CCBA Pioneer Award

The CCBA Pioneer Award is presented annually to an individual who has bravely and tenaciously served as a leader in improving access for community college graduates into baccalaureate education.

2023 CCBA Pioneer Award Winner

Jan Yoshiwara, former executive director for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges retired in July 2022 after 44 years in the college system, including 38 years at SBCTC.

Yoshiwara’s career included decades of changes and innovations within Washington’s community and technical college system. Under her leadership, the system put racial equity at the front and center of its mission as Washington became one of the first states in the nation to offer applied bachelor’s degrees at community and technical colleges.

Yoshiwara also led the college system to join a national reform movement called “Guided Pathways.” Under Guided Pathways, students establish concrete career goals and receive clear maps of which courses to take, and in what order, to earn a certificate or degree that qualifies them for careers or university-transfer.

Underpinning all the efforts is a robust research department established under Yoshiwara’s leadership. Additionally, Yoshiwara launched programs to advance online learning, provide students with free or low-cost books through open education resources, and established a Student Success Center at the State Board. She also built an advocacy network with students, college leadership, business and labor organizations, and other groups to gain legislative support for community and technical college students and the colleges that serve them.


Assemblymember Jose Medina

2022 Pioneer Award Winner

Becky Nutt

2022 Pioneer Award Winner

Dr. Michael G Hansen

Mike Hansen

2021 Pioneer Award Winner

Jean Floten

Dr. Jean Floten

2020 Pioneer Award Winner

Community College Baccalaureate Association

Dr. Shirley Reed MBA, Ed.D.

2019 Pioneer Award Winner

Dr. Malcolm Grothe | Community College Baccalaureate Association

Dr. Malcolm Grothe

2018 Pioneer Award Winner

Dr. Constance Carroll

2017 Pioneer Award Winner

Debra Bragg

2016 Pioneer Award Winner

Al Lorenzo

2015 Pioneer Award Winner

Senator Marty Block

2014 Pioneer Award Winner

Dr. Jill Wakefield

2013 Pioneer Award Winner

Bruce MacKenzie

2012 Pioneer Award Winner

Belle Wheelan

2011 Pioneer Award Winner

Will Holcombe

2010 Pioneer Award Winner

Beth Hagan

2009 Pioneer Award Winner

Dahlia Repole

2008 Pioneer Award Winner

Linda Thor

2007 Pioneer Award Winner

Carl M. Kuttler, Jr

2006 Pioneer Award Winner

Senator Don Sullivan

2006 Pioneer Award Winner

Kenneth P. Walker

2005 Pioneer Award Winner

Jim Wright

2004 Pioneer Award Winner

Ronald K. Remington

2003 Pioneer Award Winner