Cinda Edwards, a graduate of Lincoln Land Community College who rose to chair the LLCC Board of Trustees, along with Dr. Charlotte Warren, LLCC president, were honored by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association at its annual convention June 3.
Edwards, the current Sangamon County Coroner, received the statewide Distinguished Alumnus Award which recognizes theprofessional, technical and humanitarian accomplishments of individuals who have graduated from Illinois community colleges.
She was nominated by current LLCC Board Chair Craig Findley, who noted, “Cinda practices her profession with the utmost integrity, inspiring others through her sense of dedication while demonstrating the highest standards of accountability.”
Edwards graduated from LLCC with an associate in science degree in 1978 and an associate in applied science degree in nursing in 1979. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1989. “Attending a community college has established the foundation for my success,” says Edwards, who served six years on the LLCC Board of Trustees, including two as chair. “I remain an enthusiastic cheerleader for the mission of community colleges.”
Edwards has been a role model throughout her 37-year career in nursing and clinical management, including service as an emergency room nurse and clinical director in the emerging field of priority care. In 2011, she was appointed Sangamon County Coroner, where she has been praised for restoring public trust in an office that had been beset by controversy. Her humanitarian service includes volunteer work with organizations such as United Cerebral Palsy, American Cancer Society, The Muni, Salvation Army Overflow Shelter, Animal Protective League, Southwind Park and local public television.
Dr. Warren was honored with the Advocacy Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in advocating for the needs of students and the Illinois community college system. She also received a Trustee Education Award, honoring outstanding achievement in the area of professional development.
Dr. Warren recently observed her 10th anniversary as the first female president of LLCC. Her background includes military service in the Georgia National Guard, from which she retired as Colonel and Honorary Brigadier General. She has 30 years of teaching and administrative experience in research universities and community colleges, and was also in private practice as a psychotherapist.
Dr. Warren was also recognized for her just completed year of service as chair of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents, where her emphasis on fiscally conservative budgeting helped community colleges navigate the budget challenges facing publicly funded institutions of higher learning in Illinois. She also serves on the Board of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and chairs the Mid-Illinois Medical District. She is a national spokesperson on the subject of nursing education and recently became a board member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board headquartered in Washington, D.C.