Ozarks Technical Community College earned three awards at the MCCA Annual Convention on Thursday, Nov. 9; including OTC partner SRC and its CEO Jack Stack, the Game Changer Grant Committee and rootEd advisor Nicole Thomas.
Ozarks Technical Community College earned three awards at the MCCA Annual Convention on Thursday, Nov. 9; including OTC partner SRC and its CEO Jack Stack, the OTC Game Changer Grant Committee and rootEd advisor Nicole Thomas.
Distinguished Business & Industry Award: SRC and Founder/President/CEO Jack Stack
SRC Holdings and Founder, President and CEO Jack Stack received the Missouri Community College Association’s Distinguished Business and Industry Award. Over 15 years, SRC’s support has significantly benefited OTC, including donations to key initiatives like the SRC Quality Lab in the Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the SRC Diesel Remanufacturing Lab. SRC also established a unique program enabling their employees to pursue manufacturing degrees at OTC. In 2022, Mr. Stack was the college’s commencement speaker.
MCCA Innovation Award: OTC Game Changer Grant Committee
OTC believes innovation from faculty and staff creates a culture of excellence and improves opportunities for our students. OTC awards three annual grants of $10,000 each for innovative projects to further the mission of the college. Faculty and staff members submit grant proposals. The submissions must meet OTC’s four pillars of student care: student-centered, data-informed, proactive and holistic. The top proposals are presented at the Innovation Celebration, an annual event dedicated to recognizing and rewarding OTC employees, programs and departments that make exceptional contributions to innovation at the college. Following the presentations, faculty and staff in attendance vote to award funding to three projects. The Game Changer Grant Awards were developed by the OTC Innovation Celebration Planning Committee: Sarah Bargo, Calie Holden, Misty Tollett, Abby Rea, Dr. Julie Coltharp, Spencer Kohout, Matt Simpson, Matt Harris, Ryan Price and Kaylyn Martin.
Missouri Pathfinder of the Year Award: Nicole Thomas, rootED Advisor for Arcadia Valley High School
When you think about an unsung hero, you see a picture of Nicole Thomas Arcadia Valley High School’s rootEd Advisor. This year, she was able to realize her dream job of being a college and career advisor. She hit the ground running this year with her new program, T.I.G.E.R. Certificate (Tigers Initiate Growth Education & Readiness). Through this innovative program, students are provided with opportunities to increase college and career readiness skills while in high school. To complete the program students must write a resume and cover letter, submit recommendation letters, participate in at least eight Lunch & Learn sessions, attend one or more college or career planning days, participate in job shadowing experiences, complete a mock interview, complete community service hours, and complete the FAFSA. This year, Nicole also hosted the first-ever regional college application and financial aid event at their district’s basketball tournament. All schools involved in the tournament were invited to participate in college and career readiness information between games. OTC and Mineral Area College co-nominated Ms. Thomas for the award. rootEd is a partnership with OTC that places college and career counselors in rural high schools to help students prepare for life after high school graduation.