Students highlight of annual awards ceremony at MCC-Business & Technology

President Dr. Jackie Gill presented retiring dean and executive director of the Institute for Workforce Innovation Nancy Russell, right, with the Legacy Award during Thursday’s MCC-Business & Technology Awards Ceremony.

More than 20 individuals and three businesses were honored Thursday during the annual awards ceremony at the Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology campus.

With nearly 100 people in attendance, 13 students were recognized as Student of the Year in their respective programs. Students receiving this prestigious honor were:

  • Anthony Crane, Industrial Technology
  • Amanda Ellsworth, Construction Management
  • Kyle Eslinger, Welding
  • Casey Flynn, Early College Program
  • Brendan Gee, Early College Program
  • Alberto Hernandez, Electric Utility Line Technician
  • Kevin Jeffries, Computer Integrated Machining and Manufacturing
  • Kendrick Johnson, HVAC
  • Bryan Lamb, Cisco
  • Janet McCurry, Health Care
  • Danny Roberts, Transportation and Logistics
  • Joseph Saunders, Environmental Health and Safety Science
  • Jack Spiller, Engineering Technology

Other students honored at the event were Jacob Drentlaw and David Valdez, both of whom were recognized for receiving the Student Leadership Award from the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA).

Construction Management coordinator Mark Gardner with program Student of the Year Amanda Ellsworth.

Drentlaw is one of the top students in the welding program, while Valdez, an Engineering Technology student, designed a prosthetic adapter last summer that allowed a young child born without one hand to ride a bike for the first time.

“It truly is an honor to recognize the achievements of so many bright, talented students,” said Dr. Jackie Gill, president of MCC-Business & Technology. “Part of our mission is preparing students, and their achievement demonstrates that we are accomplishing that. The awards ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate their successes, which in turn serves our communities.”

Three local companies received the Industry Partner of the Year Award, including Burns & McDonnell. The engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm based in Kansas City has hired several MCC-Business & Technology alumni and has been a tremendous supporter of the Engineering Technology program.

Gabe Hernandez, vice president of substation projects in the Transmission and Distribution Services division and a member of the MCC Foundation Board of Directors, represented the company and accepted the award.

Other companies receiving the award were Nestle Purina and MC Realty, both of which have hired several MCC-Business & Technology alumni.

“We have tremendous business partners, and these three companies are among the best,” said Tatia Shelton, Career Services coordinator. “We are thrilled that we can express our gratitude at this ceremony.”

Cecil Davis, the HVAC program coordinator, received a plaque for being honored by the MCCA with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Gill honored three MCC-Business & Technology employees with the Legacy Award, presented to individuals who demonstrate sustained service and leadership. Nancy Russell, dean and executive director of the Institute for Workforce Innovation; Tim Gill, welding instructor; and Alice Blea, administrative assistant for the OSHA Training Institute Education Center, received the Legacy Award.

Retiring Chancellor Mark James was honored with the President’s Award given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the mission of MCC.

In addition, three staff members were recognized: Diane Belt, who works in the Admissions Office, and Ernie Webb, campus communications coordinator, with the Staff Extra Mile Award, and Shelton with the Staff Achievement Award.

Five student groups and two honor societies received organization awards: Transport Layer (computer science and networking), HVAC S.T.A.R.S. (Students Taking Action and Responsibility for Success), Arcs & Sparks (welding), HiLine Club (lineworkers), Environmental Health and Safety Science Student Organization, Phi Theta Kappa and National Technical Honor Society.

Speakers at the event included emcee Steve Pankey, enrollment manager; Jackie Gill; Ryan Meador, dean of student development and enrollment management; and Shawn Smith, associate dean.

Smith, Shelton, Webb, Dixie Burns and Tracy Leeper planned, organized and coordinated the ceremony.

Among the attendees was Jessica Ramirez, associate vice chancellor of advancement for MCC.

To view photos from the event, visit the MCC-Business & Technology Facebook page.