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Outstanding Faculty Advisor for a Vocational School Award ‘validation’ for winning OSU & CSCC BattChallenge team

Educators spend their lives planting seeds and nurturing their seedlings. Ian Andrews and Steve Levin, vocational faculty advisors for The Ohio State University & Columbus State Community College Battery Workforce Challenge team, do just that with their automotive students.

The two were recently honored with the BattChallenge Year One Competition Outstanding Faculty Advisor for a Vocational School Award, validating all of knowledge they instill in their students.

Andrews and Levin are both vocational faculty advisors for the OSU & CSCC BattChallenge team and they both teach at CSCC’s Automotive Technology program as an associate professor and coordinator/instructor, respectively. Let’s check out their secret recipe for success as Andrews lays it all out in a fun Q&A.

Ian Andrews


Q: What does earning this award mean to you and the OSU & Columbus State team?
“In short . . . validation. The student team has been working very hard to ensure they meet/exceed the deliverables and all of the awards the OSU & CSCC team has earned in year one highlight the culmination of this work.

“In addition, I am also hoping our involvement in the BattChallenge will enhance the visibility of our automotive program in a broader sense. The automotive industry as a whole doesn’t get enough credit. And in some cases, we are still fighting a negative public perception as it relates to the service side of the industry. Many still view service work in the dealership as a dirty, greasy, grimy job that only those who couldn’t do anything else or earn a four-year degree would pick.

“Contrary to this common opinion, modern vehicles are becoming very complicated to service, and most don’t realize it takes a good intellect, skill set and acumen to repair them at a high level. Anyone who can do that could also achieve great things in this industry; it’s just not always easy to visualize those outcomes.

“Hopefully, our involvement in this competition will earn Stelantis, ANL, OSU, CSCC, and the whole industry some positive recognition and accolades. I see this competition and these awards slowly changing the public perception and helping our students see all the opportunities the automotive industry has to offer.”

Q: You’re being recognized for your dedication to your students, helping them drive to succeed in this competition. What is your passion behind your dedication to these students?
“Hard to say on this one, as it is all part of the teaching experience. Most of this technology is so new that we are all learning about it at the same time. My passion is their passion and the other way around.

“Generally speaking, treat the students with respect and offer positive reinforcement to encourage them in the right moments. Offer what knowledge you can when you can and help them fill in the gaps. Some of the best lessons are taught through failure, and although it doesn’t feel good, negative reinforcement in the right situation can teach you something that won’t be easily forgotten.”

Q: How do you hope vocational schools’ involvement in the BattChallenge will make an impact on the future of the EV battery workforce?
“Largely, I think the buzz around electrified vehicles has been heavily focused on the research and development of all the propulsion and battery systems. In the vocational education sector, we have been left out of these conversations only to navigate the service nuances after the fact. This is a huge oversight, as we have the most experience with the end-users of these products. Any engineer should be envious of the first-hand knowledge and feedback service technicians gather each day.

“I am hoping that our involvement in BattChallenge will help demonstrate the realities of EV service so that our students and other technicians in this industry will be viewed as valued professionals and enjoy some of the spotlight alongside their engineering colleagues.”

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