New EWC President Named

      A month after rejecting its 3 finalists for president, the Eastern Wyoming College Board of Trustees has unanimously named Dr Jeffry Hawes of Black Hawk College in Illinois as president. Dr Hawes will assume the position on July 1st.

    Current EWC President Dr Lesley Travers announced in October that she was retiring after 5 years when her contract expires at the end of this June, but suddenly announced in the middle of last month that she was stepping down immediately.

      The EWC Board had already rejected finalists Michelle Schutt of the College of Southern Idaho, James Taylor of Utah State University Eastern and Randy Smith of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma as “not in alignment with the college’s needs.”

      The board had planned to name an acting president, but after Travers’ resignation named Dr Richard Patterson as Interim President. 

     Board Chairman Robert Baumgartner says in now choosing Dr Hawes as the permanent president, the board saw his background in agriculture, past teaching experience, and knowledge of career and technical programs as huge assets.

     Baumgartner also said he personally looks forward to Hawes coming to EWC because he has “a huge passion for community involvement.”

       Hawes says he understands and values the “role the college holds in serving its communities with EWC’s strong commitment to students and stakeholders ensuring a continued and positive regional impact.”

     Hawes was raised on a family farm in Quincy, MI, and says he knew from an early age that he wanted to become a teacher. 

    He has spent the past 30 years committed to teaching and learning as he worked closely with administration, faculty, and staff to deliver quality instructional programs that prepare students for their futures. 

      A Michigan State University graduate with a dual major in Agriculture and Extension Education and Agricultural Communications, he taught at the secondary level for 8 years in Michigan – twice being recognized as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Teacher of the Year. 

      While teaching, Hawes earned a Master of Science at Michigan State University with a focus on secondary educational leadership and instructional pedagogy.

     In 2000, Hawes accepted a position at his alma mater as an academic specialist providing leadership to the Michigan FFA Association and working closely with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Education faculty.

     He also completed his PhD in Agriculture and Extension Education with an emphasis on leadership in higher education and research, leading him in 2006 to Black Hawk College.

    Hawes taught agriculture and horticulture career and transfer courses for 13 years, with a break in 2013 to serve as Interim Dean of Business Development and Technology.

    He left the classroom for good in 2019 to become Executive Dean of Black Hawk’s East Campus, providing leadership for career and transfer programs and advocating for faculty, staff, and students alike.

    Over the years, he has served as the primary investigator for multiple grants focusing on career development and student achievement, and has led teams to redesign curriculum and complete accreditation processes