May 20, 2021

VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University has extraordinary students who work hard to distinguish themselves in the classroom and in their service to others. Luke Lehe, Angel Mikusak, Brandy Ortiz, and Jon Sacchini are VU students with stellar academic careers, exceptional career prospects, and a committed dedication to service. The Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet has selected them as recipients of Career and Technical Education Awards for Excellence.

Lehe (West Lafayette, Hotel and Motel Management); Mikusak (Linton, Agribusiness); Ortiz (Jasper, Nursing); and Sacchini (Fishers, Aviation Flight Technology) received their awards during a ceremony at the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis on May 12.

Students were selected to receive the prestigious award based on scholarship, character, leadership, and career/technical skill proficiency.

"Congratulations to the Awards for Excellence winners for their well-deserved honors,” VU Provost Dr. Laura Treanor said. "These exemplary award winners are outstanding representatives of Vincennes University, and they inspire all of us.”

Watch 2021 CTE Awards for Excellence ceremony:

 

According to Executive Director of the Governor's Workforce Cabinet PJ McGrew said, "Career and technical education is a vital part of Indiana’s talent development system and provides students opportunities to gain the skills necessary for in-demand, high-wage careers. The Awards for Excellence program allows us to recognize the dedicated efforts of students, instructors, employer partners, and counselors that make possible high-quality CTE programs across our state.” 

The Awards for Excellence program highlights the outstanding achievements of CTE students, partners, and programs throughout the state of Indiana that exemplify the ideal qualities of CTE. Award recipients are exceptional individuals who have contributed to the success of CTE through the quality of their work and their involvement in the CTE community.

"Career and Technical Education is a phenomenal pathway that provides students with the skills they need to succeed not only in academics but also in their careers and lives," Treanor said. "It also helps to build an important talent pipeline for Indiana that addresses specific workforce needs."

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE RECIPIENTS

Luke Lehe, West Lafayette, Hotel and Motel Management

Lehe is described as positively the BEST student in the Hotel and Motel Management Program. He is driven and has a 3.97-grade point average. The program offers several courses that end with an option for a student to complete a national exam to receive certification in special areas. During Fall Semester 2020, he earned five national certifications, becoming the only student to achieve this. He impressed others with the over and beyond work that he produces for every assignment, quiz, test, or project. He keeps his classmates motivated. He is apt to send his classmates reminders. He also tutors others in the program, including helping them study culinary math. According to one of his instructors, it is just his nature to assist his fellow students. Whether it is helping teammates or customers, or supervisors, he is all about stepping up to do what is needed to make their day better. His volunteer work includes cooking meals for the less fortunate individuals. Lehe hopes to continue his education and pursue a bachelor’s degree at Purdue University within its Hospitality and Tourism Management program.

Angel Mikusak, Linton, Agribusiness

Mikusak is a standout in her Agribusiness classes. She is regarded as a shining example to others. She returned to college to finish a degree started in 1995 and is the owner of Glory Hill Family Farm. She earned a 3.7-grade point average during her first semester back in school before raising it to 3.93. She is described as that rare student always looking to help others in her classes as well as a caring individual who truly lives up to her first name. When she was leaving her job with Claim Aid and Family and Social Services Administration, she met a man in a hospital emergency room with double pneumonia who was without insurance or money. She located a homeless shelter for him, purchased clothes with her own money, and provided him with food and gas money. Shortly after, he notified her the homeless shelter was closing. Later that day, he was taken to the hospital and was not admitted. He was outside in a hospital gown and socks when she picked him up and took him home with her. She helped get him an apartment, but sadly, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was at his side several months later when he passed away. She is very involved in her community. She started the first community-supported agriculture program in her area and created a free Community Farm Day. She serves as the president of Indiana Master Naturalist and is a member of Indiana Beekeepers of Indiana, Southern Indiana Beekeepers, Greene County Republicans, and the Greene County Election polls. She has secured a job with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) as a Farm Program Technician upon graduation. She plans to continue her education at Indiana University to earn a bachelor’s degree. Mikusak also plans to expand and improve her farm to a more sustainable operation.

Brandy Ortiz, Jasper, Nursing


 

Ortiz is a student leader on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus and has demonstrated a strong academic performance by earning a 4.0-grade point average, while also working two jobs. She is a first-generation student and a 21st Century Scholar. Nervous to be the first in her family to attend college, she has impressed others with her diligence and passion to study nursing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has helped students stay engaged with campus life by developing informative and creative videos that were much needed during an unprecedented time. She welcomes new students to campus and helps generate ideas for student events. She is described as patient, dependable, organized, trustworthy, a good leader, and a light of positive energy.  She has a zeal for helping people in all ways possible, according to one of her instructors. She also possesses a passion for nursing and is CPR certified. Ortiz is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish. She is serving the community as a translator. She wants to help patients especially, those who only speak Spanish.

Jon Sacchini, Fishers, Aviation Flight Technology

Sacchini is described as a safe and proficient pilot who has showcased his ability to meet and exceed industry standards set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by passing oral and practical exams administered by Designated Pilot Examiners. His accomplishments are a testament to his desire to obtain advanced technical skills and industry certifications. He distinguished himself among his peers by completing a course in the top 10 percent of the class despite the unexpected transition to remote learning midway through the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He possesses a history of professional and personal accomplishments. His history of public service dates back over two decades to include Officer Candidate School, deployments to Iraq with the Army National Guard, and tenures with the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also exhibited post-secondary excellence, having already earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from DePauw University. After graduation, he will be a Certified Flight Instructor that utilizes his educational background as he logs flight experiences and gainful employment. One of his instructors says he exhibits personal attributes that will enable him to be a contributing leader in tomorrow’s future. Sacchini plans to become a Pilot in Command for the Department of Justice and serve as a Department of Justice Instructor to help develop new co-pilots.

For a full list of winners, go to: https://www.in.gov/gwc/files/AFE-Press-Release_5.14.21.pdf

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Author:

Marcia Martinez

Date: