Press Releases

Dr. John O'Donnell Named 12th Annual Community College Alliance Leadership Award Recipient

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2011

Contact Sherry Mercurio, Director of Public Relations, 614.947.6581

Columbus, OH —

Each year, Franklin University honors a community college president who has exhibited leadership and dedication to excellence in education with the Community College Alliance Leadership Award.

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, is pleased to announce that Dr. John O’Donnell, President of Stark State College, has been chosen as the recipient of the 12th annual Community College Alliance Leadership award. 

Under Dr. O’Donnell’s leadership, Stark State College has consistently demonstrated a commitment to providing educational access and opportunity for its students. Dr. O’Donnell’s steadfast perseverance to see Stark State’s students succeed is demonstrated through his continual support of the Franklin University Community College Alliance (CCA) Program. Through the CCA transfer articulation agreement, 96 Stark State students have realized their educational goals and completed their bachelor’s degrees.

About Dr. John O’Donnell
Dr. John O’Donnell joined Stark State College as president in January 2004. A strong proponent of community colleges, he views education – specifically community and technical colleges – as the way to advance students, businesses, and communities. 

During his career, he has taught psychology on the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degree levels; practiced as a counseling and clinical psychologist; and has held leadership positions in community/technical colleges. Previous positions include leadership roles at North Shore Community College in Massachusetts, President of the Regional Campuses of the New Hampshire Community Technical College System, and Commissioner and CEO of the New Hampshire Community Technical College System. 

Dr. O’Donnell’s own career was made possible through access to affordable education. He received a B.A. in history from Queens College of the City University of New York and his ME.d. and Ph.D. from Boston College. 

“Dr. O’Donnell exhibits exemplary devotion to enabling the lives of students to be changed and their futures to be enhanced,” said Franklin University President Dr. David Decker.  “Dr. O’Donnell’s commitment to supporting strategic relationships that enhance student access and success makes him an excellent choice for this year’s award recipient.”

The CCA Leadership Award is presented annually to a president in CCA who has exhibited extraordinary vision and leadership for his or her college and community, leadership in higher education, and dedication to the continuance and development of CCA.

Past Community College Alliance Leadership Award recipients (many of whom have moved into new positions) include: Dr. Edna Baehre, President of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in Pennsylvania; Dr. Mark A. Keen, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana , Darrel W. Staat, President, Central Virginia Community College; Dr. Ken Ender, President, Cumberland County College; Willis Lott, President, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Jean Goodnow, President, Delta College; David Pierce, President-Emeritus, American Association of Community Colleges; Val Moeller, President, Columbus State Community College; Morris Beverage, President, Lakeland Community College; Larry Dukes, President-Emeritus, Southern State Community College; and Al Lorenzo, President of Macomb Community College.

About CCA
The Community College Alliance is a partnership between Franklin University and 270 community colleges across the U.S. One of the largest programs of its kind in the nation, Franklin’s CCA Program serves students by providing a Bachelor’s Degree through a combination of courses taken at community colleges and on campus or online through Franklin. Students transfer credits earned at their community colleges toward a Franklin University bachelor’s degree. Once an official transfer credit evaluation has been completed, students can finish a bachelor’s degree through a combination of courses taken at the community college and Franklin University, or entirely through Franklin.  Franklin accepts all the credits from your associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours of transferable credit and up to a maximum of 84 credit hours. 

About Franklin University
Founded in 1902, Franklin University is one of the leading and most experienced educators of adult students. The University offers applied, in-demand undergraduate, master's and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals.  From entrepreneurs to CEOs, more than 45,000 Franklin alumni can be found around the world contributing to the communities in which they live and work. Students can take classes through Franklin through its Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, two central Ohio locations, in Beavercreek, at co-locations across Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and online. In addition, the University's MBA program is offered internationally through agreements with institutions in Europe and the Middle East. Further information regarding Franklin University can be found at

Franklin University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


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