COLUMBUS – Allen Stenzel was named the Faculty Member of the Year during commencement ceremonies May 4 at Central Community College-Columbus.
The award is given annually to a Columbus Campus faculty member who displays excellence and innovation in teaching; rapport with students; and institutional, professional and community involvement.
Stenzel is not only a mechatronics instructor at CCC-Columbus; but he’s also a Central Community College graduate, earning an associate of applied science degree in industrial technology in 2001.
As a CCC student, he participated in SkillsUSA and competed in mechatronics, winning in both the state and national competitions, which qualified him for the world team competition in Switzerland.
In 2005, he returned to the Columbus Campus as a full-time trainer on a grant project and became a full-time mechatronics instructor in 2008. He also serves as the state coordinator every year for the SkillsUSA state competition.
He recently returned from a Hannover Trade Fair in Germany sponsored by Festo, a multinational company headquartered in Germany and a founding sponsor of the WorldSkills Mechatronics Competitions. Stenzel toured the Festo headquarters, a cutting-edge factory and a local didactic school.
“He is the best teacher I have ever had,” a student nominator said. “He will drop whatever he is doing to help. He is knowledgeable in everything he teaches and gives real-life applications.”
Stenzel not only helps students, he also provides assistant to other faculty members, mentoring new instructors and making himself available to answer questions or help find solutions.
“He does an excellent job,” said a colleague who nominated Stenzel for the award. “The knowledge and skills he teaches his students are essential. He is always current with the rapid changes in his field and passes those changes on to his students.”
“He is a good motivator and role model and leader for students,” another student nominator said. “He doesn’t give you the answers, he makes you learn it the hard way – making us better students.”