By Emily Branson/Staff Writer

What started as an interim job position has led to a new love of education for the new Department 3 Chair, Cynthia Rapp.

After a 21-year stint as the Dean of Academic Affairs at Seward County Community College, Rapp moved to Hutchinson to be closer to her grandchildren.

“In August of 2016, Dr. [Cindy] Hoss called me and said she had a late resignation from a department chair and wanted to know if I would fill in and be an interim for that year,” Rapp said.

“School was getting ready to start and she didn’t have anybody for Department 2, so I said ‘sure.’ I came in just to fill that job until they could find somebody, and I’m still here.”

While Rapp started working at HutchCC as a Department 2 co-chair, supervising industrial courses, she has recently taken on the head chair position for Department 3.

“The biggest change is just the majority of the Department 2 programs were Associates of Applied Science, or certificate degrees,” Rapp said.

“Those classes and programs focus on training and going right to work. That’s the biggest difference because, in Department 3, most of those students are going after a transfer degree. We’re more focused on those transfer courses. Along with the art and the music just for pleasure, we get some of those too, but most of it is focused on the transfer.”

While Rapp was supervising Department 2, she said it was interesting to learn about all of the different programs, like truck driving, welding, and automotive, that came under her supervision.

“Those areas are important to a college because they do a real benefit to the community,” Rapp said.

“They help provide a lot of employment for industries and businesses in the area. Those are critical. We need those kinds of folks to do that kind of work. There’s going to be a need for that for a long time.”

Rapp has spent her entire career in the education system and says that she loves the new challenges that each day brings to the table. She enjoys learning about all aspects of the education system.

“The thing I can always say I love the most is that no two days are ever the same,” Rapp said.

“I like the challenge of not really knowing and being able to do all kinds of different things. It just keeps it fun and exciting.” 

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