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Mitchell Technical College donors, volunteers honored at recognition event

MTC Foundation praises local individuals, businesses

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Mitchell Technical College Foundation officials celebrated donors at an event with over 125 in attendance Thursday evening. (Submitted Photo)

Mitchell Technical College Foundation officials celebrated donors at an event with over 125 in attendance Thursday evening. Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres created by the college’s own South Dakota Culinary Academy of South Dakota while hearing from board members, staff, instructors and students about the latest exciting achievements for the Foundation.

Nick Bakhtiari, recently appointed director of foundation relations for MTC, announced that gifts from individuals, industry, faculty and staff resulted in 226 student scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year.

Additionally, the college now has 75 Workforce Recruitment/Double Edge industry partners. Through these programs, businesses sponsor students in high-need industries through scholarships, and students agree to work for the business for three years after graduation. Students graduate without debt and the industry partner gains a well-trained employee.

MTC Foundation recognizes volunteers and donors

Several individuals and businesses that have had a significant impact on MTC’s success were recognized.

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Deb Olson, center, was recognized with the Volunteerism & Service Award at the recent donor recognition event at Mitchell Technical College. She is pictured with Nick Bakhtiari, director of foundation relations for MTC, and Mike Sprang, vice president of the Mitchell Technical College Foundation Board. (Submitted Photo)

Deb Olson, Volunteerism & Service Award

Olson has been a member of the Mitchell Board of Education for nine years, and the president for five years. She serves on the MTC Construction Advisory Board, attending many meetings throughout the year. Olson also assists in the review of scholarship applications and “enthusiastically promotes MTC throughout our community.”

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Emily Bickett, center, and her family were recognized with the Donor Legacy Award at the recent donor recognition event at Mitchell Technical College. Bickett is pictured with Nick Bakhtiari, right, director of foundation relations for MTC, and Mike Sprang, left, vice president of the Mitchell Technical College Foundation Board. (Submitted Photo)

Emily Bickett and family, Donor Legacy Award

Bickett is a retired Mitchell elementary school teacher, and her husband, Lonnie, was one of the first instructors at Mitchell Tech in the late 60s. After his retirement, the Bicketts, together with other donors, established the Legacy Staff Endowment Scholarship in 2014 to help students obtain an MTC education.

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David Zambo, center, was recognized as the Individual Donor of the Year at the recent donor recognition event at Mitchell Technical College. He is pictured with Nick Bakhtiari, director of foundation relations for MTC and Josh Kranz, director of Culinary Academy of South Dakota. (Submitted Photo)

David Zambo, Individual Donor of the Year Award

Zambo established an annual scholarship to award $500 to a student in the Culinary Arts program. Zambo’s late son, Brian, was a graduate of MTC, and had an affinity for the culinary program, though he was a Power Line Construction program alumnus. Through the Brian Zambo Fallen Lineman Scholarship, Mr. Zambo realized the importance of scholarships to students seeking an education and decided to acknowledge the culinary program with this scholarship, demonstrating the ongoing legacy of his son’s MTC experience.

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Corey Thelen, center, local manager for C&B Operations, accepted the recognition for C&B for Corporate Donor of the Year recently at the school's donor recognition event. Thelen is pictured with Nick Bakhtiari, director of foundation relations for MTC, and Mike Sprang, vice president of the Mitchell Technical College Foundation Board. (Submitted Photo)

C & B Operations, Corporate Donor of the Year

C & B Operations and local manager Corey Thelen were described as “extraordinary partners” of MTC for more than five years. C & B donates equipment for student use to support learning in the Precision Ag, Diesel Repair, and Agriculture programs. Thelen serves on advisory boards and provides internships and careers for MTC graduates. Their involvement allows students to experience top-of-the-line equipment and the newest technology.

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Bakhtiari also acknowledged the support of Mitchell Technical College Foundation Board members, many of whom were in attendance at the event.

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Emily Bickett, left, and her family was honored with the Donor Legacy Award at the recent donor recognition event at Mitchell Technical College. She is pictured with Mike Sprang and Jan Quenzer. (Submitted Photo)

MTC’s Welding and Manufacturing Technology: Industry of the Year

Bakhtiari recognized the faculty in the Welding and Manufacturing program with a combined 87 years in the industry.

  • Travis Peterson, program director, a certified welding inspector, certified welding educator, certified radiographic interpreter, certified welder and Level 3 nondestructive tester

  • Greg Thibodeau, instructor, OSHA-10-30 certified and an authorized trainer; served 29 years in the US Air Force as a welder/machinist

  • Jed Schoenfelder, instructor, certified welding educator, certified welding inspector, certified welder with former national commission for the certification of crane operators

Established in 2011, the welding and manufacturing technology program equips graduates to work in a wide variety of fields, including welding robot programmer, machinist, industrial engineer technician, fabrication economist and certified welder. Event attendees heard from a current welding student, who talked about how much he is enjoying the program and the importance of scholarships.
MTC Students and Instructors An Important Part of the Event

Bakhtiari acknowledged the students helping to make the event a success, including those who had created the delicious food. He thanked Culinary Academy of South Dakota instructors Chef Josh Kranz, Chef Tim Goldammer, Chef Shawn Frey and Sous Chef Samantha Simkins for their hard work on creating the menu and treat boxes that supporters were given as gifts.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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