28Jun Honor Society Helps Graduate Achieve Her Future Plans by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) Breanna Napper’s future looks even brighter than the many medals she wore around her neck at her graduation from Marion Technical College. This Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society leader graduated this May with associate degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology and Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology. Napper was selected as just one of two students nationwide to be named a 2021 GEICO Pathway to Completion Bachelor’s Degree Scholar and to receive a $1,500 scholarship. Napper was also named a 2021 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. She was selected from thousands of applicants nationwide for these scholarships. Dr. Andrew Hand, Phi Theta Kappa Advisor, and Bre Napper pose after celebrating her scholarship awards. “Phi Theta Kappa has taught me to take every chance I can, and to have the confidence to achieve any goal I set my mind to. PTK has changed my life. It’s an honor to be a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and GEICO Pathway to Completion Bachelor’s Degree Scholar–this is going to support me in my advancements in higher education. Taking me one step closer to my next goal: completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.” Bre shares her love of science and engineering with kids inside the mobile lab. Napper will stay in Marion and take classes on the Marion Campus as she works toward her ultimate dream: become a professor of engineering, create scholarship programs for women in S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in my Marion community and develop a S.T.E.M outreach program for students of all ages. Napper also received a $1,000 scholarship from the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. She earned first team honors on the All-Ohio Community College Academic Team for 2021, joining 73 students from Ohio’s community college system honored with scholarships for their excellence in academics, leadership, and community service. The All-Ohio Academic Team program is a collaboration between the OACC, Phi Theta Kappa national honor society and Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. Members of the Marion Tech chapter of Phi Theta Kappa receive awards in 2019. “As an active Phi Theta Kappa member and officer for the past two years, Breanna has demonstrated outstanding leadership at both the local and regional levels. It is exciting and rewarding to see her being recognized for her hard work, dedication, and academic excellence,” said Dr. Andrew Hand, Psychology Faculty and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor. Dr. Hand was not the only one impressed with Napper’s success and determination. “It has been a pleasure not only getting to know Bre as a student in my classes, but also as a person and a budding engineer with great potential. I am so proud of her academic accomplishments as well as her contributions and loyalty to MTC and the community,” said Dr. Elizabeth Azhikannickal, Director of Engineering Technologies at Marion Tech. “Her motivation, work ethic and positive attitude will take her far. We all wish Bre the best.” Alumni Bre Napper and Josh Dunn join Dr. Elizabeth Azhikannickal, right, to give tours of the mobile lab. Napper has long had a love for engineering technology and found opportunities to learn here in Marion. She graduated from RAMTEC at Tri-Rivers. At Marion Tech, she has been an active member of the Engineering Club and has taken the mobile lab to different schools and community events to encourage younger students to explore this field. Napper has found encouragement at Marion Tech, including from a number of female engineering professors. “I just really love MTC and the opportunities and most of all—confidence it gave me!” Starting next year, Napper will take classes at The Ohio State University at Marion and Marion Tech. She will major in Electrical Engineering and minor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Bre works in the new smart manufacturing lab. “Bre represents the best of Marion Tech students: she is driven and determined,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, president. “I have no doubt she will keep making a positive impact in our community for decades to come. Her future looks bright!” Napper finds staying in Marion helps keep college affordable while she pursues her dreams. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has given Napper many leadership opportunities as the Vice President of Fellowship for the local Beta Nu Pi Chapter and as an Ohio Region Officer, receiving a regional award for excellence. Napper has been involved in many ways at Marion Tech, from serving as a student ambassador to representing students in meetings with state representatives at the Ohio Statehouse. Bre was one of the student ambassadors who gave tours around campus. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is open to college students with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. It includes opportunities for leadership, service, volunteering and scholarships.