Terri L. Winfree, PhD

President, Prairie State College

The INSIGHT Into Diversity Giving Back Award honors college presidents and chancellors who go above and beyond their everyday duties to give back to their institutions and communities. President Winfree was nominated by colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a 2016 Giving Back Award recipient for her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion and encouraging community service both on her campus and in the surrounding community. 

Civic Involvement
Board member of the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators, Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, and Will County Center for Economic Development; founding board member of the Professional Women’s Network

Her Passion
Winfree volunteers at the Chicago Metro Correctional Center, teaching inmates entrepreneurship skills they can use once they are released.

Ensuring Minority Student Success
Under Winfree’s leadership, the college expanded its dual-degree program with Governors State University (GSU) to focus on men of color. The program will now bring high school students to Prairie State College to receive extensive support services to ensure degree completion, giving them the ability to transfer to GSU for their bachelor’s.

Winfree also established the Hispanic Outreach Advisory Committee, which is composed of members from the Hispanic community who offer guidance on college programming. To better assist Hispanic students with obtaining jobs, Prairie State began offering certificate training, including a new Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) program offered in Spanish.

The 2015 Women in Leadership Award from the Link and Option Center

Nomination Excerpt
“Prairie State College is a predominantly black institution (PBI) serving the most heterogeneous community college district in Illinois — geographically, socioeconomically, and racially. President Winfree has been instrumental in the college’s efforts to obtain grants for PBI institutions, including a Male Success Initiative grant, a more than $2 million STEM grant, and two TRiO grants that provide services and support to our disadvantaged students.”