Dr. Jo Ann C. McDowell is an alumni of Independence Community College. She joined the college staff in 1979 serving in several positions including, Director, Dean, Vice President, Executive Vice President and President. McDowell is well known for her “Passion and Love of Pirate Athletics” including three National Tournament appearances, two Bowl appearances and 12 Kansas Jayhawk Championships during her tutelage. She also coached our ICC Cheerleaders in five National Championships. Dr. McDowell served on the Kansas Board of Regents from 1988 to 1992. She was active with both the North Central and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, chairing and serving on over 50 accreditation evaluation teams over three decades. McDowell worked closely during the formative years of the William Inge Festival with her former teacher, mentor, long-time associate and close friend Margaret Goheen. After leaving ICC in 1992, she went on to serve as Executive Assistant for Education to the Governor of Kansas the summer of 1992, President of Prince William Sound Community College from 1992 to 2005 and President of Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE from 1995 to 2010. McDowell now holds the title of President Emeritus from both colleges. McDowell continued her support of theatre after her departure from ICC by founding two of the nation’s nationally prominent theatre conferences, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska and the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, NE. Dr. McDowell has received resolutions of commendation from the Kansas, Nebraska and Alaska legislatures for her contributions to education and the arts. McDowell received outstanding alumni awards from Kansas State University (Alumni Fellow from the College of Education in 1992) and Pittsburg State University (PSU) in 1984 and the PSU Mysterious Service Award in 2005. She was honored with the Jerome Lawrence Award at the 2016 Inge Festival. McDowell retired to her hometown of Cherryvale, KS in 2011 and owns McDowell Properties, LLC.