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New Legacy Program recognizes alumni for efforts
Frontenac teachers Eric Gudde and Keith Aikin were among the first to recieve Legacy Program plaques from PSU Professor Andy Klenke as part of the new Legacy Program.

New Legacy Program recognizes alumni for efforts

Frontenac High School teacher Eric Gudde is among numerous Pittsburg State alumni who ensure their students know just how great PSU's technology and engineering education program is.

“I always encourage my students to attend PSU,” Gudde said. “I tell them all the time, and I truly mean it, that the technology program at Pitt State is the best in the nation.” 

The new Legacy Program by the College of Technology aims to recognize alumni like Gudde while also recruiting future Gorillas. 

COT Technology and Engineering Education faculty have been visiting technology alumni who are now teaching in public high schools to present them each with a wooden plaque recognizing their status as PSU alumni. The plaques are produced by PSU wood tech students and engraved by students in the university’s TEECA club. 

As for the recruitment aspect, each high school teacher can earn a PSU lapel pin to attach to the plaque for every student they help enroll in any program in the College of Technology. If the high school teacher sends a student to become a technology and engineering education major, they earn a larger pin recognizing their promotion of teaching as a valued career, who will in turn promote PSU’s technology programs and future Gorillas. 

“We in the College of Technology feel that identifying the teachers, recognizing them as valued members of our recruitment efforts and making them members of this unique program will have a positive influence on the recruitment efforts for all programs within the COT,” said Andy Klenke, professor in the Technology and Engineering Education program. 

Klenke said the idea for the Legacy Program came out of a desire and need to recognize the unique and valuable role PSU alumni play in the university’s recruitment efforts. 

“I believe this program can help demonstrate to teachers, in a real way, that we appreciate all they do for us and for students,” he said. “This also helps create a connection between PSU, our alumni and the students who end up coming to Pitt State. Also, our hope is this program provides our alumni an incentive to make PSU their first recommendation for their students.” 

Klenke said the plaques will be presented to alumni throughout the region and across the state. 

“I’m very encouraged by how the Legacy Program is being received by our alumni,” he said. “I think it has hit on something meaningful and effective.” 

In addition to Gudde, 14 plaques have been distributed to Matt Ross at Columbus, Shannon Hill at Riverton, Keith Aikin at Frontenac, Ron Almandinger at Northeast, Craig Seibert at Girard, Trevor Maiseroulle, Travis Brumback, Robert Parsons and Bruce Rae at Parsons, Stephan Brumbaugh at Piper High School, Aldo Cilliers at Basehor, and Jim Rockers and Brad Coots at Southeast HS Cherokee. 

Gudde gave the idea two thumbs up. 

“I think it’s a wonderful idea and a neat way to create positive engagement between alumni and the university,” he said. “I, personally, always love having PSU things to hang in my classroom, and this is even better because it has true meaning and purpose.” 

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