Alumni Community Service Award

Alumni Community Service Award

​​​​​​The John C. "Jay" Barker Alumni Community Service Award was created in 2013 by the COTC Alumni Council and is presented annually at the July 3rd Independence Day concert and fireworks to recognize COTC alumni who have made a significant impact by their service to the betterment of our community.​ ​The inaugural award was presented posthumously in July 2014 to John C. "Jay" Barker and named in his honor.

​2017: Sarah Terry

BarkerAwardee_0040.jpgTerry is a 2016 graduate of COTC's human services program and currently serves as an AmeriCorps college completion coach at COTC. She works with at-risk students and develops outreach activities in the communities where COTC is located.

Over her first year, Terry spearheaded many efforts to help the less fortunate in central Ohio. Twice she organized collections for women in domestic violence shelters, and she rallied fellow staff members to provide a holiday meal and gifts to a struggling COTC student. For Mother's Day she coordinated with staff and students to plant flowers and hand-paint pots for women in domestic violence shelters. At the time of her nomination, she was helping a young person collect children's books for a local 4-H project.​

"Her desire to improve the lives of individuals in central Ohio is inspiring, her energy is endless and her devotion to the college is contagious," said Teri Holder, former COTC vice president of extended campuses and the Gateway. Holder nominated Terry. "She is a walking testimonial of the impact an education can have on a life and she eagerly shares her time, talent and resources with anyone fortunate enough to cross her path."

Photo caption: (L-R) Sarah Terry, Spencer Barker, Beth Barker, COTC Alumni Council President Kevin Carver, COTC Director of Development Matt Kelly

2016: Sandra L. Miller


Vickie Maple, Director of the Workforce Development Innovation Center, presented Miller with the COTC John C. "Jay" Barker Community Service Alumni Award during the 2016 July 3rd Concert and Fireworks at the Newark campus. July 3 2016 SandraMillerREV_lr.jpg

Sandra L. Miller of Newark, 69, graduated with a nursing degree from COTC in 1981. Miller worked at health centers and hospitals after graduation, but eventually realized that she wanted to use her skills to help people across the nation as a disaster relief volunteer with the American Red Cross. Miller served 19 years with the Red Cross and assisted in 38 disasters, including September 11th. She was also recognized nationally with the Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Leadership. The award is one of the highest awards the American Red Cross bestows on volunteers. 

Left to right: John Barker's son, Spencer, his widow, Beth, Miller, and COTC Alumni Council President Bill Spurgeon.

2015: Jerry L. Billman

billman_coe_lr.jpgBonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., President of COTC, presented Billman with the John C. “Jay” Barker Alumni Community Service Award during the 2015 July 3rd Concert and Fireworks at the Newark campus. “For all of his volunteerism and service, we want to recognize the tremendous impact Jerry has had in our community,” said Coe.

For over a decade, Billman has dedicated himself to improving his community. Billman is currently a member and President of COTC’s Alumni Council, a member of the Licking County Foundation Marketing & Public Relations Committee and a member and past President of the Rotary Club of Newark-Heath, where he is the Chairman of the Dictionary Project and Co-Chairman of the Rotary District 6690 Polio Plus Program. In the past, Billman also served as a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Knox County Career Center Advisory Committee and a Licking County United Way Committee Volunteer.​


2014: John C. "Jay" Barker  John C. "Jay" Barker

On July 3, 2014, Central Ohio Technical College and the COTC Alumni Council presented the inaugural alumni community service award posthumously to John C. “Jay” Barker and dedicated the honor to bear his name. 

​Barker, who passed away in March 2014​ at the age of 50 after a brief illness, was a proud COTC alumnus, incoming president of the college’s alumni council, and a very active volunteer in the community serving on multiple local non-profit boards and organizations in Licking County. Barker was active in the Licking County Courthouse Lighting Committee, Licking County Senior Levy Committee, COTC Alumni Council, Energy Cooperative Operation Roundup Foundation Board, Licking County Governmental Preservation Society, National Heisey Glass Museum Board, Rotary Club of Newark-Heath and Ohio Bankers League.​

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