The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has selected Mellanie Toles of Clark State Community College to receive the Central Region Professional Board Staff Member Award. Toles has been with Clark State for 19 years serving as assistant to the president.

“Mellanie Toles embodies service leadership in all that she does for Clark State Community College and the community organizations for which she volunteers her time,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “She genuinely loves to help people, and she is passionate about utilizing her knowledge, skills and abilities to serve in whatever capacity she can to help move the organizations forward.”

Blondin said as assistant to the president, which includes service to the Board of Trustees, Toles has proven herself to be versatile and resourceful, and these traits have served the organization well over the years.

"Mellanie continues to display a 'how can I help?' attitude," said Sharon Evans, chairperson of the Clark State Board of Trustees. "She is extremely competent, organized and operates with a spirit of excellence. Mellanie is a joy to work with, and the Board of Trustees thanks her for her professionalism and support in all we do."

“We have an excellent president and Board of Trustees who are committed to student success, and I find working collaboratively with them, as well as all of our talented faculty and staff members, both challenging and rewarding,” said Toles. “I love knowing that the work I do contributes to the College’s success, which in turn contributes to our students’ success and impacts their lives positively in many ways.”

Toles’ desire to help her colleagues and the College succeed has led to her initiating the Campus Administrative Professionals group. CAP, which includes all administrative assistant and administrative support personnel across campus, meets monthly to share tips and ideas, receive software instructions, implement new campus procedures and participate in professional development. Toles selects conversations and training topics to elevate each assistant’s thinking about themselves and the importance of their position to the success of the College.

Toles collaborates with the College’s information technology officer to utilize the Administrative Professionals group as a test group for new IT software applications and procedures. This allows the assistants to help others in their departments once these new initiatives are implemented campus-wide.

“Due to her 19-year history with the College, many see Mellanie as the ‘go-to’ person for information regarding proper protocol, policies and procedures and even how to handle sensitive situations,” said Blondin. “She handles these inquiries with care, ensuring that confidentiality and respect for each individual is maintained.”

Outside of Clark State, Toles volunteers her time with Safe Harbor House and Kairos Prison Ministry. Toles completed her bachelor’s degree in education and teaching license in 2010 while working full-time at the College. She continues to attend related classes to maintain her certification.

Toles said she was humbled by the nomination from Dr. Blondin and the Board of Trustees. “I am very grateful,” she said. “I feel that awards like this elevate the assistants who work behind the scenes to contribute to every organization’s success.”

Toles will attend the ACCT Leadership Congress in Las Vegas, Nevada at the end of September to receive her award. Toles and the other regional award recipients are finalists for the prestigious Association Professional Board Staff Member Award that will be announced at the conference.