One of Dr. Scott Friedman’s nominators calls him “an amazing leader” and “the ultimate team player.” These comments reflect the respect Friedman’s team has for him and why he is an excellent choice for the Vernon O. Crawley Leadership Award.

Friedman’s areas of supervision include the Academic Advising Center, New Student Orientation, Counseling and Career Development Center, Center for Disability Services, Transfer Center, articulation initiatives, HDV courses, Study Abroad and faculty exchanges.

“It’s great having a wide diversity of areas. I also really enjoy that several of my departments sort of straddle between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs,” Friedman said.

Despite managing a sizable team, Friedman effectively brings everyone together and always is concerned about the success and well-being of students and employees. Friedman believes leaders have a responsibility to help those they work with to see the value of also becoming leaders.

“I think it is critical to grow more leaders and help them access resources their teams need to succeed. I have a phenomenal leadership team I get to work with — colleagues in Student Development and across the college,” he said.

To foster a community environment, he encourages his leadership team to focus on students and to create opportunities for everyone to get to know each other.

Friedman has successfully led several initiatives during his eight years at Moraine Valley. One he is most proud of is when he worked with staff from across the institution to redesign the new student onboarding process. Together,
they enacted improvements that went into effect during the 2016-17 academic year.

“That was a huge, multi-year investment that has proven its success,” Friedman said. “It has made the process for students to get started at the college much easier.”

One recent project Friedman found especially satisfying was being at the helm of the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA). He led the Core Team at Moraine Valley for three years and served as lead author of its ILEA Equity Plan. “I was honored to lead the ILEA initiative work for the college. Having trust and faith from Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Salleh-Barone and Dr. Haney to lead our broad DEI effort and see how much the college did makes me proud,” he said.

Friedman recently received several national awards — the 2022 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Doris Michiko Ching Award for Excellence as a Student Affairs Professional; 2022 NASPA Region IV-E Outstanding Community College Professional; and 2022 Michael C. Holen Pacesetter Award, given by NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising.

He generally shies away from the limelight, but Friedman is grateful for the recognition of his work, and is trying to soak it all in.

His nominator wrote he believes Friedman “follows Dr. Crawley’s example in taking well-calculated risks to improve our campus” and sees “many similar traits and characteristics in both leaders.”

Friedman appreciates the comparison to the former college president and finds it somewhat overwhelming because he considers Crawley a legend. In fact, he keeps a copy of the Eight Expectations, created by Crawley, in a prominent place in his office and has used the document for professional development with his team.

“I feel fortunate I’ve had the opportunity to meet Dr. Crawley and [his wife] Betty a number of times over the years, and it’s always a humbling experience because he is a giant, not just at Moraine Valley, but in the community college world. I look at the legacy Dr. Crawley left as an imprint on the college. If I can do even 1% of that, I think that would be pretty impressive. I hope I also can continue to be a good reflection of Dr. Jenkins,” he said.

His admiration for previous winners also is evident, and he will strive to live up to the examples they set.

“There are so many amazing administrators who have received this award before me. I hope to follow in their footsteps and continue their great work by coming in every day with the attitude of doing the best I can because I know our students and the college deserve that,” Friedman stated.