And Kettering begins again

Jul 10, 2003

Ah, freshman year! New-found independence, academic challenges -- a fresh start to the real world. That's especially true for the 230 entering students who began their college careers at Kettering during Orientation, July 10-13.

Ah, freshman year! New-found independence, academic challenges -- a fresh start to the real world. That's especially true for the 230 entering students who began their college careers at Kettering during Orientation, July 10-13.

For more on Orientation, go to: this web site

Kettering University opens its 2003-04 academic year Monday, July 14. Faculty and staff welcomed the newcomers, who came to campus sporting a variety of academic and athletic honors, and long lists of hopes and dreams. In the freshmen class are nine valedictorians, six from Michigan, two from Minnesota and one from Ohio. A number of salutatorians and top honor students are also part of the entering class.

"There is no greater reward for our department than to see the excitement ofour incoming class," said Barb Sosin, director of admission. "It's the beginning of a new chapter in their life and an ongoing beginning for Kettering University. Our faculty will get new students to educate, our student organizations will get new students to recruit, our co-op employers will get new students to hire and our campus will buzz with NEW energy," she said.

More than half of the entering freshmen are from Michigan (60 percent or 140 students), with Ohio (25 students), New York (11 students), Illinois (9 students), Texas (6 students), Indiana (5 students), and California and Pennsylvania (4 students each) represented. Some of the other hometowns in Section A are in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. There are two international students and two from Ontario, Canada.


One of the valedictorians that has joined the student ranks is Jason Muxlow, a valedictorian at Brown City High School. "I chose Kettering because of the co-operative education opportunities," Muxlow said. "Eventually I wish to enter the automotive industry as a mechanical engineer." He is co-founder and manager of, an on-line automotive magazine. Muxlow attended the North American International Auto Show Media Days as a registered journalist. He was active in wrestling, track, Quiz Bowl and the National Honor Society.

Among the youth from the Grand Rapids area coming to campus are Princess Braxton-Davis from Central High School and Jonas Calvin from Creston High School. Braxton-Davis earned a 4.0 GPA while a member of the robotics, tennis and bowling teams. She plans to study Mechanical Engineering. Calvin earned a 3.69 GPA while a varsity football player. He was president of the National Honor Society and French Club. He hopes to study computer science or Mechanical Engineering. Both participated in the AIM (Academically Interested Minorities) program at Kettering in the summer of 2002.

Six of the entering freshmen are stars from FIRST, the national robotics competition that inspires youth to explore science and technology careers. The six students were chosen as FIRST scholarship recipients following a competitive process that included writing an essay and being a leader in their high school robotics program. This year's FIRST Scholars are:

  • Ari Lee Greenwald of Beachwood, Ohio. He was a member of the RoboBisons, Team #695 from Beachwood (Ohio) High School.
  • Christopher Hunt of Flint, Mich. He was a member of the Knight Riders, Team #397 from Flint Southwestern Academy.
  • Veronica Clinton of Waterford, Mich. She was a member of the Juggernauts, Team #1 at OSM Tech in Clarkston.
  • Adam Bourgeau of Goodrich, Mich. He was a member of the Goodrich Martians, Team #494 from Goodrich High School, which ended up tied for second in the United States at the national competition in Houston in April.
  • Thomas Shoemaker of Swartz Creek, Mich. He was a member of the Auto City Bandits, Team #70 from Kettering University and the Genesee Area Skill Center. He is a 2003 graduate of Swartz Creek High School. His grandfather Jimmie Sanders Sr. of Mountainview, Ark., graduated from Kettering/GMI in the 1950s.
  • Paul Salmon of Grandville, Mich. He was a member of the RoboDawgs, Team #288 from Grandville High School.

Five of the female freshmen are returning to campus from one of Kettering's summer programs for youth -- AIM, Kamp Kettering, LITE, and 21st Century Woman. They are Molly Hill of Grand Blanc, a graduate of Powers Catholic High School;Karehma Simon and Tanigha Swift of Flint, graduates of Flint Northern High School; and Stephanie Thach and Renisha White of Flint, graduates of Flint Southwestern Academy.

One of the out-of-state students is Robert W. Hamman of Mount Sterling, Ohio. He attended Columbus Academy. As a senior in high school, he worked with the Baha Racing Team at Ohio State University in Columbus. Ohio State test-drives its Baha vehicles on the 3,000-acre Hamman family farm. A "fix it" guy, Hamman is familiar with large farm machinery, has set up an irrigation system and programmed a tractor to be self-propelled.

Other Ohio students headed north are Alex Miller and Dusty Varvel, just like their older brothers did from Ontario, Ohio. Varvel told the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal " & we are legacies, you could say."

Several freshmen told the "Detroit Free Press" they are Ketteringbound in the 11th Annual Michigan Scholar Athletes Guide, published in May.

  • Caledonia's Patrick Spitzley earned the Michigan Merit Award, DECA Merit Award and was a member of the National Honor Society and Captain's Council. He is also a four-year academic letter winner. He is all-conference in track and cross-country and was the track and cross-country captain and cross-country most valuable performer.
  • Detroit Redford's Michael Liggons received the National Association of Black Automotive Suppliers Scholarship and was a member of the National Honor Society and on the honor roll for four years. He was football and baseball team captain.
  • Durand's Kyle Nelson is a Michigan Merit Award recipient and member of the National Honor Society, student government, Boys State and special mention academic all-state and a conference scholar athlete.
  • Marlette's Johnathon Lipka is a member of National Honor Society and four-year academic plaque and pin winner. He received the Algebra Award and was a four-year scholar-athlete and National Student-Athlete Day Award. He was all-conference and all-area in basketball, on the county dream team, football team captain and most valuable player, second-team all conference basketball and won the Gatorade Will to Win Award.
  • Monroe's Tim Sommers won the Kettering Presidential Scholarship, Western Michigan Medallion Scholarship and is a Rhodes Scholar. He was all-region, all-district, all-county and all-league in soccer, team captain, and team most valuable player.
  • Pewamo-Westphalia's Pamela Hafner is a Michigan Merit Award and Academic All-State Citizenship Award recipient, member of the National Honor Society, on the honor roll for four years, and a member of student council. She won technological education, drafting and desktop publishing awards. She was all-district and second-team all-conference in softball, a three-year letter winner, team most improved, second-team all-conference cross-country, two-year letter and state qualifier.

Twins Adam and Ben Koestler of St. Charles, Minn., will be coming to campus and already have their co-op jobs lined up. Both will be working at Polaris in Roseau, Minn.

"These are among the brightest and best students," added Sosin. "Their journey here at Kettering will lead to new opportunities and the preparation for a successful future. We are proud that our history will now live through them!"

Need more information on the opening of the new academic year? Go to:

Can we help? If the Office of Public Relations and Communications can help answer questions, feel free to call us at 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9533.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533