Woman of the Year Awards 2008

Jan 9, 2009

Two outstanding young women have been chosen as Woman of the Year-2008 for A and B Sections at Kettering University.

Two young women have been chosen Woman of the Year for 2008 at Kettering University. Claire Utrecht, a Mec hanical Engineering major from Cincinnati and Troy, Ohio, was chosen Woman of the Year for A-Section, and Kelly Okapal, a Business Administration major from Sylvania, Ohio, was chosen Woman of the Year for B-Section. Both women, two finalists and four honorable mentions were honored at a banquet in November. 

The two finalists for the award were Ann Call, an Applied Physics major from La Crosse, Wis., and Lindsey Scheer, an Electrical Engineering major from Northville, Mich.

Receiving honorable mention were, Sarah McIntosh, an Applied Mathematics major fromGary,Ind.; Kate Oyster, an Industrial Engineering major from Shepherd, Mich.; Tevita Skeine, an Industrial Engineering major from Kingston, Jamaica; and Amber Trickett, a Mechanical Engineering major from Howell, Mich.

Kettering University, in Flint, is one of the country’s premier cooperative education universities whose student body rotates three-month academic terms with three-month cooperative educations terms. A and B Sections refer to which academic section students belong.

The Woman of the Year award atKetteringUniversityrecognizes senior female students who have made a difference during their college tenure. Academic achievement is only 20 percent of a rating system that includes service, dedication, mentoring, role modeling and leadership.

Nominees must be individuals recognized by students, faculty and staff as someone who “gets things done,” and is involved in service on campus, at their place of employment and in their home communities.

The A and B Section Women of the Year:

Claire Susan Utrecht, A-Section Woman of the Year, is the daughter of James Utrecht of Troy, Ohio, and Karen Utrecht of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a Mechanical Engineering major and her co-op employer is Emerson Climate Technologies in Sidney,Ohio.

Utrecht founded the Kettering Community Service Council to coordinate student volunteer opportunities/efforts on campus. In addition, she is a member of Engineers Without Borders-A Section, serving as president in 2007-08 and Administrator and Mexico Project team member; Alpha Phi sorority, serving as vice president of recruitment, Panhellenic delegate, Alumni Relations chair and director of Recruitment; Panhellenic Council, serving as president in 2007-08 and as an administrator in 2006-07. She also served as a Freshman Orientation student teacher, as Philanthropy chair for Operations Council in Kettering Students Government, and a member of the Associate Provost’s Student Advisory Council.

Her awards, scholarships and honors societies include: nomination for Greek Woman of the Year, Flint Journal Student of the Week, Robot Honor Society, Order of Omega-Greek Leadership Honors Society, Rho Lamda-Panhellenic Leadership and Academic Honors Society, Gamma Sigma Alpha-Greek Academic Honors Society, Phi Eta Sigma-Freshman Academic Honors Society, Hans and Gertrude Matthias Scholarship and Jack Hartzell Memorial Scholarship.

Kelly L. Okapal, B-Section Woman of the Year, is the daughter of James and Kim Okapal of Sylvania,Ohio. She is majoring in Business Administration and her co-op employer is Bendix CVS LLC in Elyria, Ohio.

Okapal is a member of the Student Ambassadors, serves as a Residence Hall adviser,CampCOMPASSadviser and Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) pre-college program adviser. She has also served as a student recruiter for Admissions and Marketing, a campus tour guide, Recreation Center Lifeguard. She is a member of the Cliffhangers Club, serving as treasurer, secretary and Public Relations director; Panhellenic Council, serving as Recruitment chair, Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, serving as Public Relations chair, scholarship chair and adviser chair; and Muse Literary Magazine, serving as co-editor. In addition, she has volunteered off-campus as the Flint Club’s Penn Pal mentor, for the Bendix United Way campaign; and for a local senior center.

Okapal’s awards, scholarships and professional societies include: achieving the Dean’s List every term, receiving the Robot’s Key Award, spending a semester studying abroad at Reutlingen University in Reutlingen, Germany, Phi Eta Sigma-Freshman Academic Honors Society, Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honors Society, Sigma Phi Iota-extracurricular activities Honors Society, Kappa Mu Epsilon (KME) National Mathematics Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Alpha-Greek Academic Honors Society. Additionally she received the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, Kettering Endowed Scholarship, Kettering University Grant, Kettering Presidential Scholarship, Kettering University Scholarship, LITE Mentor Scholarship, Oswald International Student Fellowship Scholarship, Ronald G. Greenwood Scholarship, Mary Walker Scholarship and the ASA Hilda Anna Giraud Endowed Founder’s Memorial Scholarship.

Located in Flint, Mich., Kettering University is the country’s most modern professional co-op program, providing 2,200 students with career-based education in engineering, applied sciences, mathematics, and business management. Founded in 1919, the University also offers graduate programs in engineering and manufacturing management.  Kettering University is ranked among the nation’s finest specialty schools by U.S. News and World Report. For further information, visit www.kettering.edu.

Written by Dawn Hibbard