Clark State's Dr. Blondin honored with national award

Just over a decade ago, Dr. Jo Alice Blondin was named president of Clark State College. Her accomplishments at the college and within the community have been numerous and this year Blondin was honored with the prestigious Marie Y. Martin Executive Officer Award by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

“Dr. Blondin runs 100 mph trying to help make Clark State the best it can be,” says Michael McDorman, president and CEO of the Greater Springfield Partnership. “This incredible honor recognizes her hard work over many years and places Clark State on a national stage for providing excellent programming opportunities that are helping area students to realize their dreams.”

Last August, Blondin was named the 2023 Central Region CEO Award recipient by the ACCT.

This honor made her a candidate for the national ACCT Marie Y. Martin Executive Officer Award.

Blondin says this award is a credit to the collaboration between the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, and the community.

“I have done my very best to always make sure that Clark State meets its mission of serving students and that students are at the center of everything we do,” she says. “The opportunities presented by a community college education are transformative for our students and their families, and any part I can play to increase and accelerate opportunity, I will.”

The 2023 ACCT Association Awards recognize outstanding community college trustees, equity programs, chief executive officers, faculty members, and professional board staff members from throughout the nation.

Blondin focuses her efforts on realizing the mission of the institutions she has served and is known for both her student-centered approach and her emphasis on workforce development. Her national, regional, and local service has strengthened Clark State’s responsiveness to workforce and community needs.

Blondin focuses efforts on realizing the mission of the institutions she has served, and is known for both her student-centered approach and emphasis on workforce development.

Since coming to Clark State, she has led the development and implementation of two successive strategic plans, the creation of a multiple marketing/branding campaigns, the development of employee wellness, safety, and mentoring programs, the establishment of three baccalaureate degrees and numerous workforce programs, a reorganization of the campus to increase student success and completion that has resulted in an increase of 60 percent in state funding for Clark State, secured $20 million in state funds for capital and community improvement projects, and received grant funding for Manufacturing, Precision Agriculture, Cybersecurity, Addiction Studies, Mental Health, scholarships, and youth programs totaling more than $18 million.

Since Blondin began in 2013, the Clark State Foundation endowment has grown from $13 million to more than $27 million.

“This award is well-deserved and serves to recognize all of Dr. Blondin’s efforts and focus on our students and the great strides Clark State has made under her leadership,” says David Ball, chair of the Clark State Board of Trustees.

Blondin’s leadership as Chair of the Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees, her service to the American Association of Community College Board of Directors, and her work as past President and Board member of the National Council for Workforce Education, he says, have positioned Clark State as a national leader in student success and workforce development.

The ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond.
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Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

Lifelong Clark County resident Darci Jordan is a freelance writer and former staff writer/columnist for the Springfield News-Sun. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Communications. She currently also serves as a writer for the Clark State Community College marketing department. She enjoys time with her family, horses and Ohio State football. Go Bucks!