Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) Registrar, Connie Black, who will be honored with the College’s first 15-Year Service award in February.
Black began her CWI journey on Feb. 11, 2008, drawn to helping create a new community college that would fill a need for access and affordability to higher education in the Treasure Valley.
“While the early team was small, I loved contributing to the effort of building a new college,” Black said. “The work felt really meaningful. It was energizing, surprising, rewarding — often exhausting — and a huge learning and growth opportunity for me!”
Being able to get a front-row seat to watch the College’s growth since its inception has been a highlight for Black. When she attended a nephew’s high school graduation in May 2009, she remembers the moment during the ceremony when graduates announced where they were attending college the next year. A small section announced they were going to CWI, which made her ecstatic. The following year, another nephew was graduating high school, and the section of students who announced they were attending CWI had become one of the largest groups.
Black can’t wait to see how the College will continue to grow over the next 15 years.
“Many wish lists have been created envisioning the campus and buildings we want to create. We are nearing the point where we will soon see those spaces built,” Black. “I can't wait to see what CWI will look like over the next decade!”
While CWI has grown tremendously over the past decade, Black said the community still feels small in the sense that faculty and staff all know and care for one another. She enjoys working and interacting with others who share the same passion to help educate and transform lives each day.
“Each May at commencement, faculty and staff show how proud they are of our graduates — but even more rewarding is seeing the pride students have in themselves,” Black said. “Our division routinely shares student success stories. These experiences continually reinforce my choice to be here at CWI.”
As part of her work with CWI’s Office of the Registrar, Black leads the team that is responsible for the integrity of all student records, registration and graduation services, class scheduling and curriculum management, compliance related to student privacy, the academic calendar, and collaboration with many areas of the College.
“Connie Black is well-known throughout the institution as a professional who functions with a student-centered perspective, wisdom beyond her years, and someone who is kind and generous in her relationships,” said the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, Patrick Tanner. “Her strong sense of commitment to advancing student success is indeed built on her years of service in the profession and especially at CWI, but perhaps more accurately, Connie's practice and philosophy stem from her leadership approach that is based on lifelong learning. This allows her to be curious, to strive to understand deeply and to consider the many angles and functions that are inputs to her various responsibilities. She also engenders great respect from her peers throughout Idaho which is why she has held multiple leadership positions in statewide and regional organizations.”
Black’s best piece of advice for others at CWI is to enjoy where they work, whom they work with, and whom they serve.
“Because of CWI, I continue to be a life-long learner and witness the benefits to everyone engaged in the learning and growth process,” Black said.
Before her work with CWI, Black spent several years at Boise State University where she held various positions at their Office of the Registrar and College of Technology. Black has spent a total of 31 years working in higher education.