Rhodes State College announces 2023 Circle of Excellence


LIMA – Established in 2018, the Rhodes State College Alumni Circle of Excellence recognizes Associate Degree graduates of Rhodes State College and Lima Technical College who are doing exceptional work in their career field, community and for the College. In addition to the 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award winner, Dr. Heather Moore, the 2023 Alumni Circle of Excellence Inductees include:

• Kenneth Blanchard, Lima, Ohio, Business Management (1984) & Marketing (1985) – executive director, Northwest Ohio Literacy Council

After graduating from Lima Technical College in Business Management in 1984 and Marketing in 1985, Blanchard went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in Business from the University Findlay in 1988 and his Master of Arts in Adult Education from The Ohio State University in 1997. In 2006, he transitioned from the Ford Motor Company Lima Engine Plant to the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council, where he currently serves as Executive Director.

“Rhodes St. College (aka. Lima Tech) provided then, and still provides, what I consider the best route a student can take to start a college career. Rhodes State prepared me for a lifetime of learning and teaching in the Lima community,” said Blanchard.

In 2014, Blanchard was named the State of Ohio Contributor of the Year in the Ohio Association of Adult & Continuing Education. He serves on the City of Lima Design Review Board and Historical Preservation Board, the Allen County Bike/Pedestrian Task Force, and has served as President of the Heart of Lima Neighborhood Association, as a member of the United Way, and an advisory member for Apollo Career Center.

• Cynthia Brandehoff, Delphos, physical therapist assistant (1996) – director of Clinical Education & Faculty, Physical Therapist Assistant Program, Rhodes State College

Brandehoff is passionate about the physical therapy profession. Once asked, “What gets you up every day?” She replied, “People who can’t.”

She began her career in physical therapy after her graduation from the LTC Physical Therapist Assistant program as a full-time Physical Therapist Assistant at Northwest Physical Therapy. Shortly thereafter, she was sought as an adjunct instructor for the PTA Program and continued her journey with the College. In 2001, she joined the College as full-time faculty and the Academic Coordinator for Clinical Education. In 2003, she achieved her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from the University of Northwestern Ohio.

• Richard Kohli, Montross, Virginia, law enforcement (1989) – retired chair and associate professor, Criminal Justice, Rhodes State College/Lima Technical College

Kohli gave back to the profession that he loved by building up new generations of first responders, and he continues to give back to his community through his volunteer work.

Kohli started his Lima Technical College career at age 28, graduating in 1989 from the Law Enforcement program. He continued to accrue additional certifications over the next decade from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, Michigan State University, and the State of Ohio Basic Corrections Academy. He began as a full-time park ranger for the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District in 1989, served with the American Township Police Department, moving through the ranks to lieutenant, and was a basic police academy instructor. He went on at LTC to become an adjunct instructor and, finally, the Chair and Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice program.

Currently, he volunteers with the King George County Sheriff’s Office in King George, Virginia, helping with the annual firearms certification, serves at the Montross Food Pantry in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and helps at King George Elementary School.

• Dr. Lori Ludwig, Bellefontaine, nursing (2002) – associate professor of nursing, Rhodes State College

Ludwig took her career from Licensed Practical Nurse on to a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, achieving her Bachelor’s and Master of Science in Nursing from Urbana University in 2009 and 2011, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Capella University in 2019. She has committed her career to serving in community colleges, leading at Upper Valley Career Center as the director of Nursing, Clark State Community College as nursing faculty, Urbana University as adjunct nursing faculty, and on the faculty at Rhodes State College, recently being promoted to associate professor.

• Nicole Scott, Lima, business management (2012) – vice president, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce

Scott has amplified community and economic development through collaboration with regional community leaders in order to enhance “livability” for all citizens and to assist in the development of Small Businesses. After achieving her Associates Degree, she went on to attain her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Franklin University in 2013. She has continued her lifelong education journey by completing the Certificate of Non-Profit Organized Management from the US Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organized Management.

“Rhodes State College has provided the support, education, and skill set to enhance my career, expand my network, and serve my community. Attending Rhodes is one of the best decisions I have made for myself, my family, and for achieving my career goals,” said Scott.

She began her career as the director of communications for the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce in 2014, was named vice president of communications & investor relations in 2016, and was promoted to vice president of the Chamber in 2018. In 2015, she was an Apollo Career Center Hall of Fame Inductee. She has served the community as a volunteer in many capacities including as an advisory board member for Rhodes State College-Marketing/Management/HR program.

The Rhodes State Alumni Circle of Excellence inductees were recognized at the Outstanding Alumni Dinner and the 2023 Rhodes State Commencement Ceremony on May 6.

Questions about the Rhodes State College Outstanding Alumni award can directed to Kim Miller, Director of Alumni Relations & Development at [email protected].

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