Kirkwood Community College offers all employees access to Gallup's StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. In order to develop our talented workforce, we offer all employees strengths-based coaching from a highly-skilled team of internal coaches.


Mindy Thornton, Director, Linn County Regional Center

Strategic | Competition | Positivity | Responsibility | Significance
Phone: (319) 398–4491

A Kirkwood Administrator since June 2006, Mindy brings a positive attitude, forward-thinking strategy, and a strong background in communication, community relations and student services to the team as Director of the Linn County Regional Center. Mindy is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications and has a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Mindy helps others identify and aim their unique talents to their work in order to consistently bring their "A-game" and strengths to the workplace and organization as a whole.

Jacalyn McCarville, Counselor, Iowa City Campus

Maximizer | Relator | Developer | Positivity | Empathy
Phone: (319) 887–3969

Jacalyn is passionate about helping people meet their goals to improve well-being and outcomes. With strengths of maximizer, relator, developer, positivity, and empathy, she has an accessible style of coaching that helps individuals and teams focus on turning their talents into strengths. She is action-oriented and enjoys working with others to help them meet goals and improve effectiveness. Her strengths lie in areas of employee, student, and organizational wellness; team building, developing and motivating faculty, staff and students, and enhancing engagement of students and employees of Kirkwood Community College.

Laurie Worden, Director, Workplace Learning Connection

Individualization | Activator | Connectedness | Relator | Positivity
Phone: (319) 398–4826

Our WLC Team has recognized real and lasting benefits of the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. tool. Amazing things have happened through their innovative ideas, goal achievement, engagement, happiness, fulfillment and performance, both at work and in their personal lives.  It’s just so cool to watch individuals understand and come to value their innate talents and then see the benefit to everyone in the team when those talents are recognized and optimized.  I have been with Kirkwood for 15 years serving  as a part time and full time program coordinator, associate director and this year as a director of Workplace Learning Connection.

Kasey Keeling, Director, Benton County Regional Center

Strategic | Input | Ideation | Intellection | Learner
Phone: (319) 472–2318 or (319) 398–5899 ext. 6024

Kasey Keeling began her journey in higher education as a Kirkwood Community College student in 2002 during which she was employed as a workstudy and then part-time at the Benton County location. Kasey graduated with an AA in Education Careers from Kirkwood before transferring to Mount Mercy where she obtained her Bachelors in English with a Creative Writing Minor in 2007. Kasey has worked in the Social Sciences and Math/Science departments at Kirkwood and has served as the Regional Coordinator for PLTW and the director in Benton County since 2011. In 2012, she obtained her Masters in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs from the University of Northern Iowa. Kasey enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott and children, Callum and Layla and appreciates serving her community in her role while advocating for college credit in high school opportunities.

Lisa Folken, Director, Jones County Regional Center

Woo | Communication | Positivity | Maximizer | Arranger
Lisa Folken
Phone: (319) 465–2305

Strengths has offered me an opportunity to not only learn how to aim and invest in my own talents, but to see others through a different lens. Coaching guides them in a process to become the best versions of themselves. As a manager, you can’t afford not to invest in people’s strengths, their superpowers. If using their strengths each day, employees will become more engaged, productive, and happy with their work .


Chris King, Program Manager, Learning and Development, Human Resources

Communication | Arranger | Achiever | Input | Maximizer
Chris King
Phone: (319) 398–7626

"Strengths-based development gives us an opportunity as an organization to put people first, which is our greatest asset. As your coach, I'm here to enable and empower you to become the best version of yourself and live a life equal to your potential". Chris is a native Iowan and currently resides in Cedar Rapids. He is an entrepreneur, double-certified coach, keynote speaker, and human resources professional. Chris is an inspiring leader in the field of Whole-Person Human Potential Development and Modern Workplace Learning. His hobbies include: rock climbing, organic gardening, and spending time outdoors with his dog Leo.