Saturday, November 10, 2012

Germanna Center for Workforce Dean Martha O'Keefe honored with achievement award

Germanna Community College Dean Martha O'Keefe received the Patricia Lacey Metzger Award for achievement during the 19th annual Leadership Colloquium for Professional Women on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 at the University of Mary Washington. 
O’Keefe is Dean of Workforce and Professional Development at the Germanna Center for Workforce and Community Education. She has held the position for 11 years. The Metzger Award honors those who “uphold high standards in their personal and professional lives while fulfilling a career goal of significant nature.”

“It's an opportunity to directly impact the lives of others,” O’Keefe said of her work, “by opening doors and possibilities that might otherwise have been closed to them.”

Below is a question and answer profile done by Pam Gould of The Free Lance-Star:

NAME: Martha O'Keefe AGE: 54

POSITION: Dean of Workforce and Professional Development, Germanna Community College Center for Workforce and Community Education.




COLLEGE ACTIVITIES: The Center for Workforce and Community Education provides noncredit professional development training and services throughout the Germanna service region, which includes seven counties and the City of Fredericksburg.  I oversee a wide range of professional development courses and programs, primarily in the areas of IT, business professional, construction and industry, and health care.  We are also developing many new courses in the areas of intelligence and homeland security, as well as in cyber security, to meet the current demands of employers in our service region.  Our department stays well connected with the business community, local offices of economic development, chambers of commerce, local school divisions, and sister colleges and universities to collaborate and provide the best educational services available.  A typical day for me might include meeting with business partners, working with instructional faculty, administering grants, assisting students, and planning new programs and services. Within the college, I have served on various committees including the International Education Committee, the Curriculum Committee, the Student Appeals Committee, the Technology Committee, and the Safety Committee.  And out in the community, I regularly participate on a variety of business committees and serve on several regional boards of directors.



COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES:  I'm active at my church and also occasionally volunteer at the local food pantry. And when my children were younger I helped coach their athletic teams.



HOBBIES: I enjoy just about any outside activity, though on most weekends, I can be found working in the garden.  I also enjoy swimming, hiking, running, and yoga.



I BECAME AN EDUCATOR BECAUSE:  I enjoy working with others and believe that education is the key to helping individuals grow intellectually, which translates into their ability to develop confidence, competence, and independence; and then, hopefully, they can and will pass their success on to their own children and the other lives they touch.


I LOVE MY JOB BECAUSE:  It's an opportunity to directly impact the lives of others— by opening doors, and possibilities, that might otherwise have been closed to them. Working at Germanna is also an opportunity for me to be creative, and be part of a collaborative and committed team of professionals.
IF I WASN'T IN EDUCATION, I'D BE A/AN: This is a tough one, because I have a variety of interests and passions. During college  years, I gave consideration to, and was quite interested in, careers in graphic arts and art history, architecture, veterinary medicine, and farming or horticulture.  I continue to read a good bit about these topics.
MY FAVORITE SAYING/QUOTE: Many years ago, this one by Anita Roddick stuck with me: "Be courageous, it's one of the only places left uncrowded."  I think it's inspirational for those who are unsure of what path to take. 
WHEN I RETIRE I WANT TO:  I am not even thinking of retirement yet!  Though perhaps that's just my avoidance of thinking about getting older.  However, I suppose when I do retire, I would be interested in working in the nonprofit sector. Perhaps working with disadvantaged youth or with organizations focused on community revitalization or redevelopment.  I also enjoy traveling, and hope to travel more, and continue learning more about other cultures.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE: My family has been very supportive of my career, for which I am very appreciative. Though our three children are grown, and (mostly!) moved out of the house, my husband and I always enjoy family trips to the beach and time spent with extended family. 

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