Outstanding Administrator

Nominations may be submitted by any JC employee or student.  Anonymous nominations will not be considered.  Nominations will be reviewed by a committee consisting of the previous year’s winner of the Outstanding Administrator Award and 5 employees (selected by random drawing).

Melissa Merkel



Melissa Merkel

Melissa Merkel has worked as director of the TRIO Student Support Services program at Jackson College since 2014. TRIO provides support to qualifying students to help them reach their academic goals. In addition, she oversees the College Food Pantry and acts as a community liaison to build relationships with organizations that may be able to assist students at Jackson College. Melissa has become very involved in state, regional and national TRIO organizations to be a voice for policy change. She enjoys the opportunity to work to make a difference in the students that she works with.



Jeremy Frew

Jeremy Frew has worked for the College since 2011. In 2017 he was recognized for his work as dean of occupational education, in which he oversees all of the occupational programs, including course scheduling. He also oversaw Corporate and Continuing Education and he currently is vice president of student services. As a leader, he works to empower others and to lift barriers so all can do a better job for students.


Darrell Norris

Darrell Norris’s life was changed as a student at Jackson College. As vice president of finance, he works to ensure that future students have that same opportunity! Darrell oversees the College’s finances and the business office, managing everything from student account to payroll to payment of outside vendors, as well as government reporting. He also uses his finance skills to help in the community.



Lee Hampton

As director of multicultural affairs since 2005, Lee Hampton helps with many aspect of multicultural programming, multicultural community relations and minority student recruitment. He’s seen minority enrollment increase, student groups formed and community events such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations grow. Lee enjoys connecting with students and the community. He has made presentations at the state and national levels.


Jason Valente

Jason Valente, president of the Jackson College Foundation, wants to help students find success. The Foundation and Office of Advancement comprise the fund-raising and legislative affairs arm of the College, working with donors, alumni and friends to help support student scholarships and College initiatives. Valente provides leadership over the Foundation, and the W.J. Maher Campus. He enjoys the opportunity to change students’ lives.


Nancy Miller

Nancy Miller worked at the College from 2009-2013 and was recognized for her work as executive dean of students and quality and institutional research & effectiveness. She provided oversight for student services, academic advising, financial aid, registration and records, housing, athletics, and institutional research & effectiveness efforts, such as the student ombudsman. She enjoyed the opportunities to build supportive relationships with students.