Tremmel named outstanding retiree at NICC Hall of Fame
Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:04pm admin
CRESCO - Welcoming Anthony Tremmel to the position of Learning Center instructor in October 1998 is one of Northeast Iowa Community College’s great fortunes.
A lifelong educator and English teacher, Tremmel believes strongly in the importance of civic responsibility, education and serving others. On Nov. 6, the College will honor him with the Outstanding Retiree Service Award for his professional achievements and contributions to his community and northeast Iowa.
Tremmel began teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in 1961 in Belize and later in Brazil. He volunteered through a Catholic Church program that sent lay professionals from North America to collaborate with Latin Americans to reduce poverty.
After returning to Iowa, Tremmel taught high school English for eight years in North English and junior high English for 24 years in Cresco. His appreciation of writing deepened after he met kindred spirits at summer Iowa Writing Project workshops.
“I have always enjoyed exploring language through words, essays and poems. The Iowa Writing Project got me excited about writing in the early 1980s. I met Jim Brimeyer (retired NICC Peosta campus communications instructor) during a workshop. Meeting other writing teachers taught me much about writing through doing and reading,” Tremmel said.
When NICC hired Tremmel in 1998, he taught ESL students in the Learning Center and helped to create the Writing Center, a collaborative writing space where students could share their work. At NICC, he connected one-on-one and worked closely with student writers at all levels of ability. He taught college students to express their diverse backgrounds, career aspirations and lives more effectively in writing, so they could bring their experiences onto the page for others to read.
“At the College, I worked closely with writers on the first steps of expressing their ideas and experiences into writing, and revisiting their work through the editing process,” he recalled. “I appreciated the opportunity to teach adult learners and future nurses and farmers.”
Tremmel believes in civic responsibility and community leadership. He met his wife, Mary Jo, during his international teaching experience in Brazil, and they were married in 1966. He served as a Cresco Public Library trustee for more than 30 years, and in 2000 he became a founding member of the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation Board to honor one of Cresco’s own whose agricultural achievements are helping to feed the world.
Borlaug's work contributed to breakthroughs in agronomy worldwide, and his achievements have always fascinated Tremmel. Borlaug led what is known today as the Green Revolution by introducing new agricultural methods throughout the world, especially in developing nations. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.
“During our service in Brazil, Mary Jo and I saw firsthand much poverty, hunger and the need for development,” Tremmel explained. “The spirit and determination of the ‘hunger fighter’ motivated us to help form the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation in Cresco as a way of carrying Borlaug's message, agricultural philosophy and vision forward for the benefit of future generations.”
“In 2014, I retired from the wonderful job at Northeast Iowa Community College, completing 50 years of teaching,” Tremmel said. “To everyone connected with education at NICC, I offer my deepest gratitude for this recognition and, more important, for what you have done to make the College a great place for learning and teaching.”
The Tremmels have been married nearly 51 years, and they have three grown children, Mark, Paul and Elizabeth.
Since its founding in 1966, Northeast Iowa Community College graduates have achieved distinction in their professions and through service to their communities. Retired faculty, staff and administrators continue to lend their time, talent and expertise to help NICC, students and graduates succeed. For more information on the College’s Foundation and ways you can contribute, contact: Julie Wurtzel, director of annual and alumni giving, at (800) 728-2256, ext. 218; Barbara O’Hea, director of the NICC Foundation, at (800) 728-7367, ext. 284; or visit www.nicc.edu/found ation.