VU students, staff receive Indiana Awards for Excellence

VU students, staff receive Indiana Awards for Excellence

Dr. Candace Joles accepting Award for Excellence on behalf of COPE SSS

May 19, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – Vincennes University students Karlie Pummel and Luke Schirmer, in addition to VU's Collaborative Opportunities for Postsecondary Education (COPE) Student Support Services received Awards for Excellence from the Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.

The Indiana Career and Technical Educational (CTE) Awards for Excellence highlight the extraordinary achievements of students, partners, and programs in 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.

"Congratulations to each of the award winners," VU Provost Dr. Laura Treanor said. "Career and Technical Education is a thriving pathway that provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to fulfill their educational and career goals, and it also builds an important pipeline of qualified candidates for the Indiana workforce. VU is proud of these award winners and celebrates their outstanding accomplishments and hard work!"

Pummel (Technology, Business Management and Leadership) of Vincennes, Indiana, and Schirmer (Precision Machining Technology) of Lizton, Indiana, were among three postsecondary students honored with Awards for Excellence. 

COPE SSS was honored with an Award for Excellence for Postsecondary Counseling for its focus on helping students achieve their goals from orientation to graduation day.

The awards were presented during a ceremony in Indianapolis on May 10.

"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," Governor’s Workforce Cabinet State Director of Career and Technical Education Tony Harl said in a press release. "The Awards for Excellence program provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on students excelling in CTE and the instructors, employer partners, counselors and others who make these experiences possible."

Pummel and Schirmer were selected as recipients of Awards for Excellence based on their scholarship, character, leadership, and career/technical skill proficiency.

Karlie Pummel

A wonderful role model is how one VU professor describes Pummel. She created a video used to teach elementary school students how to code. Pummel was awarded the College of Business Model the Way Award in 2019. She participated in the Business Club and was part of the College of Business and Public Service Student Advisory Committee. She earned her second VU degree in April and made the dean’s list many times during her college career. Pummel completed a bachelor’s degree in Technology, Business Management and Leadership and was a student speaker at the Spring 2022 Commencement ceremony. She obtained an associate degree in Business Management and graduated cum laude in December 2019. Pummel’s plans include pursuing a master's in Business Administration. She hopes to work internationally in a management position.

Luke Schirmer, center, at Awards for Excellence ceremony

Schirmer stood out in VU classrooms and labs because of his dedicated work ethic, excellent attitude, strong leadership abilities, and proficient technical and mechanical skills. He frequently stepped up as a leader by helping other students navigate and troubleshoot coursework, particularly machining exercises. In April, Schirmer earned a Precision Machining Technology associate degree and graduated magna cum laude from VU. Schirmer will soon begin a second VU associate degree in Advanced CNC Machining and Programming Technology. He also plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Advanced Manufacturing at VU. His aspirations include a career in the manufacturing industry.

COPE SSS Director Dr. Candace Joles, center, at Awards for Excellence ceremony

COPE SSS empowers students with diverse abilities or who are the first in their family to attend college or who meet particular income guidelines with the resources and support they need to achieve a degree. The program’s goals, services, and subsequent outcomes demonstrate its direct positive impact on students entering the workforce. COPE SSS students have access to many services, including academic support, advising assistance, personal counseling, tutoring, mentoring, career counseling, financial literacy, and financial aid assistance with scholarships.

"It is a great honor to be recognized for our program,” COPE SSS Director Dr. Candace Joles said. "This recognition shows COPE's commitment to providing a welcoming learning environment for students to study and socialize with other students. The dedicated COPE SSS staff are the backbone of the success of the program, as well as the research-based strategies that we utilize. The staff works tirelessly to provide coaching and mentoring to our students throughout the year, as well as facilitating workshops, advising the Triple S Club, and many other services. Our team effort supports COPE's high retention and graduation rates."

See full list of award recipients