Remembering Sarah Kasunić

March 27, 2019

Nick Neupauer and Sarah Kasunić

It is rare that in a life of only 23 years, a person can touch so many individuals and leave a legacy among family, friends, and colleagues.  Members of Sarah Kasunić’s family at BC3 are in shock and mourning at her untimely passing.  She was an outstanding student at the College – a Presidential Scholar, President and Vice President of the Rho Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and a 2016 graduate of the Nursing Program.  At the time of her passing, she was living her dream as a traveling nurse in Knoxville, Tennessee and pursuing her bachelor’s degree.

When she was President of Phi Theta Kappa, Sarah traveled to the 2016 NerdNation Conference in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the accomplishments of the chapter which she took to the next level moving it from a two-star to a four-star chapter in just one year. I had the pleasure of attending this conference with the students and could tell right away that Sarah was the catalyst behind this energy and change.

In November, she reached out to her former advisor to see if Phi Theta Kappa was going to the national conference this year and just last month made a donation to pay half of the registration fees for the four students attending.  Because she had such a wonderful experience, she wanted to “pay it forward” and do the same for others.  The Middle States Region will recognize Sarah with a moment of silence at the regional meeting and honor her as they attend the PTK Catalyst Conference next week in Orlando, FL because of her generosity.

So many hearts are heavy, from Sarah’s former faculty, the administration, to current and former students; we are overwhelmed by this incredible loss. We can’t imagine what her family is going through and extend our deepest condolences. However, we are grateful that she graced the BC3 campus with her warmth and friendship – a shining star that burned so brightly.  She will always be remembered.

The Rewards of Volunteerism

March 18, 2019

Higher education in the 21st century is about the impact a college or university has in its own backyard. At BC3, we understand the value and effect of community service.

I’m proud to say that since January 2018, 53 BC3 employees have volunteered 328 hours at Light of Life Community Outreach. In October, nearly 20 BC3 employees volunteered during the United Way of Butler County’s Day of Caring.

The college also benefits from community members who serve on its boards, committees and advisory councils. Their wisdom, time and energy have undoubtedly contributed to our success.

As the community’s college, we continue to promote a “culture of thanks” to recognize those who give back. We also want to support our community partners in their efforts to do the same.

For that reason, please consider nominating someone for this year’s Distinguished Service Awards, which honor junior and senior recipients for outstanding volunteerism in Butler County.

I am also proud to say that 15 recipients have either worked for BC3, offering their time and expertise elsewhere, or are Butler County residents who have volunteered their wisdom, time and energy directly to our college.

Read about them here.

Volunteering is not only about doing the right thing. It can change the world in your own backyard.

See the attached flyer to learn how you can nominate a volunteer who has made a difference.

Distinguished Service Award Flyer

BC3 News Release

Three consecutive #1 rankings for BC3!

March 14, 2019

Well, it happened again!

BC3-0010-editedOur wonderful college achieved something neither the Steelers nor the Penguins could do.

Butler County Community College has claimed a third consecutive No. 1 ranking as the commonwealth’s top community college, according to

We were complemented by officials last week. As someone recently told me, the accomplishment represents a BC3-peat.” I love the phrase!

Congratulations extend to our students, faculty, staff, board of trustees, BC3 Education Foundation and Alumni Association. Cliché, I know, but this third recognition in a row represents a total team effort.

Enjoy our official news release. And please, join me in celebrating this terrific honor.

Always and forever #PioneerProud.


Remembering Ray Steffler

February 18, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that I state the following:

Longtime Butler County Community College Board Chair Ray D. Steffler passed away Feb. 16, 2019.

Ray’s life was dedicated to his dear alma mater, BC3. He served on the board of trustees since 1985, the final 20 as its chair. The only thing he loved more than the college was his family.

Ray witnessed a near-closing of the college in the early 1990s to our recent success as Pennsylvania’s two-time No. 1 community college. His wisdom, confidence and support never wavered, in good times or in bad.

His quotes were legendary – words to live by. They included:

“This ain’t my first rodeo.”

“Take the high road.”

“Pioneer Proud.”

I was proud when Ray led a board of trustees that unanimously appointed me as the eighth president of BC3 in 2007. I beamed with pride when we announced the Ray D. Steffler Board Room in the Science & Technology Building in 2013, and was even more proud when our Alumni Association named Ray, along with Lucille Shapiro, who passed away in October 2018, as Distinguished Alumni in 2017.

The legacy of Ray will outlast us all – as well it should.

No one dedicated his or her life to BC3 like Ray did.

Rest in peace, Mr. Chairman.

Job well done.

Read more about Ray’s legacy here:

Watch now: The Changing Role of Community Colleges

January 14, 2019

Yesterday, PCN broadcast its “Inside Boroughs” TV show.  I was honored to join Victor Rodgers of Harrisburg Area Community College to discuss the strength our commonwealth’s 14 community colleges. Of course, I used the opportunity to highlight various initiatives from our no. 1 ranked institution.

I hope you enjoy the show!

Video courtesy of PCN-TV, originally posted here: 


Celebrating 2018

January 7, 2019

Good morning, BC3, and welcome to 2019!

I’m excited to step forward into what promises to be another extraordinary year at BC3, filled with accomplishments, honors and success stories from the reigning No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania.

I’m also excited about the exceptional year BC3 enjoyed in 2018.

Our students – from senior citizens to newlyweds to student-veterans and student-athletes – achieved.

As did our faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and alumni.

Before we take that next step forward into 2019, please join me in pausing to celebrate those achievements in BC3’s 2018 Year in Review – filled with accomplishments, honors and success stories from the reigning No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania.

Enjoy the 2018 Year in Review.

Repeating as Champions: BC3 Claims Second Consecutive President’s Cup

December 11, 2018
Members of BC3’s President’s Cabinet and of the college’s back-to-back President’s Cup-winning cohorts

Members of BC3’s President’s Cabinet and of the college’s back-to-back President’s Cup-winning cohorts are shown Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Gibsonia.

Repeating as champions.

The Steelers did it twice. In 1976, after winning the Super Bowl in ’75; and again in 1980, after claiming the Lombardi Trophy in ’79.

BC3 repeated as the No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania in 2017 after also being ranked No. 1 by in 2015.

And on Monday, a terrific cohort from our college claimed a second consecutive President’s Cup.

The President’s Cup is the crown jewel of a unique professional development collaboration among BC3, the Community College of Beaver County and Westmoreland County Community College called the Western Pennsylvania Community College Leadership Institute. The institute is a nine-month program that embeds leadership competencies originated by the American Association of Community Colleges, which has prioritized the need to develop tomorrow’s community college leaders. The distinctive program among these three western Pennsylvania community colleges reflects this long-term goal.

Throughout the program, and in concert with the respective colleges’ presidents, cohorts from BC3, CCBC and Westmoreland work on an applied project that can be incorporated at their institutions. In 2016, Team BC3 developed a plan for a health clinic on our main campus. That suggestion has worked its way into the master planning for the new Victor K. Phillips Nursing and Allied Health Building, which is proposed for two to three years from now. The clinic will serve not only our college and Butler’s communities but also allow our students from various majors (not just registered nursing) the opportunity for hands-on experience.

On Monday, members of the 2018 BC3 cohort presented a plan for our college to address food insecurity. The model included a food pantry, a community garden on our main campus, partnering with local farmers and related curriculum offerings.

Members of the championship 2018 BC3 team are Rich Benko, Ivory Dunlap, Bill Foley, Annie Lindsay, Jennifer Loue, Mikayla Moretti, Scott Richardson and Dr. Nichol Zaginaylo.

Members of the championship 2016 BC3 team were Sean Carroll, Jessica Matonak, Karen Jack, Michelle Jamieson, Renee Piovesan, Erika Nail, Matt Miller and Stephanie Long.

Pioneer Proud!!!!


Photo Details: Members of BC3’s President’s Cabinet and of the college’s back-to-back President’s Cup-winning cohorts are shown Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Gibsonia. Front row, kneeling, Michelle Jamieson, a member of BC3’s 2016 cohort. Second row, from left, Karen Jack (2016); Jennifer Loue, Dr. Nichol Zaginaylo, Annie Lindsay, Scott Richardson and Ivory Dunlap (2018); Jessica Matonak (2016) and a President’s Cabinet member; and Tina Fleeger, a President’s Cabinet member. Back row, from left, Stephanie Long, Erika Nail and Renee Piovesan (2016); Dr. Nick Neupauer, BC3 president; Mikayla Moretti and Rich Benko (2018); Dr. Belinda Richardson and James Hrabosky, President’s Cabinet members; Sean Carroll (2016); Dr. Case Willoughby, a President’s Cabinet member; and Bill Foley (2018). President’s Cabinet members also include Brian Opitz, Ruth Purcell and Julie Sheptak. BC3’s 2016 Cup-winning cohort also included Matt Miller.