Mt. Hood Community College President Dr. Debra Derr recently received the Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award for her work supporting the college’s Pi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society chapter, Rho Theta.
The award, named in honor of the late Dr. Michael Bennett, a longtime college president in Florida, recognizes retiring community college presidents and campus CEOs, as well as retiring community college system state directors. PTK chapters nominate their college presidents/CEOs, who must have served in their positions at least five years at their current institutions to qualify.
“This is an incredible honor for me because it comes directly from students, and my career has been dedicated to students and their success,” said Derr. “Each Phi Theta Kappa chapter I have worked with has embraced the philosophy of servant leadership, and Rho Theta truly embodies that tenet.”
This year, 13 community college administrators will receive Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Awards. Derr is the first president of MHCC to receive this award. In nominating her, Rho Theta leaders identified some of the most important ways she has supported PTK, empowered students, and encouraged development of Rho Theta and its activities.
“There is no other person I would rather see receive this award than Dr. Derr,” said Charity Williams, president of Rho Theta. “The dedication and continuous support she has given our Rho Theta team over the years – and the opportunities she has offered us to serve as leaders at MHCC and within our communities – has provided some of the most fulfilling experiences of my college career.”
The award will be presented at PTK Catalyst 2018, PTK’s centennial convention in Kansas City, Missouri, held April 19-21.