ST. GEORGE – Dixie Applied Technology College honored four students Wednesday, one of whom was named as the DXATC Student of the Year.
Drafting student Lindsey Smith won the top award.
“We have four finalists this year,” DXATC President Kelle Stephens said at Wednesday’s ceremony, “and it was tough.”
“Really, really tough,” she continued, “because they were all fantastic. So we decided we’re going to recognize all four of those students.”
To be eligible for the honor, students needed to be nominated by their instructors. Then the students completed a formal application and gave a formal presentation.
“Everyone that applied for student of the year – everyone that was nominated – any one of those students could have been selected and represented us very well,” Stephens said.
Smith presented an impressive final project in November for her drafting and design certificate program.
Smith started with the goal of designing one building, but she didn’t stop there, Stephens said.
“The amount of work she did, the volume of work she did,” Stephens said, “she designed one building and then another and then another. And then she designed things that could go into those buildings that haven’t been produced yet.”
Smith’s project plans include residential units, a workspace, a clubhouse, a physical therapy and medical facility and a cafeteria that would be open to the public.
Special features in the design allow disabled individuals to more easily handle day-to-day tasks such as cooking dinner while in a wheelchair.
“I think Lindsey has ideas that could honestly be patented and become part of helping disabled people live on their own,” Stephens said of Smith. “The things that she’s invented could help many, many others.”
“Lindsey is an inspiration to every single one of us,” Stephens said.
In addition to the acknowledgment, Smith was awarded $1,000.
Robert Jones earned second place. Jones came to DXATC after suffering a career-ending injury. Unemployed and needing to provide for his family, he enrolled in the information technology program.
“After only a few months in the program, (he) secured a job that allowed him to provide for his family and giving him confidence to accomplish all kinds of things that he never thought he would find himself doing,” Stephens said.
Two students tied for third place: Aubrey Harris and Angela Rockhill.
Harris started at DXATC after deciding she needed to change her life; she completed a course in medical assistant. Eventually, she said she wants to continue her education and become a therapist.
“Aubrey taught us that life’s detours are not the end but just experiences that lead us to new opportunities,” Stephens said.
Rockhill decided to complete her education after 22 years of raising children.
When her seventh child started school, Rockhill decided to go back to school herself and enrolled in emergency medical technician training, Stephens said.
“She found out – it wasn’t just that she was interested, she absolutely loved it,” Stephens said.
Jones received $500 for second place, and Harris and Rockhill both received $250.
Stephens also presented drafting instructors Bill McMurrin and Matt Pickens a check for $2,500 to be used in their department.