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Clark State to Host Presidential Awards, Raise Funds for Clark State Foundation Scholarships

Clark State to Host Presidential Awards, Raise Funds for Clark State Foundation Scholarships

September 26, 2019

Clark State Community College will host its first Presidential Awards banquet on Wednesday, October 2 in support of the Clark State Foundation.

“The event was created to honor the recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus, Emerging Leader and Richard O. Brinkman awards, as well as to raise funds for student scholarships,” said Toni Overholser, director of the Clark State Foundation. “The Foundation awards approximately $300,000 per year in scholarships to hundreds of students.” 

The Clark State Foundation supports individual and community enrichment by engaging donors to remove financial barriers and increase college success through educational and cultural programs.

The Foundation scholarships are awarded for financial need, academic performance or a specific program of study to both full-time and part-time students. Scholarships generally open each January for the upcoming year. There are currently more than 50 different scholarships offered through the Clark State Foundation. Scholarships may be awarded for fall and/or spring semesters.

“This event marks the first of its kind for Clark State,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “We want to honor and recognize those individuals who have made an impact on Clark State, and who have well-represented our College in the community. Each has a heart for education and the drive to support our students in every walk of life. In addition, through this event, we continue to raise funds for the Clark State Foundation which has provided countless scholarships to deserving students.”

The Presidential Awards banquet will begin at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 2 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield. Tickets are $75 and can be reserved by calling Christa Bostick at 937.328.6009 or emailing Proceeds from the event will benefit student scholarships.

2019 Presidential Award Honorees:

Emerging Leader Award
Amber Hudson

Hudson graduated from Clark State in 2019. She is now an adjunct professor in math and engineering at Clark State.

“I am honored to be recognized by Clark State,” she said. “If it wasn’t for Nora Hatem in the engineering program, I never would have thought to transfer my degree.”

Hudson went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in independent systems engineering at Wright State University. She later returned to Wright State and earned her master’s degree in independent and human factors engineering. Hudson plans to one day earn a Ph.D.

Hudson serves as an assistant safety engineer for SAIC, a premier technology integrator solving the nation's most complex modernization and readiness challenges across the defense, space, federal civilian and intelligence markets.

Hudson encourages independence and hopes to inspire her own students at Clark State. “Don’t ever say ‘you can’t’,” said Hudson. “Where there is a will, there is a way. I went from living in a shelter to owning my own home. It’s amazing what people can do, and I look forward to changing people’s lives the way mine was.”

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Roger Evans

Evans graduated from Clark State in 1971 with a degree in police science. Following graduation, he served as a full-time police officer for the Springfield Police Division (SPD) and completed course work at FBI National Academy, The Ohio State University, Northwestern University and Adelphi University.  Evans became chief of police for the SPD in 1987 and served in that position for ten years.

“Clark State helped me achieve my goals by establishing the educational foundation that prepared me for the career advancement opportunities as they came,” said Evans who is now retired and serves as an associate pastor at Greater Grace Temple.

He encourages students to set realistic goals, formulate a plan and “stick to your reason for entering your chosen field of endeavor.”

Richard O. Brinkman Award
Alicia Sweet Hupp

Sweet Hupp, president and CEO of Sweet Manufacturing Company in Springfield said receiving the Richard O. Brinkman Award is an honor and privilege, but most of all it is heart-warming to her personally.

“My father, Dean Sweet, and Mr. Brinkman were very good friends,” she said. “I have correspondence from the 70s where they communicated on a regular basis regarding student success and retention. This is when I realized that my father provided funding to support students in emergency crisis to be distributed at the president’s discretion.”

Sweet Hupp said her father provided this funding for many years, and she hoped to continue that legacy of giving. The Greg and Alicia Sweet Hupp Scholarship was established in 2018 and benefits two students annually. Sweet Hupp is also the recipient of the 2016 Trustee Emeriti Award for her service on the Clark State Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2006. During her tenure, Sweet Hupp served as vice chairperson and played a critical role in the search process for a new college president in 1997.

“As a long-time advocate of education and a local manufacturing business owner, it is important to support and collaborate with Clark State,” she said. “My husband and I made the decision to support the new manufacturing technology lab and program by offering two annual scholarships in the manufacturing program. It is a great feeling to give back to our community, and there is no better time than now.  We have an obligation to our community to be a part of a local solution: to fill a huge gap in our local workforce. Clark State is supporting us, and we need to support them.”

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