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Former State Rep earns distinguished former student award

Posted May. 2, 2012

Deborah Newcomb will receive the 2012 Roger T. Beitler Award for Former Distinguished students at the Kent State University at Ashtabula spring commencement.

Debbie Newcomb Newcomb has a long and distinguished career in public service; serving the Ohio House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010, as Ashtabula County Commissioner from 1999 to 2008 and on Conneaut City Council from 1996 to 1999.

Beitler, the first director of the Ashtabula Academic Center from 1958-1963, laid the firm foundation upon which the Ashtabula Campus has continued to build. To honor his memory and dedication to faculty and students, the Ashtabula Campus Faculty Council established the Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award. It has been given annually since 1980 to former students who have made notable contributions in their respective vocations.

Newcomb built her professional life around helping to improve the quality of life in her community and standing up for the people of her community. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Conneaut Human Resources Center which provides social services to the community and also serves on Kent State University at Ashtabula's Human Services Advisory Committee. 

During her time in the state legislature, Newcomb served as Chair for Aging & Disability Services and worked to expand Passport, Assisted Living and PACE services to older Ohioans through passage of HB398, signed by the Governor.

She earned recognition from the Ohio Educational Service Center Association in 2001 for her commitment to educational programs and was selected as Geneva-on-the-Lake Citizen of the Year in 2005. In 2008 and 2010 Newcomb was named a Friend of Agriculture by the Ohio Farm Bureau and in 2009, received the Muriel Bertsch Award from the Ohio Association of Senior Centers for her advocacy on behalf of senior citizens. She received the Elected Official Advocacy Award from Ohio Area Agency on Aging and the "Home Care and Hospice Hero" award from the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice. In 2011, Newcomb received the Professional Achievement Award from the Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Conneaut High School graduate also earned her Associate of Applied Business degree in Office Technology and Office Management from the Ashtabula Campus. She worked in the private sector for over 25 years and owned her own business.

Newcomb resides in Conneaut with husband Jim. Their family includes two sons, Zachary and Cris, daughter in law Katie, and granddaughter Amelia.