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Kirkwood Foundation

Kirkwood Celebrates 10 Years of Recognizing Alumni Achievements, Business Partners


Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague with Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg in 2019

The 10th anniversary Celebration of Success, honoring Kirkwood Community College’s distinguished alumni, business partners, and leaders in higher education, will be held Thursday, April 13, at 6 p.m., at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.

Celebration of Success has grown to become the Kirkwood Foundation’s signature event with prestigious recipients, significant attendance, and a multi-course dinner prepared by the college’s Culinary Arts department.

“We always knew our alums were doing magnificent work and defining their success,” said Kirkwood Foundation Director of Advancement Jody Donaldson. “What we didn’t expect is the energy that derives when given the opportunity to return to campus and share their genuine affection to the college, their peers, and their instructors. It’s awe-inspiring to have an event that purposely shines a spotlight on the impact Kirkwood makes on the lives of our students, and the careers of our alums.”

2023 award recipients include:

Hills Bank, President’s Award
Since its beginning in 1904, Hills Bank has been a big part of the community which it serves. With an ever-broadening presence in the Corridor, the bank has grown not only by building offices, but building relationships and programs that empower the next generation. This includes strong support of Kirkwood Architecture, Construction and Engineering program students.

Mark Abel, Trustees’ Award
For the past 40 years, Mark Abel has been known across campus for making marketing and management courses fun and engaging. However, his teachings go beyond the coursework. He helps students grow as critical thinkers, community members and people.

Teri Gibson, Distinguished Alumni Award
The day Teri Gibson received her degree from Kirkwood was the day she realized that she could do anything, and it set the stage for her career. Gibson has been with TrueNorth Companies for the past 17 years, serving as a principal and benefit advisor. She is a champion for her community and community college, as can be seen in her service to numerous causes including the Kirkwood Foundation Board and Kirkwood Alumni Leadership Council.

Tawnya Salsbery, Distinguished Alumni Award
A first-generation college student, Tawnya Salsbery achieved her associate degree in nursing from Kirkwood before going on to receive her master of science in nursing. Today, Salsbery a is Executive Director of Post Acute and Senior Services at Mercy Medical Center. She oversees 10 departments, manages 300 employees, and volunteers on the Young Parents Network and Linn County Public Health Board of Directors.

Tami Schlamp, Distinguished Alumni Award
As Director of Member Services at the Marion Chamber of Commerce, Tami Schlamp has made a tremendous impact on the organization, Marion schools, and the community at-large. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she worked around the clock to ensure businesses did not miss critical funding opportunities. In addition, Schlamp is Linn-Mar School Foundation Board Chair and volunteers through Junior Achievement, Iowa Big, and Venture Academics.

Lindy Sherman, Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Lindy Sherman graduated from Kirkwood in 2015 with her Associate of Science degree and went on to attain her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame. Today, Lindy works at PRECISIONscientia in science communications. At only 27 years old, she has taught for over four years in higher education, has over eight years of research experience, six published scientific articles, been awarded over $350,000 in research fellowships, mentored over 20 undergraduates, and is a strong advocate for women in science.

Tickets are $60. For more information or to reserve your seat for this year’s awards banquet, visit