Alivia Young Christian is a 2012 graduate of Elgin High School, who majored in Tri-Rivers Health Care Professionals, which is now our Health Careers Academy. As a high school student Alivia was a standout—she was an active member of SkillsUSA, earned membership into the National Technical Honor Society, was selected as an Ambassador and a Teen Board member, plus she received one of the coveted Director’s Awards during the Senior Recognition evening at the Palace.
During her Senior year at the Career Center she was also dual enrolled in Marion Technical College. While at Marion Tech she worked at McDonald’s and for a short time she cared for her former junior instructor, Chris Pemberton’s mom. Chris said she completely trusted Alivia who was so caring and compassionate.
She completed her Associate’s degree at Marion Tech and received her RN in June of 2016. Alivia then started working at Marion General Hospital in July of 2016. She started on a medical floor for 9 months, then moved to step-down and just recently accepted a position in the ICU.
Alivia is the perfect nurse. Even in high school she always wanted to do her best. Unless she received a 100% on a test, it wasn’t good enough. She was and is a goal-oriented person and never happy with second best.
Alivia exemplifies our slogan of “A School Where You are ALLOWED to, INSPIRED, and EXPECTED to BE AMAZING!” At Tri-Rivers we truly expect our students to do amazing things. And Alivia with her attention to detail and desire to continually grow as a person and a professional is an AMAZING nurse. In a few weeks she will complete her BSN.
Robert Zwink is a 1996 graduate of Marion Harding High School, who majored in Tri-Rivers Electronics program.
Rob was nominated by his friend Joshua Simpkins who also graduated from Harding. Josh had this to say about his longtime friend:
I think Rob demonstrates that kids from modest backgrounds can still be very successful if they are willing to work hard and build a skill set that employers value.
I attended Marion Harding with Rob and then roomed with him when we both lived in Columbus in the late 90s. When I think of a self-made man, Rob is always the first person who comes to mind. After graduating from Tri-Rivers, he moved to Columbus with absolutely nothing—no money, no college degree—although he later earned a Bachelors of Computer Science from Franklin University—and no contacts beyond a few Marion people.
Rob initially got an entry-level job in tech support at Micro Center. Through hard work and determination, he worked his way up through various technology positions in the Columbus area including tech analyst for Lucent Technologies, Lead Software Engineer for Micro Electronics, Inc, and executive director for JPMorgan Chase & Co. He is currently the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and co-founder of SafeChain Financial, Inc.
SafeChain provides executive leadership, architecture strategy and engineering solutions in support of blockchain backed title software devices.
Also, Rob is just a thoroughly decent guy. He’s a committed husband and father of two sons. He’s always willing to help people who need it. He’s never forgotten his roots and for a guy like him—who marches to the beat of a different drummer—Tri-Rivers opened the door to what has become an exceptionally successful career and life.
We at Tri-Rivers share Josh’s sentiments. Rob represents everything an Outstanding Alumni should. He is extremely successful in his field, a good citizen, a committed family person and an active volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Ohio for over a decade.
Billie Fields-Baer is not only a graduate of Tri-Rivers Practical Nursing and LPN to RN nursing programs but also a long-time employee of Tri-Rivers. From the beginning of her career journey to several graduations—LPN, RN, and BSN) and licensure, she has grown into the profession as a nurse educator and leader.
Through education and mentoring, Billie has touched the lives of many students. She has a passion for teaching and understands the role of Tri-Rivers in adult students’ lives. She goes above and beyond to ensure that her students have a good understanding of topics and how they affect their everyday practice. She is always on the sideline coaching, cheering and encouraging students to stay positive and believe in themselves. She doesn’t know how to say “no.” She will always find a way to help or accommodate people in need. Her creativity has always provided solutions to any problems encountered.
Billie started her career as a Medical Assistant and Office Manager in one of the local physician’s practice. While working full-time and raising five children, she enrolled in Tri-Rivers first Evening Practical Nursing program. She graduated in 2004 with honors and received the highest award in the Practical Nursing program—the Margaret Helen Gast Award.
In 2012, she made the decision to further her nursing career by enrolling into the Tri-Rivers LPN to RN program. Again, she graduated with honors and received the Judith Ryan Higel award. Soon after graduating from the RN program, she enrolled at Ohio University where she earned her Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing and graduated Cum Laude.
This year she continued her nursing career journey by enrolling in a graduate program at Grand Canyon University with the goal of earning a Masters in Nursing Science.
In addition to her educational accomplishments, Billie has made multiple contributions to Tri-Rivers. Beginning in 2005, she has served as the instructor for the nursing prerequisite programs, Nurse Aide instructor and the Patient Care Technician Program Coordinator. Also, because of Billie’s caring personality and ability to connect and build rapport with students, she was chosen to serve as the success center’s academic and life coach. This year she also served as a clinical instructor in Tri-Rivers LPN to RN Program. It is obvious that Billie is involved in all healthcare programs; however, her main responsibility is being the Patient Tech Program Coordinator.
When she took over that role in 2016, she was able to make great improvements to the program and achieve record high outcomes, according to Dr. Emeline Kelly, the Nursing Director. Tri-Rivers received notification from the National Healthcareer Association commending the PCT program’s 2017 pass rates being above the national averages. It was reported that our 2017 pass rate currently sits at 97%, that is 19 points above the national average of 78%. The agency has requested to use the Tri-Rivers’ PCT program as a model curriculum because of these great outcomes.
Billie serves on the advisory committee for secondary’s Vet Science program and for the Health program at Marion Harding.
Steve McFarland is an electrician with over 25 years of commercial and residential experience. He’s a 1987 graduate of Mt. Gilead High School. In 1988 he entered the United States Army where he served as a 31 N 10 Communication System Circuit Controller. Steve served in Germany, was stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and was honorably discharged in 1992.
In 2010 Steve enrolled in our Adult Education Industrial Maintenance program. He graduated from the program in May of 2011—a 600-hour program with perfect attendance.
In August of 2011 Steve started Steve McFarland Electric LLC which continues to operate today. In October 2011 he began to give back his talents and expertise to Tri-Rivers, when he was hired as a part-time instructor for the Industrial Maintenance program he had previously completed.
Steve is an excellent instructor. He has competed the training and is a NCCER Certified Instructor for Core Curriculum and Electrical. He has not only been a very enthusiastic and reliable instructor for Tri-Rivers, he has hired some of our students to work for his company!
Steve has always received very high evaluations from his students at Tri-Rivers. One of the questions that is asked on the evaluation is, “What did you like best about the course?” Here is just a small sampling of what Steve’s student’s say: “The Instructor, hands on and demonstrations.” “Inside knowledge from master electrician.” “The theory and knowledge and knowledge that our instructor brought to the classroom.” “Hands on. The excitement of Steve, to teach and his first-hand experiences.”
This past winter, in Steve’s Electrical Control classes it was amazing to see our adult students volunteer to come up front, diagram what they were learning and interact with the class. That just doesn’t happen by itself, it’s instructors like Steve, who earn the classes’ respect for their knowledge and their ability to share their expertise with students who want to advance in their careers. It’s his passion for teaching that makes Steve an Tri-Rivers Outstanding Alumni award winner.