CCAC dean receives American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ 40 Under 40 Award

Dr. Kelli Maxwell
Article by: CCAC Public Relations

Dr. Kelli Maxwell, dean of Student Development at CCAC South Campus, was named a 2017 American Association for Women in Community Colleges' (AAWCC) 40 Under 40 awardee. The award recognizes outstanding female leaders under the age of 40 who are making a difference in community colleges. Maxwell received the honor at the AAWCC Annual Awards Breakfast in New Orleans. She was competitively selected and was nominated by CCAC South Campus President Charlene Newkirk.

"In the two short years that Dr. Maxwell has been dean of Student Development at the Community College of Allegheny County, South Campus, she has transformed the way that we serve students, particularly students most in need of support," wrote Newkirk in her nomination letter.

Among Maxwell's accomplishments is the acquisition of a Jefferson Regional Foundation grant that enabled the campus to launch, in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Campus Cupboard Food Pantry to address the growing concern of food insecurity among local college students. Under Maxwell's direction, the successful CCAC South Campus food pantry has become a model for college food pantries across the nation.

Maxwell also spearheaded CCAC South's first spring break service learning trip to Flint, Michigan, to help support the community during the Flint water crisis. In addition, she serves as a member of the Jefferson Community Collaborative, which creates opportunities for community organizations and service providers who are dedicated to improving communities in the region.

"Receiving this award means the world to me," said Maxwell. "I don't necessarily work hard for rewards or accolades, but if I've received some recognition, I'll take it as an indication that I'm succeeding in serving my students."

According to AAWCC President Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, the 40 Under 40 Award pays tribute to the talent of up and coming leaders in community colleges.

"Supporting the advancement of women in community colleges is a core value of AAWCC. These 40 rising stars are making a difference for the colleges that they serve. We honor them for their extraordinary efforts to support the community college mission," said Walker-Griffea.

While in New Orleans, Maxwell also attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges where she presented on "Food Insecurity on Campus: Supporting Low Income Students to Completion." Along with Marlene Gary-Hogan of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Maxwell reported on the success of the CCAC South Campus food pantry, which was officially launched in February 2016. On average, 70 students and their families are served every month through the pantry. For more information, visit

Related Stories