Clark State College in partnership with Park National Bank will host its Presidential Awards banquet on Wednesday, September 29 in support of the Clark State Foundation.
The event was created in 2019 to honor the recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus, Emerging Leader and Richard O. Brinkman awards, as well as to raise funds for student scholarships. The Foundation awards approximately $300,000 per year in scholarships to hundreds of students.
“We are honored to highlight the accomplishments of these outstanding award recipients. The honorees have made significant contributions in support of Clark State students and the community,” said Toni Overholser, director of the Clark State Foundation. “We look forward to coming together to celebrate their accomplishments and raise funds to support student scholarships.”
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. Scholarship applications open each April 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.
The Presidential Awards banquet will begin with a social gathering at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 29 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with the program to follow.
Tickets are $100 each or $750 for a table of eight and can be reserved by calling Christa Bostick at 937.328.6009 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds from the event will benefit student scholarships.
2021 Presidential Award Honorees:
Emerging Leader Award
Presented to Cory Gaston
Cory Gaston is a 2012 Clark State graduate with two Associate of Applied Business degrees in Computer Networking and Cybersecurity. After a couple of attempts at higher education, Mr. Gaston found his path to success at Clark State. He continued his education at the University of Dayton where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Program Analysis Technical Management, followed by a master’s degree in Information System Management from Keller University. He was recognized as an outstanding student in 2012 for his role as a Student Ambassador. Cory worked as a System Administrator at Clark State in 2013 and then joined American Electric
Power (AEP) in 2014 as a Software Developer. Cory’s most recent accomplishments include the 2020 Most Impact on IT Culture at AEP and obtaining professional scrum master PSM1. In addition, Cory has chaired the mentor program at AEP. Cory proudly represents Clark State and its mission.
“I am truly honored to be recognized as a Clark State Distinguished Alumni from an institution which has provided me with an outstanding education and professional foundation,” he said. “Beyond the education, this recognition is a testament to all those who selflessly help me throughout my years of attendance, demonstrating their commitment to my success. They understand what it means to serve.”
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Presented to Timothy Derickson
Tim Derickson is a 1980 Clark State graduate with an Associate of Agriculture and Business. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree from Miami University in 1984. Mr. Derickson has held multiple positions serving the state of Ohio; including State Representative, Interim Director of the Department of Agriculture and currently as the Senior Director, Food and Agribusiness Sector for JobsOhio. He also held several legislative committee positions and appointments; including Finance-Agriculture and Natural Resources Sub Committee (chair), Community and Family Development (chair), Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (chair), Ohio House Workforce Development Task Force (chair), Ohio Legislative Prayer Caucus (chair), American Enterprise Institute (fellow), Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board and the Cystic Fibrosis Task Force. He served as a Hanover Township Trustee for many years and also founded several businesses. His work in agriculture began on his family farm and has led to a lifetime of service in the agricultural community throughout our state. Mr. Derickson is a fierce advocate for community colleges throughout Ohio and a true friend of Clark State.
“Upon graduating high school, I almost skipped further education to remain home and on the farm. Overcoming those uncertainties and finding a school that aligned with my heart’s desire and accepted me as I was, Clark State instilled confidence in me that I hadn’t possessed prior,” he said. “The Clark State experiences, through classes and internships, led to me earning an associate degree from Clark State, followed by a bachelor of science degree at Miami University. As I launched my career, I worked in healthcare sector initially, started two businesses, held public office for 17 years, served as Assistant Director and Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and now am in economic development for the state of Ohio in the food and agribusiness sector.”
Richard O. Brinkman Award
Presented to Dr. Amrit and Shashi Chadha
Dr. Amrit and Shashi Chadha have been steadfast and loyal supporters of Clark State College and our mission. Shashi Chadha has been an adjunct faculty member at Clark State since 1977. She has served on the Foundation Board of Directors for over eleven years. Dr. Amrit Chadha currently serves as a physician and neurologist for the Rocking Horse Community Health Center,
after retiring from private practice as a neurologist in the Springfield community. Together they have made significant financial contributions to the College in support of our students. They established the B. R. and R. R. Chadha Memorial Scholarship to support students majoring in psychology or health technologies. In addition to their own generous endowed scholarship, they have assisted in the establishment of at least three other endowed scholarships. They also support students with disabilities through a separate Springfield Foundation scholarship. The Chadha’s have supported Clark State, our students and the community. Their dedication has improved the lives of countless people in the region, both directly and indirectly, Clark State College.
“We both feel very honored and humbled to be selected for this award,” they said.