NEWARK, Ohio, September 14, 2017 – One longtime friend and supporter of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and four longstanding employees were recently presented with the college's highest honor. The 2017 Legends of Loyalty awards were presented by President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., in two separate ceremonies. The Office of the President established the Legends of Loyalty award in 2011 to identify and recognize dedication and commitment to the college. It spotlights individuals who have, over the years, made a significant impact on the history of the college, have gone above and beyond their required duties and proven unselfish allegiance.
The first award was presented on Aug. 5 to passionate COTC supporter and longstanding friend of the college Louella H. Reese during the closing reception for COTC's 2017 Italian/American immersion program, which Reese initiated and sponsored.
"Lou Reese has definitely demonstrated her passion, dedication and commitment to the college and beyond," said Coe. "She not only brainstormed an idea for the Italian/American immersion program, she has also completely funded it for eight years. The experiences that she has made available, not only to COTC students but also to young people from Italy, have been life changing."
A second group of awards were presented on Sept. 8 during a faculty recognition event to four COTC employees: Ken Ollish, Sandra Siegrist, Lisa Smith and Whit Tussing.
Ken Ollish is a 32-year-employee of COTC and current director of the radiologic science technology (RAD Tech) degree program.
"Associate Professor Ken Ollish is always willing to step up and offer his support," said Coe. "He has coordinated student fundraising activities so that students can attend their state conferences. He collaborates with regional radiologic technologists to analyze and plan for solutions for workforce needs, and he has led the development and submission of the successful RAD Tech reaccreditation self-study," noted Coe.
Professor Sandra Siegrist, lead faculty in COTC's mathematics department, has taught at COTC for 31 years.
"Professor Siegrist was actively involved in COTC's 2008 re-affirmation of accreditation process, and in 2009 was acknowledged by Ohio Magazine as an Excellence in Education honoree, along with other college and university professors in Ohio," said Coe. "She willingly volunteers for committee service including the Faculty Council Academic Concerns committee and the Campus Judicial Board. She represents COTC on the C-Tec mathematics department advisory board, and represents the college on the Ohio Mathematics Initiative Faculty Chairs/Leads Group."
Financial Aid Coordinator Lisa Smith, has served the college for 30 years.
"Like our faculty, Lisa Smith works directly with our students to provide them with opportunities for academic or administrative job experience while pursuing their degree," said Coe. Sharing the praise written by Smith's supervisor, Coe noted, " 'She works hard for the sake of the students, supervisors, and the campus. She is smart, dedicated, and hardworking—always working above and beyond expectations.' She totally revamped the Student Employment Recognition Luncheon several years ago and does an amazing job of making sure our student employees know how much they are appreciated and are an integral part of our campus."
Professor of Architectural Engineering Technology Whit Tussing, began his COTC career 21 years ago as an adjunct faculty member before joining the faculty full time in 1998.
"Professor Tussing was heavily involved in the successful accreditation of COTC's engineering technology program by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology," said Coe. "As the program director for engineering technology, Professor Tussing has been extremely active in the recruiting and marketing of the engineering technology programs in each of the communities we serve, and has participated in STEMfest!® events at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology in Newark and in Knox County," noted Coe.
Recipients of the Legends of Loyalty award have their name added to a perpetual plaque that hangs in the Office of the President. A $1,000 scholarship is also donated to a COTC student in honor of each recipient, and a beautifully engraved commemorative clock is presented to each recipient.
COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.