“I spent the first 10 years after graduation making air conditioning filters and working on government contracts. I got my next job because they only wanted to hire Ranken graduates. My career lasted for 43 years - thanks, Ranken!”
Eric is fulfilling his dream and paving the way for others - he is a Fund for Ranken donor. Join Eric this year and every year in the annual campaign. Please return the Fund for Ranken letter in your mailbox with a gift designation.
“I was happy to give to Ranken as a student, and even now as a graduate, I donate to show my gratitude for all that my education has done for me. I give every year, so Ranken can continue to help others achieve their goals and instill positive, professional values like it did for me. Ranken helped me be the person I am today, and I'm honored to do my part in return.”
Eric Struckmann (Industrial Technology 2007, Electrical Maintenance 2011)
A procession of alumni dressed in white and gold led the 2013 class dressed in red and black regalia on May 11 when Ranken Technical College honored their graduates at the Chaifetz Arena. Graduates from 1963 and earlier were gathered to share in the honor and relive their Ranken experience from years earlier. During an annual celebration, fifty and seventy five year graduates were dressed in gold caps and gowns and received a pin and certificate commemorating their anniversary. Classmates were joined together, many for the first time since leaving campus. Tom Giovanni, a 1962 graduate, postponed his celebration so that he could be honored along with his grandson John Tindall, who graduated from the electrical program. Tom walked on stage along with his grandson when he was called for his diploma. Bruno Corradi celebrated his 79th year as a Ranken alumnus by wearing white celebrating as a Diamond graduate, a 75-year anniversary color. Bruno turns 98 this year.
Tom Gieseking, an Automotive Maintenance Technology alumnus, who graduated in 1984, delivered the commencement address, providing advice about making the right choices.
Graduates who participated in the event are: Bruno A. Corradi 1934 Industrial Electricity/Electronics
Dean H. Alinder 1962 Automotive Maintenance Thomas C. Giovanni 1962 Automotive Maintenance Don F. Hardin 1963 Industrial Electricity/Electronics Robert (Bob) Heine 1951 Industrial Electricity/Electronics Charles (Terry) Jackson 1963 Machine Shop William (Bill) James 1963 Mechanical Drafting Jack Kuchar 1963 Electrical Bruce Markwardt 1963 Machine Shop David M. Murguia 1963 Plumbing Dennis J. Murphy 1963 Electrical Urban (Irv) Naeger 1963 Industrial Electricity/Electronics Ralph C. Neubert 1963 Plumbing Dennis A. Newman 1963 Plumbing Richard D. Nichols 1963 Industrial Electricity/Electronics Roy E. Nottingham 1963 Automotive Maintenance Walter M. Pumfrey 1963 Machine Shop Melvin L. Sutton 1963 Machine Shop Clarence J. Vohsen Jr. 1963 Electrical James E. Wilton 1963 Machine Shop Robert A. Zagar 1963 Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Heating
Ranken Technical College will hold an Adjunct Instructor Recruitment Fair on Monday, May 6, and Tuesday, May 7, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the St. Louis location, 4413 Finney Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63113.
All positions are for part-time, adjunct instructors and will be available starting in August for the fall semester in various technical programs and the general education department.
Positions for the technical programs are open to teach day and evening classes. These technical education subjects require an associate degree: Automotive Maintenance, Automotive Collision Repair, High Performance Racing, Architectural, Carpentry, Heating and Cooling, Major Appliance Repair, Plumbing, Electrical, Information Technology, Mechanical Maintenance, Machining Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Building Systems Engineering.
Positions for the general education department are open to teach day and online classes. Openings are in physics, math, college reading, composition, sociology, research methods, and computer skills in Microsoft Office Suite. To teach general education subjects, applicants must have a master’s degree. Instructors with MBAs are needed specifically to teach automotive service management online.
To qualify for an interview at the Adjunct Instructor Recruitment Fair, interested candidates with the necessary degrees should send their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants who qualify will be contacted and scheduled for interviews to be conducted during the fair.
For more than 10 years, Ranken has been supporting robotics teams in local schools by providing resources such as lab time, machining and welding parts, donation of materials and student mentors. One such team is a FIRST robotics team from University City High School. Barb Bragg, Ranken’s STEM pathway development coordinator, used some of her grant money to help pay for some of the required materials for the team’s robot and much of the work was performed by students in the welding and machining microenterprises. The team competed this past weekend at The St. Louis Regional competition held at the Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University.
"We were really impressed by this team," said Vince Hotlmann, faculty project manager. "The adult mentors hardly intervened. The students came on campus, communicated their needs and stayed in the afternoon and evening to watch much of the work being performed. They asked a lot of questions and made decisions and changes as needed. It was a tremendous learning experience for the students."
Ranken students who supported the team included Cameron Monarch, Andrew Geldermann, Nicolas Goris and Benjamin Doty. Faculty and staff supporters included Jeffery Scott, Gary Young, Ben Wohldmann, Corey Blair, Paul Buneta, Brandon McLain, Tyler Blank, Vince Holtmann, Barbara Bragg and Don Pohl.
Ranken, along with Emerson, was also a founding sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Team 931 from Gateway STEM High School in 2001 and continues to support the team with the purchase of materials as well as the welding and machining of parts. Several faculty members and one machining student graciously donated their time, even coming in on a holiday to help complete the project. Supporters included Gary Young, Ben Wohldmann, Paul Buneta, Nicolas Goris (student), Barbara Bragg and Vince Holtmann.
"The parts Ranken made for us were right on and crucial for us to finish the robot on time," said Frank Dressel, coach for Team 931. "The keyway you broached in the coupling is vital to our Frisbee shooter working reliably and the rollers are key to our pole climbing mechanism. The parts Gary and Nick made for us on their day off was the only way we could have got the hanging mechanism working by the deadline."
Team 931 also competed at the St. Louis Regional competition this past weekend and proudly displayed Ranken’s logo on their robot as well as in the pit area. Thank you to all of our faculty, staff and students who put so much time and effort into maintaining our partnership with these local schools and potential future Ranken students.
Photo: HPRT students had the opportunity to tear down an engine that turned one million miles.
Being a long-time customer of Schaeffer Oil, Tom Baumann, president of Security Transport Services, Inc., located in Topeka, Kansas, thought the company may be interested to learn of their engine that would soon turn over 1,000,000 miles. Baumann contacted Schaeffer’s Kansas City representative, Doug Rogers, to let him know of the impending milestone of the 5.4L engine in their 2003 Ford E150. Schaeffer sent out a crew to help document the big day and secure the engine for tear down.
Schaeffer then contacted Ranken’s High Performance Racing Technology (HPRT) instructors, Jim Gray and Jason Gann and asked them to perform the engine tear down and inspection as well as to help create a video documentary of the inspection for marketing purposes.
"We’ve had a good working relationship with Ranken over the years," said Steve Brewer, executive vice president of sales & marketing. "We have taught some lubrication classes for the HPRT program and some of their guys have visited our plant. Most importantly, Ranken is the recognized leading trainer in this industry for the Midwest and we value their opinion on all things mechanical."
When the vehicle arrived at Ranken, the Automotive Maintenance Technology department removed the engine and then HPRT began the process of disassembly. "When I heard about this engine that had a million miles I was very excited to just be able to see it, much less have the opportunity to disassemble it," said Gray.
Gray and Gann, along with HPRT student Shauna Wollmershauser took the engine apart and inspected various areas to measure wear all while being filmed by a camera crew. What they found once they started completely shocked everyone; a completely clean engine. Very minimal wear could be found upon inspection. The main bearings were completely even, there was no caking in the block, no tarnishing, varnishing or discoloration could be found and there were no signs of additional heat due to oil failure.
"I was completely surprised by what we found," said Gray. "I have seen engines with only 15,000 miles that have more wear and dirt than this one did."
Since the vehicle was used to haul state and federal prisoners, the maintenance records and Department of Transportation inspections were immaculate and well documented.
"The engine is what it appears to be…. a one million mile gasoline engine with no history of major work and 8,000 mile service intervals," stated Brewer.
The engine was kept by Schaeffer to do further research and for presentation at their Saint Louis headquarters.
"I would attribute the lack of wear to the integrity of the oil," said Gray. "I have tested a lot of racing oils as well as over-the-road production oils and I was very impressed. I have used Schaeffer racing oils for about 10 years and I am still amazed at the lack of wear that was on an engine with that many miles. It far surpassed anything that I thought we would see.
To watch the video visit www.youtube.com watch?v=hDF1zcaxrNU.
Bill Fennewald, Ranken INEET 1965 graduate is the next guest speaker for the Alumni Entrepreneur Workshop series scheduled for February 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Staley Auditorium. Recognized as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus, Bill started working with his father at Fennewald Pump LLC, became president/CEO and now, 50+ years later, is still an integral part of the business plan's success.
Join Bill as he shares his work ethic, work skills and tips for building a successful business with family and for family.
Robert Raymond Ruth always had a knack for fixing things and started his career as an airplane mechanic. After discharge from the military, he enrolled in the (at that time) David Ranken Jr. School of Mechanical Trades' automotive classes. Upon his graduation as an automotive mechanic in 1942, he went to work for local auto dealerships before joining Ranken as a full-time instructor in the automotive division. Ruth was remembered by former student Mike Hecht (AMT 1975-1977), "Mr. Ruth always asked us why. It wasn't enough that the motor was broke or not running right and we were trying to fix it. He always challenged us to think about why it broke. I have a great respect for him. He will always be Mr. Ruth to me."
Listening to Reverand Bill Myers give Bob's eulogy it was obvious that he was a spiritual and kind man. He had a thorough knowledge and recall of the Bible and could quote for any encounter. Stories were told of the many strangers Bob had helped who were stranded on the road with car problems. How he always carried his tool boxes, how they were organized and how his lab coat weighed more than he did with pockets filled with tools.
It was noted by many that Bob had a knack for automotive repair. Ruth could look at exhaust smoke from a car and diagnose a problem or he could hear the sound of an engine and diagnose its misfire. Bob had a great gift for mechanics and shared that gift and love of automobiles with each one of his many automotive students. Even though Mr. Ruth has passed now, his generous spirit and automotive aptitude lives on with many students whose lives he touched from 1964 to 1990. Mr. Ruth was honored with an award in 2007 as one of Ranken's Top 100 alumni in celebration of the school's centennial year, and he was also honored with a 50-year Ranken service award from President Ben Ernst. Long after his retirement, he could be found on campus, giving an invocation at an alumni meeting or graduation ceremony. Reverand Myers referred to Ruth as a "Ranken Jedi Knight" for his automotive aptitude since he went far beyond being "Ranken Material."
A Robert R. Ruth Memorial Scholarship has been created for a student enrolled in the automotive maintenance program for the 2012-1013 term who demonstrates financial need. Anyone interested in donating to this fund in honor of Mr. Ruth may send their checks to Rose Crawford, Development Office, 4431 Finney Avenue, St. Louis, MO, 63113.
Mr. Ruth's wife, Jean, preceded him in death. Surviving are his two sons, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Ranken wouldn’t be the institution that it is today without help from generous contributions. From January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012, the alumni, faculty, corporations and friends below gifted $1,000 or more for programs, equipment and scholarships. Any gift of any size is welcomed. We couldn't do it without you - thank you!
For each ticket purchased, a donation will be made to Ranken's Alumni Association Scholarship Fund by the Blues organization. This season give a gift of education by having fun with the Blues! Discounted tickets are available for these game nights only:
Tuesday, October 23 - Chicago
Saturday, November 17 - Nashville
Thursday, November 29 - Columbus
Wednesday, December 12 - Minnesota
Saturday, December 29 - Philadelphia
Sunday, January 13 - Montreal
Friday, January 18 - Vancouver
Sunday, February 10 - Detroit
Tuesday, March 12 - Edmonton
Thursday, March 28 - Los Angeles
Anyone with questions should contact the Alumni Relations office (314) 286-4895.