Lori VanGorder of Fond du Lac felt like something was missing from her life. While blessed with a family, the 34-year-old mother of five realized she also wanted a college degree. “I want my children to know that anyone can go to college,” she said. So VanGorder embarked on her pursuit of a Legal Administrative Professional associate degree at Moraine Park Technical College in fall 2006.
VanGorder balances a full plate and her accomplishments are all the more remarkable for it. On top of caring for her family, attending classes and studying, she has served as secretary of the Fond du Lac campus Student Senate and vice president of the Fond du Lac student chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) Business Professionals Club. She took part in a leadership seminar for the Student Senate and assists her fellow students as a tutor and notetaker. All while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average during her first semester at Moraine Park.
It didn’t take long for instructors and staff to realize that this hard-working, outgoing woman exemplified many of the characteristics that are sought after for the Wisconsin Technical College System’s (WTCS) District Student Ambassador. VanGorder was nominated by Barbara Prissel, Moraine Park legal administrative professional instructor, as the 2007-08 Student Ambassador and was recently chosen for the role.
“Lori has been an outstanding student and role model for other students,” said Prissel. “She is the dedicated mother of five children and yet maintains a high grade average and takes her education seriously. She appreciates her education here at Moraine Park and is making the most of it, also getting involved in student activities. Lori is always friendly and helpful to other students and has grown professionally while a student here. She is very deserving of this award.”
“It is a great honor to be named District Student Ambassador!” said VanGorder. “I am extremely proud that I was chosen to represent Moraine Park Technical College.” She looks forward to promoting Moraine Park to others.
VanGorder participated in the statewide recognition event in Madison April 4-5, where she met other ambassadors from around the state. She will begin her term as Moraine Park's ambassador with the start of the
2007-08 academic year.
The WTCS District Student Ambassador Award program identifies outstanding students in the vocational-technical system, with nominations solicited from faculty and staff each year. A committee of college administrators and community leaders select the ambassador based on the College’s core abilities – work productively, learn effectively, communicate clearly, work cooperatively, act responsibly, value self positively, and think critically and creatively. The core abilities are defined by Moraine Park as transferable skills, knowledge and/or attitudes essential to an individual’s success regardless of occupation or community setting. The chosen ambassador represents the College at numerous events throughout the year and serves on the College Planning and Leadership Team as the student representative. Students from each of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges are also honored at the state level.
Other Moraine Park nominees for the 2007-08 Student Ambassador were Lisa Taylor, Instructional Assistant program, and Raelene Nauer, Administrative Assistant program, of Beaver Dam; Amy Lapine, Graphic Communications – Electronic Pre-Press program, of Fond du Lac; Enid Goodall, Nursing program, of West Bend; Carla Dreher of Kewaskum; and Ann Radtke, Graphic Communications – Electronic Pre-Press program, of Cascade. The current District Student Ambassador for 2006-07 is Jan Chilson, Medical Assistant program, of Kewaskum.
On choosing Moraine Park to make her dream a reality, VanGorder said, “You will learn hands-on skills that are necessary in today’s workforce. The instructors are caring and committed and also provide personal attention. Also, there are many financial aid opportunities, making college possible for those who thought it was out of reach. I believe in Moraine Park and by believing I will reach my goal – a college degree!”
For more information about Moraine Park, visit www.morainepark.edu.