January 14, 2016
LEWISTON, Idaho – The first off-campus LC Work Scholar, Andy Gehring demonstrates a conscientious attitude that has paved the way for immediate growth both for himself and the Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) Work Scholars program. A second year student in the diesel technology program, Gehring works as a diesel mechanic at Summit Utility Contractors, a local utilities company specializing in electrical lines, fiber optics and cables.
Gehring’s interest in diesel technology has practical roots grounded on the family ranch in Keuterville, ID, “I’ve always wanted to help out on the farm somehow. My dad always takes machines to the shop to get worked on. If I know how to work on them, then I can save us a lot of money."
Both Professor Bill Frei and Andy Duclos, Gehring’s Summit Utilities site supervisor, boast of Gehring’s conscientious attitude toward work. Duclos notes his meticulous efforts when, “inspecting the equipment and making sure there isn’t just one thing wrong with a truck. When a truck comes in with a light out, he might notice something else that needs attention.” Gehring says he enjoys the challenge and problem solving involved: “You’re looking at a big truck, and a light might be out, but it might not be the light. If it’s not the light, then maybe you check the fuse. If that’s good, then you would have to go into wiring… There’s just a lot of stuff that it could be.”
As Gehring reflects on LC Work Scholars he says, “It’s a great opportunity for people who don’t think they can afford school… [it is an opportunity] for them to get a better education.” Gehring chose LCSC to stay close to his family and benefit from the individualized attention offered. “There are fewer people [in each class], so you can interact with your teacher more. I feel like you should be able to socialize with your teachers,” Gehring explains. This value continues to pay him great dividends. Prof. Frei has been especially influential to Gehring’s growth, encouraging him, “to keep going through this career and find the best job, the one that I like.”
“I would trust [Gehring] to work on things that I just wouldn’t trust other people to work on. He thinks through the process.”
Gehring’s hard work in the classroom has not gone unnoticed by his mentor, Frei. Speaking fondly of Gehring’s dedication and abilities Frei said, “I would trust [Gehring] to work on things that I just wouldn’t trust other people to work on. He thinks through the process.”
Gehring, Secretary for the LCSC Diesel Club, will be the representing LCSC at the Professional-Technical Student Day at the Legislature, in Boise, January 20, 2016. While there, Gehring will have the chance to listen to and speak with Idaho lawmakers who influence the state’s education policies.
In the future, Gehring looks forward to returning to the family farm, but not before gaining more experience in the shop. Gehring hopes to complete two additional Technical degrees in Auto Mechanics Technology and Welding Technology. In part this is because Gehring wants to gain all of the experience he can so he can fix his family’s farming equipment, and because he looks forward to owning his own shop close to the farm. “There aren’t many shops up there (on the Camas Prairie).” And just like he enjoys the company of his instructors, Gehring values familiar businesses, “I think it’ll be better to work for people you know."
Gehring’s success off campus has paved the way for two more off-campus positions starting in the spring semester, 2016. For more information on LC Work Scholars, please contact LC Work Scholars Coordinator Erin Cassetto at (208) 792-2084 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be found on the Work Scholars information page.
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