arnold.
Larry Schwintz — Schwintz spent the past 29 years as an instructor at Cowley College. He spent nearly 20 years as an agriculture instructor at Cowley before teaching computer classes in the Business, Computer and Information Technology Department the past decade. In 1992, he received the Master Teacher Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in Austin, Texas. The following year, he was a Master Presenter at the same NISOD conference. He was the first recipient of the Paul Stirnaman Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 2002. He also has been named Cowley’s Master Teacher, and was named the Tiger Booster Club Booster of the Year in 2002. He has been recognized as a Microsoft Mentor by the Microsoft Corporation, and has received a Gold Award from the Vocational Association Teacher of Teachers.
Chris Vollweider — Vollweider began teaching at Cowley in 1981. This past semester she taught developmental courses, which include College Reading, Becoming a Master Student, and Rapid Reading. As the director of adult education, she had a staff of 15 instructors. She also served as an advisor to students who are considered developmental or have undecided majors. She served on or chaired many teams at the college, including twice on the North Central Accreditation team. Her first position at Cowley was basic skills assistant, where she was responsible for the English labs. She was the 2004-2005 recipient of the Paul Stirnaman Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. In 1993, she was presented a Master Teacher Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in Austin, Texas. The following year, she was a Master Presenter at the same NISOD conference. She was also named the Booster of the Year in 2005 for the Tiger Booster Club. Vollweider was a member of CEA for 17 years, and held the offices of vice president and president. She was also on the CEA scholarship committee eight years, and was involved with the Board of Trustees candidate forum and on the hospitality committee.
Cliff Roderick — Roderick spent the past 16 years teaching drafting courses at Cowley. This past semester he taught Industrial Graphics I through Industrial Graphics VIII, Technical Drafting I through Technical Drafting III, Cad, AdvCad and 3D modeling. He spent his first five years at Cowley as a part-time instructor, and the last 11 as a full-time drafting instructor. In 1999, he was presented a Master Teacher Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in Austin, Texas. He also received the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers Award on three different occasions.
Roxie Aguilar — Her primary roles at the college included overseeing the library during evening hours and Sundays. She was responsible for giving library orientation to students, and helping patrons with reference, computer and general circulation needs. She also selected and cut out newspaper articles for the vertical file collection.