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STC Instructor Ryan Klatt Awarded
Ryan Klatt, Commercial Turf and Grounds Management (CTG) department chair at State Technical College of Missouri (STC), was selected by a committee of his colleagues to receive the 2010 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“I was really surprised,” said Klatt. “I was kind of speechless, which is a real feat.”
Klatt has been with the college for nine years.
According to statements made by his colleagues in the nomination form, “Klatt works diligently to provide the commercial turf and grounds industries of Missouri and beyond with skillful and knowledgeable employees.”
“Klatt recognized early in his role as chair the industry need for more specialized skills in maintaining golf courses and athletic facilities,” commented one of Klatt’s colleagues.
Klatt and his fellow CTG instructor, Nick Rackers, developed an on-campus golf practice facility and outdoor laboratory that includes a variety of grasses and a computerized irrigation system. The outdoor lab presents real world opportunities for student learning and problem solving.
“I am most proud of what we have accomplished on the campus grounds,” commented Klatt. “Building the golf hole, expanding the landscape of the campus and making the grounds look respectable on a modest budget is a great accomplishment.”
The outdoor lab now includes the entire STC campus and airport. The students gain valuable hands-on experience and the college benefits from reduced landscaping labor costs. Material costs are also reduced as students learn to propagate plants in the CTG greenhouse that are then used in the campus landscape.
“Ryan not only has worked internally to make the program good, he has also worked personally with students through the local chapter of Postsecondary Agriculture Students Organization and has demonstrated outstanding relationships with business and industry representation,” said Dr. Donald Claycomb, STC President.
After graduating from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy, Klatt worked 13 years at the Jefferson City Country Club (JCCC).
“It was at JCCC where my interest in golf course management started,” stated Klatt.
Becoming an instructor was a natural progression for Klatt. While working at the country club, he became involved in training new employees and summer help. “I enjoyed training people and always enjoyed seeing people succeed.”
“Ryan is an innovative instructor who consistently considers the best interests of his students,” commented Vicki Schwinke, STC Dean of Academic and Student Affairs.
“I like working with the students and seeing how they apply their education to a full-time career,” said Klatt.
Klatt and Rackers enjoy knowing where former students are working and keeping up with their professional successes.
Klatt admits the best way for he and Rackers to stay in touch with former students is through Facebook. “Nick and I have a policy that we will only allow students that graduate to be our Facebook friends,” said Klatt.
With more than 25 programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission. STC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City. STC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.
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