Welcome 2005 freshmen

Jul 8, 2005

More than 200 freshmen arrived July 7, with 7 percent being valedictorians or salutatorians of their graduating class.

The lawns are groomed, floors are polished, and bookshelves all dusted as more than 200 new Section A students hit campus Thursday, July 7, for Orientation to open the 2005-2006 academic year at Kettering University. The second half of the freshmen class (Section B) will arrive in October.

Many of the incoming freshmen represent the finest students in their high schools. A total of 6.5 percent of the incoming freshmen were either the valedictorians or salutatorians of their class. Twenty-seven states are represented in the entering class, plus the Bahamas.

Freshmen #s at a glance
Section A: 200
Valedictorians: 10 (5 percent of the freshman class)
Salutatorians: 3 (1.5 percent of the freshman class)

Where are they from?
Michigan, 65 percent
Ohio, 8 percent
Indiana, 3 percent
Bahamas, 2 percent
New York, 2 percent
Illinois, 1,5 percent
Arizona, 1.5 percent
Iowa, 1.5 percent
Nebraska, 1.5 percent
Wisconsin, 1.5 percent
California, 1 percent
Texas, 1 percent

The new school year begins with two special events - Orientation and the first day of school! Orientation: Thursday, July 7 - Sunday, July 10; Move-in at Thompson residence hall begins July 7.

Click on this link for more on Orientation

2005-06 Academic Year: Monday, July 11
Classes begin Monday, July 11, giving faculty and staff a chance to say hello to familiar faces and Kettering's newcomers.

"Colleges and universities across the country compete for the brightest and best," said Barbara Sosin, director of Admissions. "These students could have gone anywhere but they chose Kettering University! I couldn't be more proud of the quality of this incoming class."

Sosin said the incoming freshman class speaks volumes about Kettering's reputation, quality of education and world renowned co-op program. "Today they may just be 'our freshmen' but I can assure you that in the future they will be 'our top leaders' in business and industry," she added.


It's a family affair for Lee Ridenour of St. Johns. His sister, Gayle Ridenour Frisbie '03, and her husband, Derek Frisbie '03, are alumni from Kettering and encouraged him to check out the academic excellence on campus. Lee is a graduate of St. Johns High School and will study Mechanical Engineering.

The top graduate of East Jackson High School in Michigan, Michelle Mitchell was named to the All-Area Academic Team by the Jackson Citizen Patriot in May. She returns to campus having successfully completed Kettering's LITE (Lives Improve Through Engineering) program last summer. Her extensive accomplishments include Academic Games, Quizbusters, Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, and Michigan's Rotary Advanced Leadership Camp. She was treasurer of her senior class.

Salutatorian Michael Kernstock, who graduated with high honors from Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, Mich., will study Mechanical Engineering. He has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, taught vacation Bible school and served as an instrumentalist at his church. His extracurricular activities included woodwind quintet along with track and field and cross country.

Coming to Kettering is part of the American dream for Willy Joseph of Orlando, Fla. He became familiar with Kettering last year when he graduated from Kettering's AIM (Academically Interested Minorities) program. The Orlando Sentinel reported on Willy's hopes to become an engineer in a story called "Grasping the Brass Ring." The story told about his move from the Bahamas to the U.S. and his award-winning achievements at Jones High School, including serving as a math tutor for other promising students. After the newspaper story spelled out that Willy had the dreams, grades and drive to become an engineer, but lacked the money, donors came forward to fund Willy's studies. Willy has arrived at Kettering and is serving as a mentor for this year's AIM students.

Tim Baibak of Howell will study Computer Science. He is one of Howell High School's top graduates in 2005, and was active in Quiz Bowl, We The People and varsity tennis.

The 2005 Class of KETTERING FIRST SCHOLARS continues to honor the international effort that uses robotics to showcase career opportunities in science and engineering. FIRST is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The 2005 FIRST Scholars are:


  • Kelly Christensen of Lambertville,
  • Brendan Hathaway of Rochester,
  • Katy Levinson of Olympia, Wash.,
  • Tyler Nicely of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
  • Albert Nowakowski of Toledo, Ohio,
  • Mason Sarver of Grand Blanc,
  • Lindsey Scheer of Northville,
  • Andrew Schenk of Rochester Hills, and 
  • Austin Duggan of Ortonville (whose family tree at Kettering includes his brother and 2004 FIRST Scholar Bryan Duggan; their father, Brad '81, Brad's sisters, Paula Degeneffe '80 and Cheryl Reichert '83, and Cheryl's husband, Fred Reichert '83).

One of the top grads in Ubly this year is Meghan Kubacki, who will study Mechanical Engineering. A noted scholar-athlete in her school district, she was part of the girl's softball team that won the district championship in 2004. She is a graduate of Ubly High School.

Also from Michigan's "Thumb" Area comes Lee Hutchinson of Cass City. He will study Mechanical Engineering.

Co-Valedictorian Katherine (Kate) Lee joins the freshmen class from Tecumseh High School, in the southern part of Michigan. Graduating with more than a 4.0 grade point average, she received an academic letter along with Student of the Month awards and has been on the honor roll through out her high school career. She also received many departmental awards during high school. A scholar-athlete, her activities included National Honor Society, marching band, pep band, Equations Team, Quiz Bowl, Tecumseh Youth Theatre Orchestra Pit member, Lenawee County Honors Band and the Brass Quintet. She participated in varsity lacrosse for four years and was named captain this year with an all-state honorable mention for two years. She was also a member of the Tecumseh Equestrians 4-H Club. She will study Engineering.

Flint's Urban League honored these entering freshmen during ceremonies in May:


  • Amari Myles, Flint Central High School,
  • Ashley Stroy, Flint Central High School,
  • Elisha Moore, International Academy of Flint,
  • Crystal Marie Simpson, International Academy of Flint
  • and Sharita J. Comb, Flint Southwestern High School.

Aaron Selis of Potterville will study Engineering. An honors grad from New Covenant Christian School in the Lansing, Mich., area, this Eagle Scout was active in student council, National Honor Roll, music and he enjoys repairing cars and small engines.

From Ohio, comes Casey Cramer. A graduate of New London High School in New London, Ohio, she comes to Kettering with an established record of both academic excellence and service.

James Koch of Flushing will study Mechanical Engineering. One of the "Top Ten" at Flushing High School, he received the Scholar Athlete Award for Soccer and Tennis, the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and was a member ofthe National Honor Society.

Among the top graduates of Corunna High School is Andrew Oginsky, who will study Mechanical Engineering. This National Honor Society member was active in football, baseball, wrestling and the Captain's Club.

Nathan Kretzschmer, one of the honors graduates of Charlotte High School, will study Engineering. He was active in National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, LAMP, Destination Imagination, Quiz Bowl, bowling and he was president of Leo's Club.

Detroit Urban Lutheran High School Salutatorian Quintin Buffington was on the honor roll his entire senior year. He will study Computer Engineering.

Need more information on the opening of the new academic year?

Academic Calendar

Academic Services

Campus Bookstore

Library Services

Students and Organizations

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 or ext 9770.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533