Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) recognized two alumni at its Annual Alumni Holiday Reception on December 3. Mark Weiner received the Transitions Alumni Award and Veronica Patton received the Outstanding Alumni Award.
The Transitions Alumni Award recognizes COTC alumni currently working at the college in either a faculty or staff capacity who help advance the college and make a difference in the lives of current students.
Weiner is a 1992 graduate of COTC's criminal justice technology program. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. While completing his bachelor's degree, Weiner participated in volunteer training at the Licking County Prosecutor's Office. His determination, skills and compassion for those who have been victimized inspired the county to apply for a grant for a victim advocate position with him in mind to fill it. He was hired for the position in 1994 after completing his bachelor's degree. In 1997, he was promoted to the position of director of victim services serving both the Licking County Prosecutor's Office and the Licking County Sheriff's Office. He works with victims involved in felony crime investigations and prosecution from the time the crime is reported to final disposition.
Licking County Prosecutor Bill Hayes said, "If Mark were ever to leave, it would take four to five people to replace him. He's just that good."
Weiner also serves as co-coordinator of the Ohio Crisis Response Team and as a member of the NOVA National Crisis Response Team to make sure those impacted by crime and disasters receive immediate compassionate service and psychological first-aid to mitigate the trauma individuals and a community may have suffered. He recently received the National Crime Victims' Services Award from the Office for Victims of Crime. Weiner teaches as a part-time faculty member in COTC's law enforcement technology program to reach students at the beginning of their career teaching them victim sensitivity and quality service.
The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes COTC alumni who have personal and/or professional achievement that brings honor and distinction to the college and individual attainment and/or contribution for the betterment of our community.
Patton earned an Associate of Applied Business in 1984 from COTC. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Patton joined Licking Memorial Hospital in 1981 and has worked in Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) administration since 1984. Throughout her 38 years at LMHS, she has received several promotions that have led her to where she is today as vice president of development and public relations.
"My degree from COTC was the springboard for my career at LMHS. After graduating from here, I was well prepared to accept a position as the president's assistant, and I was also well prepared to go on to complete my bachelor's degree," said Patton at the reception.
Throughout the past 16 years, she has expanded the department to include volunteers, concierge, pastoral care and patient experience. In 2009, Patton received LMHS's President's Award for her service and commitment to the organization. She also gives back to the community through active involvement and leadership in numerous local organizations including being the president of the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Licking County, vice president of the Special Improvement District Board and a member of the Licking County Family YMCA Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Newark Rotary Club and serves on the Licking County Foundation's Scholarship Review Committee. Patton has worked with LMHS CEO Rob Montagnese to establish an endowed scholarship for LMHS employees to pursue a degree at COTC or The Ohio State University at Newark. She also helped coordinate a half a million-dollar commitment from LMHS for the construction of the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology on the shared campus of COTC and Ohio State Newark.
Captions: Top: L to R: COTC President John M. Berry, PhD, Faith Weiner (daughter), Mark Weiner, Christie Weiner (wife), COTC Alumni Council President Kevin Carver. Bottom: L to R: Dr. Berry, LMHS CEO Rob Montagnese, Veronica Patton, Patton's nominator Pat Jefferies, Mr. Carver.
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.