Clark State to host presidential awards banquet

The event supports college scholarships and recognizes distinguished honorees.

Clark State College will host its presidential awards banquet to support student scholarships and recognize award honorees.

The banquet will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center.

“These awards are the highest honor bestowed upon individuals by our College Board of Trustees and our president,” said Toni Overholser, vice president of advancement. “I’m always so inspired by the recipients, and this year’s awardees are no exception. We are honored to celebrate their contributions to the community while raising funds to help our current students.”

The Clark State Foundation supports individuals and the community by engaging donors to remove financial barriers and increase college success through educational and cultural programs. Scholarships are awarded for financial need, academic performance or a specific program of study to both full-time and part-time students.

During the banquet, the college will also celebrate Jo Alice Blondin’s 10th anniversary as Clark State president, with a presentation to “recognize her contributions and leadership and the positive impact she’s made not only to Clark State, but to the communities and businesses in the college’s service areas.”

The 2023 president award honorees include:

Emerging Leader Award to Jordan Tyler, project coordinator at JobsOhio. This award is presented to an alumnus, under the age of 40, who has attained a high level of professional achievement and provided service to their community.

“This award is a testament not to my success, but to the success of what Clark State can offer students not only in the classroom, but way beyond that in their career,” Tyler said. “Clark State has been monumental in my journey of showing me the value of a well-rounded education through classroom principles with real-world application.”

Richard O. Brinkman Award to the Springfield Foundation. This award is presented to an individual, business or group that has contributed significantly to the college be increasing the visibility of the college and its services locally, regionally and nationally; providing significant resources to the college to grow programs, facilities and services; and impacting student success in the present and sustaining that impact in the future.

The Springfield Foundation has supported scholarships, workforce development, youth programming and capital projects at the college, with gifts supporting the creation of State-Tested Nurse’s Assistant labs in the Applied Science building and scholarships totaling more than $200,000.

“The Springfield Foundation and our donors recognize that Clark State provides educational opportunities some students would otherwise not be able to access and provides the flexibility and support they need to further their education,” said Susan Carey, executive director of the Springfield Foundation. “Clark State partners with the Springfield Foundation and other community stakeholders to provide opportunities for students and plays a crucial role in workforce development, technical and vocational training, and human capital formation for Clark County and the region.”

Distinguished Alumnus Award to Manuel Lopez Ramirez, commissioner/chairperson at Ohio Commission Latino Affairs at the State of Ohio and Global Operations Analyst at LexisNexis. This award is presented to an individual who has attained a high level of professional achievement and provided outstanding service to their community.

“Clark State was essential to beginning my professional career and also with my life in the United States,” Lopez Ramirez said. “After living in the Springfield community for over 20 years, I have met great people and organizations which the sole purpose is to help those in need. It is my hope that this award serves others as a testimony that if you put the effort, focus and determination you will be able to accomplish your goals.”

The banquet will begin with a social gathering at 5:30 p.m., and a dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with the program to follow.

Tickets are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets online, visit, or contact Christa Bostick at 937-328-6009 or The deadline to RSVP is Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The event was created in 2019 to honor the recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus, Emerging Leader and Richard O. Brinkman awards, and raise funds for student scholarships. The foundation awards $300,000 per year in scholarships to hundreds of students.

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