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Dr. Vicky and Rodney Wood Create First Gen Forward Scholarship

Dr. Vicky and Rodney Wood
December 15, 2023

Marion Technical College alumna, educator, and leader Dr. Vicky Wood, along with her husband Rodney, created a scholarship to assist other first-generation college students. Both Vicky and Rodney Wood are first-generation community college graduates. They firmly believe that their two-year degrees changed their lives.

“Marion Tech opened doors for me. Taking those first steps opened so many opportunities,” said Dr. Wood.

Dr. Wood remembers visiting Marion Tech during her senior year in high school. Joel Liles, the admissions director, helped her map out a way to start at Marion Tech and then continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Liles also helped her identify ways to pay for college.

“I took his advice and followed that path throughout my college experience. This advice, along with the support of many people at MTC and the career opportunities provided to me, changed my life. I will forever be grateful,” Dr. Wood said.

During her first year of college at Marion Tech, Dr. Wood became a student worker and moved into a support staff position while completing her associate degree. She continued her education at Ashland College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business education so she could advance into a teaching role. Dr. Wood then earned a master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University, and earned a doctorate in higher education leadership from The University of Toledo.

Dr. Wood

Dr. Wood became a faculty member and advanced through the faculty ranks before becoming a Dean and eventually the Chief Academic Officer and Provost. Dr. Wood started MTC’s first fully online business program, and the Adult Student Accelerated Program (ASAP) that offered one-night-a-week accelerated classes to help working adults earn a business degree at Marion Tech. She also oversaw the successful growth of the College Credit Plus program, serving more than 1,000 local high school students who earn college credit at no cost. She started a Graduate Pathways to Success program with Marion Harding to help students earn certificates or associate degrees by the time they graduated from high school. The GPS program was so successful, it was expanded to other local high schools and in other counties across the state.

“She had a profound impact on the school and the community,” said Mike Stuckey, director of the Marion Technical College Foundation. “She has touched thousands of lives.”

Dr. Wood

Dr. Wood served Marion Tech for 32 years. She is one of the first inductees of MTC’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Six years ago, Dr. Wood became president of Washington State Community College in Marietta.

“My community college experience fostered my passion for helping others change their lives through higher education, which has been my lifelong career,” Dr. Wood said.

Marion Tech always will hold a special place in her heart.

“This institution gave me a vision and a direction for my life. My experience here was the first step in my journey to where I am today.”

“We are so grateful for the Woods’ generosity,” Stuckey said. “She has spent her career helping students succeed. This is just another way they are eliminating barriers to brighter futures.”

Marion Tech serves more than 3,000 students. The average age is 27. With small class sizes, hands-on learning, and personal attention, Marion Tech serves a variety of students and their needs.

The first award from the new endowed fund will be given to a student for Fall Semester 2025. To make a donation for the new scholarship fund, click “designate a specific scholarship or project” and indicate the First Gen Forward Fund or the Wood Scholarship Fund.  

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