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Gruwell named Iowa Lakes executive dean

By Staff | May 20, 2010

Iowa Lakes Community College has named Mark Gruwell as the new executive dean of instrction and development.

Gruwell has served as assistant professor/coordinator of the college paralegal/legal studies program since 2005.

Gruwell brings a plethora of experience and knowledge to the position.

“Mark has earned the respect of students, faculty and administrators,” said President Valerie Newhouse. “His strengths are a perfect fit for the position. Not only is he strong in research and assessment, but his background transfers well into grant writing.”

The position includes the accreditation process for the college.

“Mark is currently serving as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body of the North Central Region of colleges and universities,” Newhouse added. “That role will provide him additional expertise as he leads the accreditation process for Iowa Lakes.”

Gruwell said he is “honored and humbled to join a team of professionals to assist leading the college into the future, and I look forward to focusing on academics and student achievement. Iowa Lakes is an exemplary institution with much potential, and I believe that we are well positioned for the opportunities and challenges that we will encounter while pursuing our mission to cultivate lifelong learning skills among our students.”

His focus is on students as he looks to the future.

“The decision to leave the classroom proved difficult because I enjoy working with students and observing their progress through the program,” he said. “In the end, though, I realized that I’ll continue to interact with the students – just a lot more of them – which I intend to do on a regular basis.”

He aims high in setting standards.

“Assessment and accountability are critical attributes of a successful college; it will be our goal to make Iowa Lakes a model of excellence in those areas,” Gruwell said. “In short, we want our students thoroughly prepared for their future endeavors, whether they are transferring to a university or entering industry.”

Gruwell brings outstanding academic credentials to the position. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminology and political science from Florida State University; a Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law and is working toward a master’s degree in teacher leadership with an anticipated graduation later this year.

Past experience include serving as an attorney at law in Florida for nearly 15 years; working as an English instructor at the Sarasota Military Academy and serving as an adjunct professor in the legal assistant program at Manatee Community College.

In addition, he has stepped forward to take leadership positions.

He has served on the faculty association, including one year as president of the group; developed a partnership with the Innocence Project of Iowa and has been a presenter at various seminars in Iowa and Florida.

As he advances to the new position, Gruwell thanks those with whom he works.

“Iowa Lakes has outstanding faculty and staff, and I am thankful for their support. It will be a pleasure to work closely with them and to seek their guidance and counsel.”

Gruwell’s position officially starts July 1. During June he will wrap up work in the paralegal/legal studies program; hire a campus supervisor for Algona and a campus director for Spencer and spend time working with Judy Cook, executive dean of instruction and development.

“Above all else, I wish to thank Judy Cook for her leadership, vision and dedication,” Gruwell said. “She assumed a significant role in paving the college’s path to success, and we are grateful for her steadfast and unselfish service to the college. She will undoubtedly be missed, and I wish her the best in her retirement.”