Dr. Terri Ackland, academic dean for arts and humanities at Central Arizona College, has been named a distinguished college administrator by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Dr. Ackland is one of 26 college administrators from throughout the nation who will be recognized during PTK Catalyst 2021. The society’s annual convention will be broadcast live from Orlando, Florida, April 8-10.
The distinguished college administrator award recipients were nominated by students. This award is presented to college vice presidents, deans or directors who support student success at their institution by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students.
Dr. Ackland moved to Casa Grande in 1991 and began working at Central Arizona College. She has worked as a tutor, adjunct instructor, full-time faculty member at the Aravaipa and Signal Peak campuses, division chair for the communications division (now literary arts and languages) and as an academic dean.
Prior to her arrival at CAC, Dr. Ackland worked as an academic peer advisor to linguistics students pursuing a bachelor of arts at University of California, Davis. She also worked for many years in agri-business at the Kansas City Board of Trade, working for one of the country’s largest farm cooperatives. Additionally, she held positions at Merrill Lynch, and E.F. Hutton.
Dr. Ackland has been associated with the CAC Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa (Alpha Theta Delta Chapter) since becoming division chair in 2001. CAC started a statewide Arizona Honors Council with other community colleges and universities, and has participated for many years in the All USA-All AZ student awards. Coincidentally, she still has a certificate of membership in PTK, circa 1972, from a community college in the Midwest.
When asked what has been the most rewarding part of her career, Dr. Ackland stated, “The most rewarding part of working in higher education is seeing students succeed in attaining their goals, which can be quite diverse in a community college setting. From working as an instructor and tutor in developmental education courses (English, reading, English language learner, and math) to mentoring Honors students, I’ve been able to watch students from entry through graduation complete these and many other goals.” She added, “I’ve seen reentry students like I was, anxious about going back to school after many years out, and traditional aged students whose families did not have much faith in their ability to succeed. It is always great to be part of their large and small victories.”
She has an associate of arts in English and languages from Longview Community College, a bachelor of arts in linguistics from University of California-Davis, master of arts in English from Arizona State University and Ph.D. in community college leadership from Walden University.
Dr. Ackland is honored to receive this prestigious award.
“It is always exciting to watch students in Phi Theta Kappa as they learn networking skills, participate in volunteerism, excel in their college coursework, and encourage other students to follow their lead,” she said.
Editor’s note: Angela Askey is CAC’s executive director of public relations and marketing.