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Butler dean honored with Wichita Business Journal Women in Business award

Heather Rinkenbaugh, dean of online, high school & community learning at Butler Community College.
Published: Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Heather Rinkenbaugh shares her experience during her nine years at Butler.

Heather Rinkenbaugh, dean of online, high school & community learning at Butler, is being honored this August as one of Wichita Business Journal’s 2020 Women in Business. This award honors women who educate themselves, further their career, and mentor younger women to do the same. These honorees are dedicated to training, educating, and making connections for women. Every year the Wichita Business Journal recognizes outstanding women in the Wichita area for their numerous accomplishments and contributions to the success of other women.

Heather said she, “feels extremely blessed and humbled to be honored among the other outstanding women this year.” She added, “Having spent my entire higher education career at Butler, I attribute so much of my growth and development to my mentors and colleagues.”

For as long as she can remember, Butler has been part of Heather’s life. Heather began her career at Butler in 2011 as the administrative assistant to the dean of students and student life. In 2013, she became the director of residence life and then moved to directing the high school academic partnerships. She has been dean of online, high school & community learning since 2019. Heather hopes to finish her doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Baker University in May.

Heather asserts that the college and her many mentors and colleagues helped her to professional success. She states that former President of Butler Dr. Jackie Vietti and Dr. Kim Krull, the current President, had a special touch in guiding her along her pathway.

“I attribute so much of my growth and advancement in my career to my doctoral work and the opportunities I’ve had to learn and grow at Butler,” said Heather. “Each role I’ve had at Butler has prepared me for the next, and those roles have given me various perspectives and viewpoints of the college that are extremely helpful in my role now.”

Lori Winningham, vice president of academics at Butler, said Heather has a strong work ethic and has the respect of her peers.

“I know I can count on her to get the job done!” said Winningham. I can count on her to speak her mind, to listen to other ideas, and be solutions oriented. Heather deserves to be recognized by the Wichita Business Journal’s Women in Business Award as she truly is one of our shining stars at Butler and in South Central Kansas.”

Rinkenbaugh enjoys the work she does for students and has a passion for education and helping those around her.

“Because of Butler and our students, I get to come to work every day and make people’s dreams a reality,” said Heather. I look forward to more learning opportunities through interaction with my colleagues, engagement in professional development, and the completion of my doctorate.”

Heather will be recognized in the virtual ceremony for the 2020 Women in Business at 12-1 p.m. Tuesday, August 18th.