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Educators Invest in Marion Tech Students

Mike Stuckey, Dr. McCall, Robb Koons, Thomas White, Dr. Adams, Sue Jacobs
January 29, 2024

Two successful businessmen who also teach at Marion Technical College are creating a new scholarship fund. Thomas White and Robb Koons are investing in Marion Tech’s students.

“This is a personalized experience. Students can open up about their struggles. I love the culture of the academic setting,” said Robb. “We believe in what we are doing as community faculty and in the college.”

“We’ve experienced the doors that open when you have an education. We want to open those doors for others. It’s also investing in our community because many MTC graduates stay local,” Tom said. “It’s a win for everyone.”

“There are financial barriers for our students even with our affordable tuition. These scholarships really help,” said Mike Stuckey, director of the Marion Technical College Foundation.

Thomas White and Robb Koons

Online Opportunities Opened Doors

Both Robb and Tom grew up in Marion and graduated from River Valley High School. White joined the National Guard as a military police officer shortly before Sept. 11. After serving, this veteran served as a civilian police officer for a decade.

Robb began college pursuing a degree in education and paused school to pursue a career in banking.

“I wanted a change, so I went back to school for business,” Robb said. “Now I’m a training and development officer and I love it!

“We both benefitted from online schooling,” Tom said.

Both Tom and Robb took online college classes as part of their bachelor’s degree programs. Robb holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Tom has a bachelor’s degree in organizational development. Both will complete master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in May of this year.  

Mike White, Associate Dean of Technical Programs, said Marion Tech has consistently offered online classes to fit into student’s schedules, as well as some degrees that can be completed fully online.

“When COVID-19 hit, we didn’t have to scramble to move to an online format the way local high schools and some colleges did,” Mike White said. “It’s just another way we work to offer classes in a convenient way to meet students’ needs and schedules. It’s in our mission – to provide personal pathways to success.”

Diversity of Experience in Each Class

Marion Tech students range in age from teenagers to grandparents. The average age is 27. Tom said the mix makes classes interesting as students learn from each other.

“It’s diverse – you see high school students interacting with senior citizens. Teens with no work experience can learn from those of us with decades of work experience. You have to be able to work with people from a variety of ages, interests, and backgrounds, so this prepares them for the workforce,” Tom said.

Tom and Robb love being able to work remotely from Marion as well being able to teach online classes. Tom is a Human Resources Business Partner for the Harbor Freight Corporate Offices. Robb is a Training and Development Officer for FC Bank. Robb also serves on many local boards, including the Marion County Board of Elections, the Marion County Historical Society and the Advisory Board of the Popcorn Festival.

Real-World Professional Experience

Tom and Robb bring their professional experience into Marion Tech classes to keep it current to the latest business trends. Tom brings his coworkers in to answer questions about specialized human resource roles. Robb uses some of the college’s online strategies in his virtual training sessions in his full-time job and vice versa.

Sue Jacobs and Dr. Adams

New Fund Supports Second-Year Business Students

The new Koons-White Scholarship Fund will focus on helping second-year business students in underserved populations get to graduation, as there are more scholarships aimed at first-year students.

“Thank you so much for this donation. It means so much to us and to our students,” said Stuckey.

“This speaks to their belief in our students and their ability to succeed,” said Sue Jacob, a member of the Marion Tech Foundation Board of Directors. “They also know the wonderful return on investment graduates receive with new career paths or promotions.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that it is adding bachelor’s degrees,” Tom added, mentioning the new giving page. Marion Tech was the first community college in Ohio to offer that degree.

Give Now

To make a donation, go to the Marion Tech giving page and designate the Koons-White Scholarship Fund.

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