Experiential Learning Appreciation event thanked employers & presented awards to students

The annual Appreciation Event for Cincinnati State’s experiential learning partners and program Advisory Board members was a celebration of the businesses and industries that contribute to student success by providing opportunities for co-op employment, internships, and clinical experiences, as well as employment after college graduation.

The event hosted by the College-wide Co-op and Experiential Learning Committee took place April 10, 2024.

President Monica Posey welcomed guests to the Employer Appreciation event
President Monica Posey welcomed guests

Several programs held meetings with Advisory Board members prior to the Appreciation event, to gain feedback and insights from community experts in a variety of fields.

President Monica Posey thanked the business and industry representatives for partnering with the College to make our region stronger, and she recognized the students who earned scholarships as a result of their experiential learning achievements during the past academic year.

Elliott Ruther, Chief of Institutional Advancement, gave a presentation about the legacy of co-op at the College.

Refreshments were provided by co-op employer Kate’s Catering, and Brewing Science program chair Caleb Ochs-Naderer shared samples of student-crafted beer.

Co-op of the Year Scholarship winners included:

Nozina Eshkobilova (center of photo above), an Associate of Arts major whose co-op assignment was Production Assistant for the Future Proof podcast. She was nominated by co-op coordinator Jayne Martin Dressing.

Nozina said she benefited from working closely with faculty and staff members on a variety of creative projects that used skills in event planning, marketing, podcast production, and working with student organizations.

Melissa Goetz (left in photo above), an Environmental Engineering Technology major, worked as a co-op at the Civic Garden Center. She was nominated by co-op coordinator Jennifer Geiger and program chair Ann Gunkel.

Melissa received accolades from her employer, including being described as a “gold nugget” in the Civic Garden Center Newsletter.

The Clinical/Practicum of the Year Scholarship winner was Jacky Sonkoue-Lonkeng (right in photo above), a student in the BSN program who completed clinical experiences at TriHealth. She was nominated by Nursing program chair Janice Lockett and lead instructor Deanna Smock.

Jacky said, “Clinicals have been a useful medium to solidify my love and dedication for nursing, and gave me opportunities to unveil my true thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, allowing me to nurture more authentic relationships and improve my care skills to enhance patient outcomes.”

Pamela Alvarado Cervantes and Co-op Coordinator Brian Hooten
Pamela Alvarado Cervantes and Co-op Coordinator Brian Hooten (Photo provided by Brian Hooten)

In addition, special recognition was given to Pamela Alvarado Cervantes, who received the national 2023-2024 Two-Year Program Student Award presented by the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA). The award recognizes “outstanding students who have excelled in or made significant impact in work-integrated learning.”

Pamela, a Marketing Management major, received her award at the CEIA Annual Conference in April. She was a co-op at VEGA Americas Inc, a global corporation headquartered in Germany, with a primary operations office in Mason, Ohio.

Co-op Coordinator Brian Hooten said, “During her co-op experience at VEGA Americas, Pamela demonstrated versatility and excellence. She contributed to aspects of business development, market research, and project management in sales and marketing. Her proficiency and skills helped VEGA Americas extend their services to the Canadian market.”

Pamela said her experience at VEGA Americas was fulfilling and rewarding. “VEGA is an international company that understands the importance of diversity and inclusivity, inside and outside the company. I made connections with people from different parts of the world, building my perspective and making me realize that my ability to speak two languages was an asset.”