Iowa is well known for agriculture, education, family commitment and hard-work – areas Dr. Cyndi Hanson is deeply familiar with. Cyndi is an Authentic Iowan. Born in rural Monona County to Brady and Cathy Hanson, she has been involved in the characteristics of Iowa through hard-work, service to others, integrity and family values.
Agriculture – Her connection with farming is lifelong, having spent many hours on her grandparent’s farm as a child, hoeing bean fields, then raising a small flock of sheep all during her teenage years. She has many memories of 4-H and FFA activities. The leadership traits learned in these organizations, coupled with the lessons of her parents, helped foster a sense of responsibility to things larger than herself – her community, her country and the rich natural resources of our state.
Cyndi has a heart for agriculture and realizes, the productive land we enjoy in Iowa is a tremendous treasure. It produces much more than row crops and livestock – it produces resilient, resourceful and collaborative people who get things done and keeps moving forward.
Hard-working, agriculturally connected – Cyndi is an Authentic Iowan.
Education – Always a successful student, Cyndi grew up and graduated high school from Maple Valley Anthon-Oto. She understood the importance of education as a vehicle for open-mindedness. After participating in a student-exchange to the USSR as a junior in high school, she also realized the importance of education for a free and democratic society. She began her post-secondary education at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, working full-time and attending classes on nights and weekends.
As someone who thoroughly enjoys learning, Cyndi chose to continue her formal education by earning a Masters’ Degree in Adult Education, Leadership and Development from Drake University and a Doctorate of Education Administration from University of South Dakota. Recognizing the impact of aging leadership in our formal educational institutions, Cyndi conducted her dissertation research on succession planning and leadership practices of Iowa Community Colleges highlighting some best practices that can be expanded across the nation.
Cyndi has enjoyed employment in post-secondary institutions for many years – first as an adjunct college instructor, then a full-time instructor and for the last five years as an administrator. Being surrounded by others who appreciate the long-term impact of education on our workforce, communities, country and world is an honor she cherishes.
Educated, committed to integrity – Cyndi is an Authentic Iowan.
Family – Cyndi was blessed to grow up with a close extended family. Her four siblings and five of her ten cousins attended the same school system. Other cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents were regulars at weekly church services, 4-H, church youth group, birthdays and holiday gatherings. She has many fond memories of these close familial connections – from the summer ‘getaways’ to her grandparents’ house (a whopping 2 miles from home) to the constant commotion of Christmas gatherings with too many people in the house.
The importance of family — Cyndi is an Authentic Iowan.