Dr. Jeffrey Michael Armstrong died January 11, 2021 at home, in peace, though he strived to the end to dominate that which challenged him, his health. He lived a good life.
To know Jeff Armstrong was to know the world and to know the world through his eyes was to see the shared humanity of every humble being. He traveled the world to share his passion for knowledge, learning and for the personal growth that results from such undertakings. To know Jeff Armstrong was to know the man who met the Dali Lama and Mother Teresa in India, spent time among the Buddhist ruins in Cambodia, traveled the Middle East through the Fulbright Foundation, saw the holy land through the eyes of a Palestinian friend, worked to dispel apartheid in education in South Africa, worked with the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan, and helped set up learning institutes in areas of the world most yearning for the promises that only an educated population can produce. To know Jeff Armstrong was to know a man of amazing stories. Whether living in a caravan in California, sleeping in jungles with a tiger nearby, canoeing the boundary waters swarmed with mosquitos, being escorted by machine gun in South America, rescuing Dave Chapelle from a racist hotel keep at 3 am in D.C., Jeff was a man who lived a full life. To know Jeff Armstrong was to know a man with a very kind heart, who adored his family, cared greatly for his students, his peers, and respected deeply the faiths and cultures of the world. He was creative, with a love of art and music, writing and reading and passed that love down to his children.
He is survived by his wife, Andrea, daughters, Madigan (Andy Bassman), Robin (John Welt), and Hannah (Brett Pfantz), and his grandchildren, Isadora and Oscar as well as his mother, Loretto, and brothers Pete and Chris, and his loving nieces, Sarah and Tess. A private celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made in Jeff’s name to the MCC scholarship fund in care of the Muscatine Community College Foundation, 152 Colorado
Street, Muscatine, Iowa 52761
Dr. Jeff Armstrong worked for seven years (2012-2018) in Afghanistan, first as Senior Manager for Associate Degrees and as Senior Manager for Academic Leadership and most recently as Senior International Advisor to the Ministry for Higher Education, all as part of USAID cooperative agreements. Dr. Armstrong was granted a two year leave of absence from EICC to work in Afghanistan. Previous to his experience in Afghanistan, Dr. Armstrong served in various positions at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, most recently as Vice Chancellor for Education and Facilities, in addition he served as campus President and Dean of the College at Muscatine Community College one of the three EICC campuses. His career at the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges spanned 33 years. In addition, he served as the Chief Academic Officer for EICC, 1994-2010. He also served as Provost of the Northeast Iowa Community College, 2014-2015, before returning to Afghanistan. His area of expertise is curriculum development and instructional design. He has been involved in numerous international activities supporting the development of community colleges, workforce development and market-oriented institutions of higher education, including projects in India, South Africa, Namibia, Guyana, Thailand, Ukraine, Jordan and Georgia. Dr. Armstrong has traveled to India 22 times since 1995. Most recently, Dr. Armstrong spent 2019 in Erbil, Iraq working for the British Council as an International Advisor on a variety of projects. Dr. Armstrong earned the EICC Chancellor’s Award, the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Administrator Award, the Muscatine High School Hall of Honor Award as well as being awarded an honorary doctorate by Ivan-Franko Pedagogical University (Drohobych, Ukraine).
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