City College students advance to national SkillsUSA, win Outstanding Student Organization award
Members of City College at MSU Billings members and one of their advisors, Ed Becker, gather for a photo at the Student Leadership Award Banquet Tuesday night held at the Billings Depot. The group was awarded “Outstanding Student Organization Overall” as well as the “Outstanding Student Organization by Academic/Honorary” performance.
From left to right: Tristan Rohner, 19, of Sidney, freshman auto body refinishing; Austin Schultz, 20, of Richey, sophomore auto body refinishing; Eddie Gabel, 18, of Huntley, sophomore automotive technology; Brandon Dickson, 20, of Lovell, Wyo., sophomore diesel technology, and auto collision instructor Ed Becker.
April 13, 2016
The 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference will be held June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Katherine Pfau, 247-3044
Randy Roberts, 247-3054
Carmen Price, University Relations and Communications, 657-2266
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — City College at MSU Billings students captured top awards in four areas of the SkillsUSA State Competition earlier in the month, followed by sweeping awards for Outstanding Student Organization at Tuesday’s Student Leadership Award banquet.
“This is an amazing year for our SkillsUSA group,” said Austin Schultz, 20, of Richey. “We’ve worked really hard and have a lot to be proud of, and a lot to look forward to.”
The sophomore auto body refinishing major is one of four City College students headed to the 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky, after earning gold medals at the April 4-6 state competition held in Billings and Havre.
“The team’s performance at the state competition was outstanding,” SkillsUSA co-advisor Katherine Pfau said, “and I am confident they will go on to do very well at the national competition.”
The state-level contest featured dozens of skills competitions that challenge students to work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in fields like manufacturing, architecture, automotive, construction, robotics, medical, welding and more. In addition to technical skills training, SkillsUSA provides educational experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development.
First-place winners go on to the national championships to compete for medals, prizes and competitive scholarships.
SkillsUSA Montana award winners from City College are Brandon Dickson, first place in diesel technology; DJ Miller, first place in automotive technology; Nick Niehenke, first place in welding; and Austin Schultz, first place in automotive refinishing. Ryley Shipp took second place in diesel technology; Eddie Gabel took second place in automotive technology; Ryan Broste placed second in welding; and Tristan Rohner placed second in auto-body refinishing. Placing third in automotive refinishing was Will Johnson.
All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by national industry standards. Leadership contestants are judged on their skills, including extemporaneous speaking and job interview skills.
“The national-level will be even more challenging and intense, but we’re all excited for the opportunity,” Schultz said. “It will be a great thing to have on our resumes, and an opportunity to learn from the best in our fields.”
After learning that the group had been named the “Outstanding Student Organization Overall” as well as the “Outstanding Student Organization” based on its academic and honorary achievements, auto body refinishing major Tristan Rohner, 19, of Sidney said it was an honor to be selected.
“This is a pretty big deal,” he said. “I’m honored to be a part of this group.”
On the heels of the award announcement during the annual award gala held at the Billings Depot, Schultz presented his instructor and advisor Ed Becker with the “Outstanding Advisor” award.
“I’ve learned from the best,” Schultz said. “I speak for all of your students, we are very fortunate.”