Wayne County native Hank Hubler has already achieved much success in his young life of 20 years.
With support from his parents, who provided a rewarding home school experience and encouraged him in his desire to pursue his education, Hank began his college experience with the KCTCS Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding program, which offers a waiver of tuition for high school students enrolled in certain technical college programs.
After an initial meeting with Linda Bourne, Associate Dean of Extended Programs at Somerset Community College, he was assigned to an advisor, Eric Wooldridge, Associate Professor of Mechanical & Architectural Engineer.
“Eric was a great advisor,” he said, “He helped me set up a class schedule that not only allowed me to complete my high-school degree requirements, but also prepared me for my future college education.”
There were other SCC professors who touched Hank’s life and were impressed by his drive, including Cecilia Ramilo, his chemistry instructor. "Hank embodies the kind of student that all educators will appreciate. He is very intelligent, conscientious, and, a great team leader. He was always at the top of his class and was very effective in sharing his knowledge to his classmates. He knows what he wants in life and does everything the best he can".
Upon completing his SCC associate in science degree, Hank decided to pursue a bachelor’s and transferred to the University of Kentucky Mechanical Engineering program as a junior this past fall.
During this time, he was recommended by Wooldridge for the Paladin Building Sciences Scholarship, and later won the award. This scholarship provides $5,000 annually ($2,500 per semester) to a community college student who is transferring to a four-year institution within the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the field of the building sciences, i.e. architecture or engineering (mechanical, civil, structural and electrical).
“I am very proud of him and have full confidence that the scholarship committee made an excellent choice”, said Wooldridge. “The SEEK program and SCC's pre-engineering option provides such an opportunity for young leaders like Hank, and having followed the same route toward my engineering degree, I feel blessed to play a part in their education."
Not one to let any opportunity slip through his fingers, and with his scholarly excellence, Hank continued to achieve accolades while attending SCC. He was inducted into two honor societies, Phi Theta Kappa and Mu Alpha Theta. As a Phi Theta Kappa member, he had the opportunity to attend the Regional Convention in Cincinnati and the National Convention in Seattle. “Seattle was amazing and so was the convention,” he said. “One of the guest speakers was Buzz Aldrin, one of the astronauts that landed on the moon. It was truly an honor to be there.”
There were multiple scholarships Hank received as a result from his SCC experience, one of which was the UK Trustees scholarship which pays the difference in tuition cost between SCC and UK for a transfer student.
Hank attributes much of his success to his family. “My family was the biggest thing I had pushing me to succeed. Both my parents have always supported my decision to complete college and have always been there to encourage me and push me to be better.” In fact, Hank’s sister Brandi, is currently a SEEK student participating in SCC’s Culinary Arts program.
No doubt Hank will continue to excel as he plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and move on to a career in the auto industry. So far there are no plans to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D., but as he said, “Who knows what the future will hold.”
Hank Hubler shown above with a class project from last semester at University of Kentucky with which his team took first place.
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