John's Story

All through high school my desire was to go to College to become a high school English teacher.  This desire was fostered by my love for English and by my favorite English teacher, Ruth K. Harper.  Mrs. Harper was also the school librarian.  I worked in the library all four years of high school and came to love the library.  Putting these two loves together, I applied to and was accepted at Kent State University for fall 1968.  I chose Kent State because Kent was the only university in Ohio at that time that offered a minor in Library Science as well as a Masters degree.   My career path was set, I was ready to go.  Or so I thought.

I was a first generation college student.  My freshman year at Kent State was a lot of fun, perhaps too much fun, a lot of work, I didn’t have a clue what it would be like, and I changed my major 3 times.  I knew that by the beginning of my sophomore year, because I was in the College of Education, I needed to settle on a major if I ever wanted to graduate in four years.  I decided that I would think about this during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years.  

During that summer I saw a girl that I went to high school with.  She had started out at Ohio State to be a pharmacist but quickly decided that that was not for her.  So after a couple of weeks at OSU she dropped out and started taking computer classes at a newly opened technical school named Tri-County Technical Institute.  She was quite the salesperson and I was convinced that I too needed to be in computer science even though I really didn’t know what a computer was.

In the fall of 1969 I enrolled in the computer science program at Tri-County Technical Institute.  A couple of my classmates were Terry Begley and Bunnie Dishong Begley both of whom have retired after giving years of service to the College.  Others who were attending Tri-County at that time were Bill Hill, Charlotte Lambert, Brenda Lemity, and Calvin Price.

To my surprise, the world of computers was right down my alley.  Not only did I learn computer programming but I also learned that I am a hands on type of person and that I learn best by doing.   I graduated as part of the second two-year class in June, 1971.  From Tri-County I entered the workforce and worked almost 8 years in Columbus, Logan and New Lexington.  

On February 1, 1979 I had the privilege of returning as an employee to the newly named Hocking College working in the Information Technology area which consisted of two employees.  Terry Begley and me.  Although I loved working in IT, I never lost my desire to teach.  Hocking afforded me that opportunity when I was able to teach a couple of night classes.  I had been bitten by the teaching bug.  Then in September, 1980 I had the good fortune to move into a full time faculty position in Computer Science.  I taught in Computer Science for 12-1/2 years.

In March, 1993 I had the opportunity to move into the Office of Academic Affairs as the Assistant to the Provost.  In this position I supervised the academic scheduling process, maintained the master course inventory and curriculum, reported academic data to the Ohio Board of Regents, and managed other projects as assigned by the Provost.  It was during my tenure in Academic Affairs that I also became the Project Director for the conversion from our legacy data environment to our new ERP system, Colleague.  In 2009 I was named the Colleague Administrator.

In April, 2010 I had the privilege to become part of the newly re-organized IT department, assuming the duties of Director of Administrative Computing while also maintaining the position of Colleague Administrator.

Forty years have come and gone since I graduated from Hocking, and as I look back over my career paths, I am acutely aware that none of this would have been possible without Hocking College.  As a student, Hocking was just what I needed in 1969-1971.   As an employee Hocking has been just what I needed for the last 32 years.  I would not be where I am today without Hocking.  

Just as Hocking has been there for me, Hocking continues to be there for all the students who come to us.  I believe in Hocking, I believe in our mission.  
So, thank you Hocking College, a.k.a. Tri-County Technical Institute, for giving me a career.

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