Three Ferris State University School of Built Environment students continue their studies in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration with financial support from Trane Technologies. The global climate innovator selected the trio from a national field of applicants to receive 2021 Technician of the Future Scholarships. The awarded students were Robin Kendziorski, of Hazel Park; Chris Lewis, of Grand Rapids; and Kim Sikkema, of Hamilton.
One of the $4,000 scholarship recipients furthered her experience with Trane, as Kendziorski has served the company as a controls technician at their regional office in Livonia.
“I have worked in the summer with Trane twice now, with my capstone HVACR internship set to take place in 2022,” Kendziorski said. “I got into HVACR as a bit of a shot in the dark as my grandfather was in the industry. I have always seen this as an exciting field, and my experiences with Trane have been great. So many people have emphasized my success and learning while I worked with them on internships. If you want to learn, they are excited to teach.”
Also interning this past summer in Livonia was Lewis, who came with a different set of experiences. Lewis chose to pursue the HVACR program after taking up another subject area at another institution.
“I did not see a successful future resulting from my first course of study, so I took a job with a local manufacturer for several years to pay down student debt,” Lewis said. “I understand that there was a field of more than 50 students who sought consideration for this scholarship. My selection and the ability to serve an internship with Trane were a real honor. I am financially independent, so both are crucial to moving forward with my personal and professional goals.”
Lewis said he is entering his senior year’s studies, focusing on a business-oriented role in the HVACR field.
“I believe a role as a contracting project manager, positioned between corporate aspects of the industry and those in the trade and community, will be a dynamic and fulfilling position,” Lewis said. “I had no presumptions when I started into HVACR as a career path. Trane’s corporate culture and priorities, as they relate to community collaboration and sustainability, are driving considerations as I transition from college student, to an ongoing pursuit of knowledge as a professional.”
Sikkema stayed closer to home, interning with Trane as a control technician in its Grand Rapids area office.
“It certainly opened my eyes as to the type of experience that is available to me. Staying with Trane as I enter the industry would be an incredible opportunity,” Sikkema said. “Getting familiar with this corporation was a great first step. Building my experiences will help me build a base of information to use in my possible career direction.”
Twenty-one students across the United States received the Trane Technician of the Future Scholarship for 2021. In all, Trane awarded $78,000 to full-time and part-time students. Ferris’ three participants represent the largest group from any one college or university.
“As a senior, this scholarship is a great benefit to me,” Sikkema said. “Having this support as I enter my last year of study is important, as I work to limit my student debt.”