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Three COTC Employees Recognized with Roueche Excellence Award

NEWARK, Ohio, March 24, 2017 – Three Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) employees are receiving the League for Innovation in the Community College's John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award. Brian Boehmer, superintendent of facilities and support services; Connie Philips, professor of information technology; and Matt Russo, assistant professor of culinary science technology, were recently notified of their selection for the award.

The John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award was created to recognize a long tradition of excellence in community college teaching and leadership. Award recipients will be honored at a reception and award ceremony at the league's 2017 Innovations Conference in March.

"At Central Ohio Technical College, we are so fortunate to have such qualified faculty and staff," said President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D. "I couldn't be more proud of these recipients and the work they are doing at COTC."

Boehmer has helped to guide the facilities planning and campus growth on the shared campus of COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark since 1998. He has been a licensed architect in Ohio for 23 years.  Boehmer is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has more than 25 years of experience in facilities management and in the design and construction industries. In addition, Boehmer is a credentialed Facilities Management Professional with the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA). He earned a Bachelor of Science in 1989 and a Bachelor of Architecture in 1990, both from Kent State University.

"This is truly an honor to be recognized this way," said Boehmer. "I am so proud of the work the facilities team has done in making sure COTC and Ohio State Newark provide state-of-the-art facilities where students can learn and grow."

Philips has been working at COTC since 1986. She has served in several different roles including associate professor, professor, lead faculty and department chair.

"The information technology field is always growing and changing," said Philips. "It's important as an instructor to make sure you are growing and evolving with the latest technology so your students are learning what they need to know to go out and get a great job in the industry. I am honored to be recognized for those efforts."

Russo is the director of COTC's culinary science technology program. COTC offers the only culinary science technology program in the state. In addition to his teaching duties, Russo works with middle school students interested in culinary careers, offers classes for community members and works with service organizations in the region on fundraising projects.

"Many don't realize that culinary science technology is about more than just cooking," said Russo. "Students in the program can pursue careers in research and development and must have knowledge of the latest food safety regulations, an understanding of product identification and utilization, as well as hands-on abilities in culinary skills. I truly appreciate receiving this award." 

The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The organization fulfills its mission through conferences and institutes; online resources; research; and projects and initiatives with member colleges, corporate partners, government agencies and private foundations in support of student and institutional success.

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.​