Kirkwood Alumni & Friends. Celebration of Success, congratulations to the 2018 award recipients.


View the 2018 event pictures!


Rohde Family


For multiple generations, the Rohde Family has embodied the spirit of philanthropy through substantial volunteer and financial support to Kirkwood Community College and the Cedar Rapids community. The Rohde Family Foundation was established with the purpose of focusing on education and helping people to help themselves. Individually, corporately and through the Rohde Family Foundation, the family has supported countless capital projects, scholarships, economic development projects and many other community needs. The Rohde family is a shining model of intergenerational philanthropy and community service.


Kathy Hall


During her tenure at Kirkwood, Vice President of Development Kathy Hall has led the growth of the Kirkwood Foundation from $18 million to $35 million in assets. In addition, scholarships awarded during the last 10 years have totaled nearly $24 million, providing financial support to students who may not otherwise be able to continue their education. Through Kathy’s hard work and compassion, thousands of Kirkwood students have received scholarships to help them achieve their goals. She has also served as a member of the President’s Cabinet, working to improve all areas of the college. Kathy’s work will continue to have a positive impact on the college for many generations to come. In addition to her contributions to Kirkwood, Kathy is a valued and active community member and has received nearly every honor available to a Corridor nonprofit leader.


Dr. Brent Owen


Dr. Brent Owen chose Kirkwood for its excellence in education and affordable classes. A 2001 Kirkwood graduate, he continued his education at the University of Iowa where he received his medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He completed the Via Christi Family Medicine Residency program in Wichita, Kansas, which places strong emphasis on patient-centered care. He returned to rural Iowa and currently practices family medicine in Algona. He is very active in his community, serving as a member of the local school board and as a volunteer coach for wrestling and summer flag football. Brent is also a board member for C.A.R.E., an organization providing public and social services and support to those in need.He also pays it forward as a preceptor for medical students from the University of Iowa.


Dr. Cinnamon Sullivan


A 1996 graduate of Kirkwood, Dr. Cinnamon Sullivan continued her education at the University of Iowa, where she graduated with a medical degree from the Carver College of Medicine in 2002. She completed residency programs at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. She joined the medical staff at Emory University, where she is currently director of transplant anesthesiology and Chair of the Perioperative Disaster Preparedness Committee. Her clinical expertise and research interests include perioperative care of end-stage liver disease patients, extubation post liver transplant and anesthetic implications of mass biochemical incidents. Cinnamon was named one of the leading physicians of the world in November 2016 by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals. She also received the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award for her time and expertise traveling to disaster areas all over the world.


Joel Thys


Joel Thys was first elected to the Kirkwood Community College Board of Trustees in 2013  as the District 6 representative and has been a strong advocate for Kirkwood as a trustee since then. Joel is a successful businessman in the highly competitive automobile industry, owning several auto dealerships in Benton County. He earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Marketing Management from Kirkwood in 1994, his Bachelor of Arts from Western Illinois University in 1997 and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa in 2002. Joel has been the president and owner and operator of Thys Automotive Group since 1996. Thys Automotive Group comprises of four dealerships offering new Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles. In addition to operating his business, Joel is a family man and is extremely supportive and involved in the communities where his businesses are located.




Gold Event Sponsor
Silver Reception Sponsors
Sponsored by Unity Point Health, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust and The Hotel at Kirkwood Center