The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board (DGB), recently honored long-time employees Cynthia Hutton and Peggy Belknap with the Crystal Eagle Emeritus Awards in recognition of their 18 years and 30 years respectively, of serving Northland Pioneer College (NPC) in a variety of academic and administrative roles.
NPC’s Dean of Arts and Sciences, Ricky Jackson presented the Faculty in Biology Emeritus Crystal Eagle award to NPC Biology Instructor Cynthia Hutton during a virtual meeting of the board. Having taught biology at the college for 18 years, Hutton began her career in 1981 as a lab assistant at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She came to NPC in 2003 and has served the community and students at the college ever since. Dean Jackson detailed her many skills in helping students achieve their dreams and explained “she is always being willing to serve. Cynthia takes the time to attend advanced placement seminars while continuing a rigorous teaching schedule – even in the summer.” Reflecting on her time at NPC, Hutton explains, “I truly enjoyed my students and colleagues – it has been a great 18 years at NPC.”
Among retiree Peggy Belknap’s many positions at NPC, Dean of Career and Technical Education is just one. Belknap has had a long, rich history with NPC and has worn many hats during her tenure including leading the Human Resources Department, all the while juggling other important full-time positions for the college. Beginning with NPC’s (currently interim) President Dr. Swarthout in 2001, Belknap has stepped into a variety of six different official titles and has played an important role in each. Dr. Swarthout notes that, “Peggy is synonymous with the college. We have been a team for a very long time. Her significant contributions have made a huge difference to us all. It is very hard to say farewell.” Swarthout presented Belknap with the Administrative Meritorious Crystal Eagle Award at the virtual ceremony which was attended by DGB members and her NPC colleagues, as well as her parents and loving husband.
Dean Belknap notes, “It has been my great privilege to work for the college for 30 years. I started the first Student Ambassador Program and became a member of the 19 National Tribal Workforce Board. I was then appointed by our then Governor Napolitano, to the statewide board. The most important thing that my students have told me, is that I have made a difference in their lives and in our communities. The plaque that has hung in my office for many years states: ‘Leadership is action, not position – lead by virtue and example’” she explains. “That is the mantra I strive for...” and to the NPC family, Belknap has certainly has done just that.
Northland Pioneer College serves the residents of Navajo and Apache counties through four regional campuses and five centers with a variety of educational options for academic, career and technical and personal enrichment. NPC supports each student’s educational goals through affordable tuition, small class sizes and caring, professional instructors. For more information about NPC programs and services, visit www.npc.edu or call (800) 266-7845.