Eric Showalter, Auto Collision program instructor at Washburn Institute of Technology, has received the Lon Baudoux Instructor of the Year award for his work keeping vehicles running, and teaching Tech students how to do the same.
“I feel pretty honored,” said Showalter. “It’s nice to be appreciated.”
Showalter, a nine year veteran of Washburn Tech and 1976 graduate of Kaw Area Vocational School, is an Automotive Service Excellence Master Certified Technician, and an accomplished automotive manager through the Automotive Management Institute. The Kaw Area Vocational School would later become Washburn Tech.
Showalter is also certified with PPG Paint, OSHA 10, and holds I-CAR Platinum certification as a steel structural and non-structural technician, estimator, and refinish technician. On top of all that, Showalter is an accredited automotive manager through the Automotive Management Institute.
“Cars advance so much each year, if you don’t continue training on them each year you’ll find yourself way behind,” said Showalter.
The award comes from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR). I-CAR is an international, nonprofit organization which focuses on helping the automotive industry achieve higher levels of technical training.
Showalter is also a member of the Washburn Tech Recycled Rides committee, the Car Show/Care Closet committee, volunteers with United Way and is an advisor for SkillsUSA.
Washburn Tech’s Recycled Rides program is hosting a vehicle refurbishing session on April 12 through 14 on their campus. Tech instructors and students will be working on two vehicles at the same time. One car has engine problems, and the other needs body work repaired. The first one will be given to a recipientat 9:30 a.m., May 9 at the Capitol building. The second vehicle will be given out the following day, May 10, on campus, during their annual car show and barbecue.
“This is a great way to donate time to work and help students improve their skills,” said Showalter. “We’re having May 9th’s event at the legislature building to showcase what we do as tech students and instructors.”
Showalter’s been a “car guy” since he can remember, so the choice to return to his alma mater was natural.
“It’s kind of fun to go back and teach at the place you graduated from,” said Showalter.
The car show on and barbecue May 10, will be at the Washburn Tech campus, in the parking lot of Building K, on the northeast corner of campus.