Student Awarded Scholarship, Then Meets Iconic Benefactor
Last updated: April 29, 2011 - 10:30 a.m.
It’s not every day that a cultural icon gives an online shout-out to a college student, but in fairness, Andrew C. Reisinger is no ordinary young man. Respectful of his parents, grateful for his education and unfailingly polite, it’s no surprise that he’d be a national “poster boy” for success in the skilled trades.
A photograph and article about the Stockholm, N.J., resident, soon to graduate from Pennsylvania College of Technology with a degree in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis, are featured on the website of Mike Rowe, creator and host of the widely watched "Dirty Jobs" series on the Discovery Channel and a spokesman for the Ford Motor Co., VF Corp./Lee Jeans and others
Reisinger recently was awarded a $500 tool scholarship from The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, and as good fortune would have it, won some face time with his benefactor while attending an unrelated Las Vegas event with his family. A photo from that meeting is posted on the Web , along with Rowe’s recollection of Reisinger waiting “in a ridiculously long line” to thank him for the award.
“His grades are excellent. He aspires to repair heavy equipment – cranes, in particular – and work on the road full time. He aims to be self-employed,” noted Rowe, who is as intensely passionate about vocational education as he is instantly recognizable. “Andrew is gracious, enthusiastic, smart and very motivated. In short, he’s exactly the kind of guy we want to encourage, and I couldn’t be happier to help fund a few of the tools he’ll need moving forward.”
The get-together took place at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011, a gathering of more than 2,000 international construction exhibitors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which Reisinger attended with his parents.
“On the first day of the Expo, I stopped by a booth for the I Make America campaign, where they had different games to win trinkets – T-shirts, keychains – and I won a meet-and-greet with Mike Rowe,” he said. Later that week, “I introduced myself and thanked him, and he asked me what I wanted to do with my degree. I told him I want to be a field mechanic for Manitowoc Cranes.”
What impressed Reisinger most about the meeting was that, with only 10 minutes to spare and a crush of people at the booth, Rowe made sure that he talked with everyone – “I want to meet ‘em all,” he said – no matter how briefly.
Reisinger was one of 24 scholarship winners chosen from Association of Equipment Distributors-affiliated colleges for their high grade-point average; mention his name around campus, though, and it’s apparent that academics is just one part of his success.
“It’s been my pleasure and honor to have Andy in various classes over the past two years,” said William P. Kilcoyne Jr., instructor of diesel equipment technology at Penn College. “He's such a well-rounded young man. He displays a lot of traits that most employers only hope to find: respect, responsibility, dependability, enthusiasm and initiative, as well as taking pride in what he does.”
With maturity that transcends his youth (he turns 21 this fall), and particular aptitude for reasoning and mechanics, he is never one to shy away from a challenge or – in the case of his time at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center – two.