Cindy Duncan honored with NCCA Governor’s Award

Cindy Duncan Governors Award
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors member Cindy Duncan is the recipient of this year’s Nebraska Community College Association Governor’s Award.

Duncan, of Broken Bow, was recognized Sunday evening during the NCCA’s annual meeting in North Platte. Her selection was based on a variety of criteria, including service to MPCC, program development, leadership in helping to solve challenges affecting two-year postsecondary education and community involvement.

“I am completely humbled by this award,” Duncan said. “I have gained so much more from Mid-Plains and the Nebraska community college experience than I have or will ever give back. It is truly an honor to sit on the Mid-Plains Board.”

A proven leader for MPCC

Duncan joined the MPCC Board of Governors in 2015. She began a five-year term as vice chair in 2019 and was reappointed to the position in January. Duncan currently serves on the board’s executive and legislative committees.

Her service on the MPCC Board of Governors has allowed Duncan to have an impact on community, state and global needs for skilled employees, particularly in applied technology. As an employee of BD, Duncan has watched the demand for middle-skill jobs surge. In response, she was part of a program that created a STEM lab to help businesses, educational platforms and the state fill the gap in applied tech jobs. 

Duncan also used her influence on the MPCC Board of Governors to support expansion of the MPCC Broken Bow Campus shop and welding program.

Duncan has provided critical feedback in the development of new academic programs of study and was a major proponent of the implementation of MPCC’s Associate of Applied Science Degree in Agriculture with emphases in diesel and welding that began in the fall of 2022.

Additionally, Duncan was an integral part of the approval of men’s and women’s golf at North Platte Community College – an effort to increase student enrollment.

Over the years, she has led discussions about student safety, the expansion of the college’s Health and Science Center in North Platte and the redevelopment of the East Campus building for the advancement of program and community offerings in McCook.

As a mother of students who took advantage of dual credit through MPCC then transferred those credits to universities, Duncan understands the importance of early entry opportunities in the region.

Duncan is a proponent of offering unique experiences for students to become acquainted with MPCC. Fridays At the College is an example of that. The exploratory program is offered to local high school students to learn more about the institution’s applied technology programs.

She has been a strong voice in making sure that once students are enrolled at the college that they have the latest instructional technology tools and equipment available to prepare them for professional careers.

Through her employer, Duncan continues to advocate for financial contributions to provide additional opportunities for trainings at MPCC’s community campuses to better serve the entire 18-county service area.

Earlier this year, she testified at a legislative hearing regarding a dramatic shift in funding for community colleges, explaining that the shift to the originally proposed bill would have long-term and irreversible effects on technical education.

Duncan routinely attends Legislative Day in Lincoln as well as ACCT National Legislative Summits and ACCT Leadership Congress. She has addressed MPCC graduates during commencement ceremonies and offered DiSC® personality insight presentations for Millard Public Schools, Omaha law enforcement and parent teacher associations at the state level. 

“Seeing the depth of influence the collective community college body has in the state of Nebraska is a remarkable example of what makes Nebraska and its community colleges special and some of the best in the nation,” Duncan said. “Now more than ever community colleges are needed. I know all the boards and their leadership will continue to be active participants in crucial conversations in making our students’ needs a reality. Being a board member for Mid-Plains is truly one of my greatest joys.” 

A leader in her community

Duncan is also extremely active in her hometown of Broken Bow. When COVID hit and businesses needed to be more creative and leverage intuitive growth mindset and human skill development skills, Duncan utilized her relationship with MPCC to host Leadership 360 sessions, comprehensive leadership assessments that mixed inner and outer aspects of leadership. The tool helped local leaders learn more about the dynamic world, while providing key insights about leadership that promoted action and ongoing development.

Duncan chaired the Broken Bow Public Schools All-District accreditation process and is actively involved with the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce. She also chaired the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska and the Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt, for which she served two five-year terms on the board.

She has dedicated additional time and energy to the following organizations:

▪           Buffet Cancer Center

▪           Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce

▪           Nebraska One Box Foundation

▪           American Quarter Horse Association

▪           United Methodist Church

For her efforts, Duncan previously received the 2021 BD Honorable Mention President’s Award, the 2021 BD Zulfi Award, the 2006 National Leadership Award and the Excellence in Education Award from the Teacher Recognition Day statewide steering committee.