Students highlight of MCC-Business & Technology Awards Ceremony

Aguer Kuir Gak K. known as "Gak" on campus, received the Cisco Student of the Year award from program coordinator Kate Ellis. Gak is a native of South Sudan.
Aguer Kuir Gak K. known as “Gak” on campus, received the Cisco Student of the Year award from program coordinator Kate Ellis. Gak is a native of South Sudan and plans to return to his home country and educate the people in his community.

The students honored at the 2016 Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology Awards Ceremony included one who is a father of five and another who is a native of South Sudan.

More than 70 individuals attended Thursday’s event, which included honors for students, faculty, staff and administration.

“I’m so excited to be on this campus and celebrate our successes,” said Dr. Jacqueline Gill, president of MCC-BT. “This is a great night for us to honor so many students, faculty and staff.”

Eight programs honored individuals with the Student of the Year Award, including Josh Patton in Industrial Technology. Patton, who has five children and works full-time, excelled in the program.

“Josh is somebody I would hire without question because of his devotion and love for his family,” said Lou Tobin, program coordinator. “He consistently goes above and beyond.”

Aguer Kuir Gak K. received the Student of the Year Award in Cisco. Known as “Gak” on campus, he is a native of South Sudan who plans to return home and educate the people in his country.

Other students honored were Alexander Davis, in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning; Jordan Fountain, in the Early College Program; Matthew Hernandez, in Engineering Technology; Josh Leard, in the Lineman Program; Gilbert Stallings, in Welding; and Jerad Wickman, in Construction Management.

Two students were recognized for their achievements at the SkillsUSA Missouri State Championships. Jack Browning received a gold medal in Industrial Motor Controls (written contest) and a bronze in Industrial Motor Controls (skill contest), while John Miller received a silver medal in Industrial Motor Controls (written contest).

“These students are a wonderful example of what we do here at the Business & Technology campus,” Gill said. “We are so proud of all of them. What great representatives for us.”

Gill presented several awards during the ceremony, including the President’s Award to Dr. Dana Grove, interim dean of instruction. Grove was the interim president from September 2015 until Gill’s arrival in February.

In addition, Ed Budy and Robert Dumler received the Spotlight Achievement Award for bringing notoriety to MCC-BT.

Budy, a Lineman instructor, recently was inducted into the International Lineman Hall of Fame. Dumler, the Early College Program coordinator, was honored by Kansas City For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (KC FIRST) for 10 years of service.

Program coordinators Kate Ellis and Mike Cline were recognized for their achievements.

Ellis, who coordinates the Cisco program, recently was appointed to the MCC Foundation Board of Directors as a faculty liaison. Cline, who coordinates the Engineering Technology program, recently received the Missouri Community College Association Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Technology chairman Joe Roche presented the Legacy Award to Kimball Marsh and Jess Harding. Marsh, an instructor in mathematics, and Harding, an instructor in HVAC, are retiring this year.

Several business partners received certificates as Industry Partners of the Year. They were: Cathy Weaver, networking specialist; Reno Moreno, of Integrity Staffing Specialists; Chuck Grantham, of Rudroff Heating & Air Conditioning; and Fike Corporation, represented by Walter McKinzie.

Ten staff members received awards, including two for customer service. Jen Dec, who directs the Fab Lab, and Alana DeForest, press operator, were honored.

Eight staff members received Staff Extra Mile Awards: Aaron Gibbs, lab specialist; Benjamin Howard-Williams, Student Services supervisor and interim enrollment manager; Tracy Leeper, administrative assistant; Tatia Shelton, Career Services coordinator; Michelle Sprague, fiscal operations manager; Brandon Watts, custodian; Ernie W. Webb III, campus communications coordinator; and Bonnie Werner, Student Services specialist.

Other speakers at the ceremony included Nancy Russell, the dean and executive director of the Institute for Workforce Innovation. Russell recognized several staff members who worked on the MOManufacturingWINs grant.

Dr. Ryan Meador, dean of student development and enrollment management, welcomed attendees, and associate dean Shawn Smith presented the Customer Service and Staff Extra Mile awards. Shelton presented the Industry Partner of the Year awards.


View a photo gallery, including all the award recipients, on the MCC-BT Facebook page.