Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) presented three alumni awards to graduates who demonstrated achievement in their careers with exceptional dedication to the populations they serve.
COTC Outstanding Alumni Award
This award recognizes COTC alumni who have personal and/or professional achievement that brings honor and distinction to the college and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of our community.
The 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient is Jodie Wheeler, of Newark, a 1983 computer programing graduate. Wheeler continued her education to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting at The Ohio State University. Wheeler is treasurer and technology manager at the Newark-based accounting firm Wilson, Shannon & Snow with 35 years of experience in public accounting.
In addition, Wheeler is a board member for The Woodlands Serving Central Ohio; treasurer for the Newark Sport and Event Commission; and a member of the COTC Alumni Council, COTC accounting advisory committee and Newark Area Zonta Club.
COTC Transitions Alumni Award
Assistant Professor Asif Khan, of Warsaw, is the recipient of the COTC Transitions Alumni Award. Khan, who now teaches and serves as the program director for engineering technology, earned his own associate degree in electrical engineering technology from COTC in 2012. He continued his education at Ohio University, where he earned a master’s degree in engineering and technology.
He was nominated by COTC Assistant Professor Thomas Comisford, who once served as Khan’s instructor. Comisford described Khan as “an excellent, hard-working student who consistently excelled in class. His strengths as a student included a natural curiosity about the topics covered in class, determination to solve problems, and how to apply what he’s learning in class outside of class.
“The traits [Khan] displayed as a student are also evident as a full-time faculty member at COTC.”
In addition to his role at the college, Khan serves on the Licking County Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturer’s Executive Council and C-TEC’s engineering advisory board. He takes great pride in developing good relations with local employers, thereby paving the way for dozens of students to secure internships and jobs.
John C. “Jay” Barker Community Service Alumni Award
This award recognizes COTC alumni who have made a significant impact on their local community through their leadership, involvement and service. It was created in memory of John C. “Jay” Barker (Business Management Technology, 1986), whose incredible dedication to the college and the community epitomizes the qualities and characteristics this award seeks to recognize.
When Ken Quick, of Newark, graduated from COTC in 2013, he received the Outstanding Associate Degree Nursing Student Award. Now he is the recipient of the Barker Community Service Alumni Award. Quick is a staff nurse in Licking Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and serves a voluntary role as the director of the Licking County Community Health Clinic. The clinic provides healthcare for the uninsured and underinsured residents of Licking County.
Quick was recognized with the Licking Memorial Hospital Patient Experience Award for going above and beyond the call of duty after helping a patient who did not have air conditioning in his home secure a proper cooling system. Quick also serves on the Ohio Charitable Health Network Legislative Committee and is the Knox-Licking District Delegate to the Ohio Nurses Association. He is an active member of the COTC Alumni Council.
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.