The Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction is Phi That Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents. Named for Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, the society’s longest serving Board of Directors Chair and a founder and longtime president of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington, the award recognizes college presidents who have shown support of student success initiatives leading to stronger pathways to completion, transfer, and employment. Recipients, who are nominated by students from their respective colleges, must have served in their role for at least five years and may receive the award only once during their career.
“This college president has made it a priority to support student success, both inside and outside the classroom,” stated Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “This award is special because it comes directly from the students, and it is evidence of the gratitude they feel for Dr. Reber’s support for them.”
Christopher Reber has devoted his entire career to higher education. He became the sixth president of HCCC in July 2018. Accessibility, advocacy, and collaboration are hallmarks of his tenure. Dr. Reber’s engagement with students, monthly Town Hall meetings, and his association with unions, local, state and national governance leaders, advisory committees, community organizations, and national higher education bodies, have been vital in supporting students and promoting the College’s mission.
Prior to arriving at HCCC, Dr. Reber served as President of Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) near Pittsburgh, PA. His career also includes 12 years at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and 18 years at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.
“This honor is especially meaningful for me because our students put forth the nomination,” Dr. Reber said. “Our students are at the center of everything we do at Hudson County Community College, and my most valued award is seeing them succeed. I am humbled to receive this award, and grateful to serve our students and this inspirational community.”
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Caption: Dr. Christopher M. Reber, President of Hudson County Community College, recipient of Phi Theta Kappa’s prestigious Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction.
About Hudson County Community College
Hudson County Community College serves more than 20,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers nearly 90 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management; Nursing and Health Professions; and Humanities and Social Sciences. The HCCC Culinary/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools. The College’s School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development offers cutting-edge, industry recognized, stackable credentials in alignment with high-priority workforce needs.
HCCC has partnerships with major four-year colleges and universities in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.
The College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been recognized with the 2021 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Northeast Region Equity Award; the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2021, 2022 and 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this year honoring HCCC as one of six community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity;” the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2022 and 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award, and 2024 Inspiring Programs in Business Award. The College received the 2023 Outstanding Member Institution Award from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). HCCC was a finalist recently for the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) “Advancing Diversity Award of Excellence.”
For the second consecutive year, HCCC was selected as one of 20 community colleges in the United States to be named among the “2023 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in collaboration with “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” The College was one of 22 community colleges in the nation, and the only college in New Jersey, to be recognized by ModernThink LLC and the “Chronicle of Higher Education” as a 2022 and 2023 “Great College to Work For®.” HCCC is one of two colleges in the United States to be named a Top Ten Finalist in all three program categories for the nationally recognized 2023 Bellwether Awards, and received the 2023 Bellwether Award for the College’s cutting-edge “Hudson Scholars” program.
The College’s exemplary work in advancing student success has been recognized with 2023 “Leader College” designation by Achieving the Dream, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as catalysts for equity and mobility in their communities. HCCC was also presented the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention by Vector Solutions for demonstrating leadership in digital prevention programming focused on student safety, well-being, and inclusion.
About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at ptk.org.