Graduates to Tell Stories of Overcoming the Odds at COTC Spring Commencement

​NEWARK, Ohio, May 4, 2017 – The two Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) students who will speak at the spring commencement ceremony both overcame tremendous obstacles to receive their diplomas. Mandi Schaub and Patrick Kasson will tell their inspirational stories to their fellow graduates May 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Schaub.jpgSchaub is receiving her associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography. She learned last summer, while taking classes at COTC, that she had a rare form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma called Primary Breast Lymphoma. Schaub underwent treatment while still attending all of her classes and is now cancer free. She was an inspiration to her classmates.

"I am so thankful to be healthy and getting ready to receive my diploma," said Schaub. "If my story inspires one person to not give up, then I will be happy that I shared it at graduation."

Kasson will graduate with a civil engineering technology degree. The high school dropout battled drug addiction and what he calls "many poor decisions" before coming to COTC in 2013 to get his life back on track.

"Until now, I had never completed anything that I started," said Kasson. "I had really created a mess of my life. While I was a student here, I began gaining back my confidence."

There will be 225 associate degrees and certificates awarded during the spring commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be held in the Adena Hall gymnasium. Tickets are required. A live stream will be shown in room 145 of The John Gilbert Reese Center for those without a ticket.


COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.​