COLUMBUS — At the Ohio Association of Community College conference in June, Matthew P. Smith, of Galion, was awarded the 2019 Maureen C. Grady Award for Special Achievement, and Richland County Commissioner Marilyn John received the 2019 OACC Distinguished Alumnus Award.
As a long-term board member and former board chair, Smith’s commitment to the mission of community colleges is evidenced by his leadership to: North Central State College, the North Central State College Foundation, and as Board Chair of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. Smith truly believes in the value of two-year colleges and carries that message everywhere. He regularly participates in the “One Voice” Legislative summit and the annual Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. Smith has made numerous presentations at the national ACCT Leadership Congress and received the ACCT Central Region’s Trustee Leadership Award in 2014. Dorey Diab, president of NC State comments, “His commitment, his dedication, and his philanthropy are evidence of his belief in NC State’s mission of access and success for students, and in the promise of a better standard of living and better quality of life for community college graduates.”
Commissioner John is a 1988 graduate of then North Central Technical College, earning her associate degree in Business Management before going on to earn her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Knowing the importance of education and the critical role of the community college in economically challenged regions, she founded the Leader Richland program. This program brings seventh and eighth grade students from surrounding school districts to the Mansfield campus to introduce them to the value of education and acclimate them to the college setting at an early age. John believes that starting early is essential in preparing the future leaders of our community.