Automotive Technology graduate honored for academic achievement
KOKOMO, Ind. — Jacob Ramsey of Kokomo has been named recipient of the 2016 Dr. Pam Lewis Award for Academic Excellence, the highest academic honor presented to graduates of Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo Region. He will be honored during the region’s commencement May 7.
Each year, academically high-achieving graduating students are selected for the Dean’s Award as the top students in each program. The winner of the Dr. Pam Lewis Award is selected from among those Dean’s Award winners who have a 3.75 GPA or higher. Other considerations for this award include leadership, community service, and school involvement.
The 2016 award winner came to Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus in 2014, after graduating from Kokomo High School and the Kokomo Area Career Center, with two goals in mind – to maintain a 4.0 GPA on his way to an associate degree and to graduate debt-free. His Ivy Tech instructors – who describe Ramsey as a conscientious student and critical thinker, one who goes “200 percent above what needs to be done,” and a young man “with an attitude and intellect far beyond his years” – weren’t surprised that he met both goals.
While at Ivy Tech, Ramsey earned membership in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, was a peer mentor for his fellow Automotive Technology students and an informal advisor to students in his freshman English composition class, and was the first student to complete the innovative new Mopar CAP LOCAL training program for FCA technicians. With scholarship help from the Golden K Kiwanis, the New Car Dealers Association, and other sources, and income as a part-time employee of KMart while he went to school, Ramsey finished without any student loans.
Ramsey wasn’t always on a path to be an automotive technician. He moved with his family from their home in Missouri to Kokomo just before his senior year of high school. At his previous high school, he had earned academic honors in English and science and completed most of his required coursework. At his new school, he had electives to take and, given his preference for working with his hands, followed a counselor’s suggestion to try some automotive technology classes in the KACC. He ended up earning awards and a scholarship for outstanding achievement there and, with seven credits already completed, moved into the Ivy Tech program where he earned both a Technical Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology.
“I especially want to thank my parents, as well as my instructors at the Kokomo Area Career Center and Ivy Tech, for all their support,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey is now employed full-time as an oil, lube and tire technician at Indy Tire and setting new goals for himself, including a position as a dealership technician and possibly pursuing a bachelor’s degree. His Ivy Tech instructors say he’ll do very well at whatever he chooses.
The Dr. Pam Lewis Award is named in honor of Lewis, who retired in May 2013 as vice chancellor Academic Affairs in the Kokomo Region after serving the students and employees of Ivy Tech for more than 30 years. Honored with a number of awards recognizing her leadership in higher education, Lewis was known for her extraordinary efforts to improve student access to college and student success.